A couple weeks ago I told a friend I’d dined at Awbrey Glen Golf Club.
“I didn’t know you were a member out there,” she said.
I’m not. And she’s not the only person to incorrectly assume you must be a member at Awbrey Glen to enjoy a meal in the restaurant. Not only is the restaurant open to the public, it’s open to non-golfers like me who can’t tell a putter from a wood.
The menu at Awbrey Glen features a wide array of cocktails, wine, and beer to kick things off right. The Italian Greyhound makes a perfect summer drink with muddled basil, vodka, and grapefruit juice, while the house pinot gris is a tasty bargain at $5.75 during happy hour from 3:30-6 p.m.
Drinks in hand, the Visit Bend crew basked in the sun on the spacious outdoor patio and gazed out over the lush, rolling green landscape. I may not know much about golf, but the courses are lovely to look at while sipping a nice glass of wine.
We sampled a variety of appetizers from the bar menu, including melt-in-your-mouth Dungeness crab cakes with an orange dill tartar sauce. The chicken wings were another highlight for me, with just the right mix of tart zing and spicy kick. The bleu cheese dipping sauce and celery sticks rounded everything out nicely.
The seared ahi tuna was another tasty treat, dipped in sesame seeds and served with pineapple fruit salsa.
Our server said one of the most popular menu items is the chicken vodka voodoo with gnocchi. With my first bite, I understood why. The dish features house-made, pan-fried gnocchi smothered in a rich vodka cream sauce and tossed with blackened chicken breast and a side of frizzled beets. The combination of textures and flavors was divine, and the chicken was so perfectly tender I wanted to curl up on a bed of it. I settled for eating it, which was probably a wise choice.
I’m always a sucker for restaurant wine lists that include a healthy selection of Oregon offerings, and Awbrey Glen has several to choose from. The 2009 Elk Cove Pinot Noir was incredible, and I loved being able to order it by the glass.
I’ll admit it – if I hadn’t been invited to dine at Awbrey Glen, it’s not a place I would have had on my radar. “For years, we’ve been Bend’s best-kept secret,” the manager informed us. “Now we want the secret to get out.”
Well then, allow me to spread the rampant rumors. The restaurant at Awbrey Glen is definitely worth a visit for dinner (Wednesday through Saturday) or lunch (Tuesday through Saturday) or for Sunday breakfast (9 a.m. to 2 p.m).
And ESPECIALLY for happy hour!
Now tell all your friends.