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The Olympic Club’s snack shack’s position by the tenth green (and driving range) is such that the smell of the cooking burgers leads to heightened anticipation.

the outdoor deck was ex- panded and glassed-in and fire pits were added, making it a popular evening gather- ing spot. A wood-burning pizza oven was also added and golfers can get to-go personal pies. (We’d recom- mend the one that comes with filet, Brie cheese and balsamic shallots.) Things get really inter-

esting for golfers (or social members) who stick around for dinner. MPCC’s new state-of-the-art commer- cial equipment includes an infrared broiler that can ex- ceed 600 degrees for searing steaks and a setup for trendy sous vide cooking, a French method in which ingredi- ents are sealed in airtight plastic bags and cooked in hot water for extended periods of time, like the 48-hour braised lamb shank with shaved truffles. MPCC has a large, predominantly local membership and last year the club served some 140,000 meals. To keep the members coming back, executive chef Colin Moody emphasizes variety. Tues- day and Wednesday nights feature ever-changing small

28 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2011

plates, while Thursdays and Fridays have a French bistro theme. Saturday is steak night, with macho USDA prime cuts, while trattoria fare reigns on Sundays, with all the pastas made on-site. All of the meals feature McDonnell’s artisanal breads. The mushroom ciabatta and raisin-pecan- cinnamon have become so popular members often ask to take a loaf to-go. Moody’s creative menus

are heavy on locally grown organic produce and fresh seafood straight out of Monterey Bay. “All of it line-caught and sustain- able,” Moody explains, “I have captains call me from out on the water. They’ll say we have a big catch of sea bass, or halibut, or whatever it might be, and we’ll tinker with that night’s menu. It’s really important that when the members sit down for a meal here there are always some surprises. It keeps them interested.” It is not only private

clubs that are upgrading their grub. The Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course has abandoned its buffet style

MPCC’s Dunes Course Shelter

dining and brought in new restaurateurs who have overhauled the menu. The fish tacos are a big seller but the most popular item is the Thanksgiving platter, with mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and meat that is carved from turkeys roasted on-site every morn- ing. The Course at Wente Vineyards, in Livermore, has two stellar restaurants. The Grill is slightly more casual and is based on an

Australian station house, a nod to course designer Greg Norman’s culinary back- ground. Among the tastiest items on the menu is the martini bruschetta, made with green olives, cock- tail onions, Blaze’s green beans and tomatoes with a dry vermouth dressing. Adjacent to the clubhouse is the Restaurant, a fine dining destination that hap- pily welcomes golfers. The signature dish is the 14 oz. smoked Hampshire pork chop. It is currently being served with a peach chutney but the preparation changes every month, along with much of the menu.

Good food demands

good wine, and there are abundant offerings from the Wente Vineyards, the grapes of which frame many of the course’s holes. Wente is the country’s oldest con- tinuously operated family winery, and its small lot reds are particularly coveted. Mayacama Golf Club, in Santa Rosa, has become a temple for epicureans and, especially, oenophiles. With its proximity to the Napa


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