May 22, 2013 – Lunch at IW Club, Indian Wells, California.

We pulled into the circular court of the IW club and thought, noooo way. This is a public course? Shut the front door, this place is gorgeous! As we wound our way through the entrance and up the staircase to the dining area, you look up to the ultra high ceiling and begin to realize how massive and expansive the club is. Wood all around with large dining room tables, and real comfy chairs. The room is modern with a touch of old school flagstone walls and a killer patio and water garden.

We were greeted by our server Adrian and after ordering sparkling water, Scott Winant the Director of Food and Beverage came to our table and told us about the change in the menu. Shortly after, Chef Chris Olson gave us all details of our dishes tableside. He also explained that there was a change in direction at the club from the executive chef to the GM and some in-between.

Believe me, it shows! The vibe here is fantastic, every member of the staff was just a delight to be around. You know when you got to a place where everyone is genuinely happy not from protocol at work but really happy because it’s a joy to show up. That’s the IW club.

Then the general manager Steven Rosen came out to spend some time with us. I have to say, being greeted by the management team was a real show of how the club is run, with complete style and class. It was a private move, the type of thing that only happens at a private club not a public course. It definitely befits the new direction and upgrade in everything.

We were about to experience an all-new menu focusing on seasonal foods. This was a real treat and the club was as enthusiastic to have us try the new menu.

Here’s what I tried:

Piquillo Pepper, with goat cheese golden raisins, pine nuts balsamic pearls, very fragrant, the balsamic pearls just popped in your mouth.

Salmon Tartare, with lemon cucumber pulp, egg crepe, mint, done in little rolls, kind of sushi style, amazing.

Ahi Tuna Crudo with pineapple, miso dressing, miso dressing, so luscious, and the fish is so fresh.

Spanish Octopus with white bean, citrus salad, cucumber, and blood orange puree, micro cilantro, and these all blended together so nicely.

Potato Dumpling Salad with beet soil, crème fraiche, watercress, very hearty, but delicious, what a treat.

Diver Scallop with English peas, bacon, tomato- pepper Jam, well of course this one would be my absolute favorite, really spectacular.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin, with pickled cherries, summer squash, ricotta salata, nicely appointed, very tender and moist.

The Lobster and Shrimp Salad, this was the only dish that I really wanted to try and asked for. So much lobster, and such great louie dressing, by far my favorite salad ever.

Here is the wine I tried:

Taken, Sauvignon Blanc, Mendocino, 2011, nice fresh, fruity with peach essences. This wine paired well with the salmon tartare and the lobster salad.

Napa Cellars MV Chardonnay 2010, went great with the scallops in all of their glory.

Lock and Key, Meritage, Sonoma 2013, really loved this one with roasted pork tenderloin.

Taken, Complicated, Red Blend, Central Coast 2010. The blend, 60% Grenache, 30%Syrah, 10% Carignane, so the potato dish is a no brainer with this genius blend.

Red Diamonds Shiraz 2009, this wine paired great with the pork as well, the perfect balance of flavors, rich with lots viscosity, a real winner.

After our meal Steven Rosen arranged for us to take a private tour of the course with the Director of Golf Operations Joe Williams. The course is vast and the grounds are meticulously maintained. The greens keeper has his hands full but has done a masterful job because the course is spectacular. There are two big hotels adjacent to the property; Hyatt Regency Indian Wells and Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa. Set at the foot of Eisenhower Mountain the course has valleys and vistas, lakes and waterfalls that are visually stunning. Impossibly lush fairways and pool table greens that are complimented by sugar white sand traps. All this has led to accolades such as: 2013 – GolfWeek- “Best Municipal Courses” in the Country. Players Course Ranked #11, Celebrity Course Ranked #18. Golf week- “Top 25 Best Courses You Can Play” in California. Players Course Ranked #24. Trip advisor- “Ten best reviewed Golf Courses”- Indian Wells Golf Resort Ranked #4. And many others, Joe should be proud of his stewardship of this fine facility. It is a jewel in the desert.

Here are some of the specials and activities the IW club has to offer. A bottomless Champaign brunch, the patio has indoors outdoor seating, at night you can experience alfresco dining. They have live music; Tuesday is steel drums, Thursday is acoustic guitar, but no dancing and Friday is The Inca Kings.

In all the IW club was an absolute knockout surprise. When you think of dinning at a municipal golf course an image comes to mind and it’s not this. This is just amazing. Everyone associated with the change that has taken place and is ongoing, should be glowing with pride. It is exciting and fresh and just bursting with limitless potential. To all the management we met especially Steven Rosen a heartfelt thanks. You have created a lasting and wonderful memory of my experience at the IW Club.

44-500 Indian Wells Lane
Indian Wells, CA 92210

TEL: 760.834.3800

Note – guest columnist Steve Fasanella.



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