A sweeping vista is a feast for the eyes ““ for golfers and non-golfers alike ““ at the newly-renovated Eighteen restaurant at Glen Abbey Golf Club.
Overlooking the rolling bunkers that gently surround the eighteenth hole, the restaurant offers a generous, panoramic view of one of Canada's most prized golf courses.
Expansive walls of floor to ceiling glass embrace the restaurant from all sides. With the kitchen cleverly placed in the middle of the rectangular space, the dining area then sweeps along the glass providing all guests with a spectacular view. A darkly painted ceiling, minimalist but elegant décor, and handsome striped upholstery provide a beautiful contrast during the day to the richness of the green landscape outside.
There is no question this view would be especially stunning at sunset when, after a (hopefully) rewarding day on the links, and after each stroke is meticulously rehashed and stored in the memory banks for posterity, one's gaze can fall on the green expanse of one of Canada's golfing crown jewels and drink in the setting ““ and the wine.
Glen Abbey is no ordinary golf course. Neither, then, is the menu. While typical club fare such as grilled sirloin burgers and bistro-style sandwiches are available upon request and on the menu in the bar area, Eighteen prides itself on its upscale, yet casual, dining experience.
The menu changes seasonally three times a year. To give one a flavour of the type of selections offered, currently the menu boasts such items as seared duck breast served with savoury herb crepes; butternut squash puree with a blood orange glaze; trio of squash risotto with asiago cheese; grilled red snapper with jasmine rice; salmon roulade with spinach and whitefish mousse with truffled rosti potato and; bison striploin with black currant jus and foie gras whipped potatoes.
The salads and starters are equally special. The Caesar salad features thinly shaved regianno cheese and my dining partner during my recent visit was very impressed with the Caprese bread ““ a warm petite baguette filled with bocconcini cheese served with a flavourful pesto and olive tapenade. The Ahi Tuna nachos were also a treat ““ a crispy wonton topped with yellowfin tuna and mango salsa with a soy-citrus glaze.
Sous Chef Jason Dyck is deservedly proud of the staff at Eighteen and is quick to point out that all the food is made from scratch ““ the jus, sauces, pastas, marinades, all.
Both Dyck and Executive Chef Simon Stenekes are classically-trained and this is reflected in the menu choices. But, as Dyck points out, they key is to keep it simple, flavourful, upscale but casual.
Eighteen is the only restaurant within Clublink (Glen Abbey is a Clublink property) that has its own menu. Recently all the chefs from the different Clublink properties gathered to standardize the fare and presentation offered at all the restaurants. Eighteen is also the only restaurant within the Clublink properties that is open year round.
There is no question that Glen Abbey is a place of legends. Enjoying fine food and gazing out where famous players have made history is definitely an experience well above par, and one not to be missed.
RECIPE: Yellow Fin Tuna Nachos with Mango Salsa & Soy Citrus Glaze
RECIPE: Chocolate Crepes
-1333 Dorval Drive, Oakville; 905.844.3383