McGowan’s Menu: Indian River’s Greenside Grille

The 19th hole is a golf tradition, and many golf clubs and public courses are finding that a good restaurant is good business to keep golfers and diners, coming back.

The Indian River Golf Club takes both its golf, and the Greenside Grille Restaurant seriously.

And they want more people to get the message, that their restaurant too, is a destination.

Our own John McGowan found out some reasons why in tonight’s edition of McGowan’s Menu.

Not a bad view of the action from the deck, or the dining room at the Greenside Grille, as the ninth hole lies right next to the grille. Tonya Romanik has been dining room manager since March, and after 30 years in the restaurant business is trying to make sure the public knows, it’s welcome here.

“Yeah, I think a lot of people assume that it’s a private club, and they don’t think to come here, but we’re hoping to change that, get some new faces in, and get ’em coming back and telling their friends and families that we have an excellent chef, a great venue, and trying to do some fun and new things,” explained dining room manager Tonya Romanik.

“We can start with a little bit of risotto.” There’s a lot of experience in Chef John Giles. After 20 years cooking in various Northern Michigan restaurants, he got his culinary degree in Arizona, and returned home.

“We do a lot of native fish. We try to keep it local here, when we can as far as our meats and vegetables.”

He’s preparing one of their most popular fish entrees, the Murat style walleye.

“We get fresh walleye from Northern Michigan here. We clean it, we skin it, saute it, and then we top it with a Murat style topping, which is shrimp, some artichoke hearts, some tomatoes and leeks, and then we finish it off with a citrus butter sauce.”

The dinner menu is full of steak, pork, chicken and pasta choices as well, but sometimes golfers coming off the course want something less filling, like the unique perch crunch sandwich.

“We start with the homemade bun and then we lightly dust our perch in the cheese and flour, fry ’em, take ’em out, top it with cheese, put that in the oven for a minute, and then we put that on the bun, and top it with the potato strings, and then serve it with tartar sauce and lemon.”

When Tonya’s having lunch she has her own favorite. “The fish taco is normally what I have for lunch. It’s excellent. It’s blackened, and it has real light, lively flavors to it. And it’s a great dish.”

“We start with codfish, and we marinate that in a cajun seasoning, and olive oil. And then we fry that in a pan, put it in a taco shell, and then we do a sesame seed dressing and coleslaw on top, with some spicy chili sauce on top,” John said.

Tonya says they are bringing in more Michigan craft beers, among those available now are Cheboygan Whitehouse Amber, and Cheboygan Cervesa, as well as the Petoskey Horny Monk.

The main goal of Tonya and the folks at the Greenside Grille is to make sure the public knows that the grille is open to the public and not just the members of the club.

“Well we’ve got a very friendly staff, and we treat you exceptionally well. And we hope you’ll enjoy our staff, our friendly service, our food, our venue and tell all your friends and family,” says Tonya.

John says, “I’d like them to take away that we really put on a pretty good plate of food here, at a very, very reasonable price.”

The Greenside Grille is located at the Indian River Golf Club, they’re open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.