The New Year is off to an exciting start at Quail Lodge, where executive chef Brian Kearns is offering a new monthly dinner at the Waypoint Bar. Locals and regulars already know this guy’s got game in the kitchen, but give him a little more latitude and he’s going to show you a whole new attitude when it comes to cuisine.
Armed with a degree in Culinary Management from the University of Colorado and lots of local experience, including at La Bicyclette, Casanova and The Whaling Station prior to joining the Quail Lodge team, Kearns is bringing a fresh and healthy approach to the Edgar’s menu, just in time for a brand new year.
On the last Saturday of every month the chef will prepare a special three-course prix fixe menu and you can bring your own wine, as corkage is waived for these dinners. Reservations are required and the next dinner, on March 30, will feature guest chef Elmo Han from The Peninsula Chicago’s Shanghai Terrace. The price? A reasonable $55/person.
Kearns hopes a new audience will find the Waypoint and Edgar’s worth a first, and then a second look, and he plans to add new winning dishes to the regular menu. “Healthy food is here to stay. It’s the new norm. People’s eating habits have changed. They’re not eating as much meat. We’re making a gradual change to offer more options, like side dishes of maple glazed sweet potatoes with pecans and olive oil or butternut squash risotto with arborio rice. I might add some fried chicken at some point: that’s always a fan favorite. But never quail. Just never!”
Or skip breakfast, go for a long walk (or play some golf) and then enjoy lunch at Edgar’s, where the classic clam chowder is always warming, the Monterey sand dabs are amazing, the truffle burger with black truffle and brie will sate even the deepest hunger and the Quail Club with chicken, bacon, avocado and fried egg on whole wheat toast is the true breakfast of champions. Need a health fix? The beet salad cannot be beat. Made with goat cheese parsnip puree, fresh herbs, porcini crumble, mache and arugula lettuce, it is dressed with orange balsamic vinegar and lemon olive oil.
Let’s not forget the golf. This 850-acre resort has an edge that no other golf course in the region possesses. It’s relaxed and friendly. But it’s no slouch. California-based architect, Todd Echenrode, of Origins Golf Design was instrumental in the 2015 update of the 6,464-yard course. If you haven’t been since, you’ll be pleased to know they eliminated some roughs, installed drought-resistant landscaping, added a white sand bunker and put in a lot more swales to make the course more challenging, right from the first hole. A new modern system that groundskeepers can control with an app on their phones lets them water just what is needed, when needed, saving a tremendous amount of water.
Although it’s easy enough to walk, if you desire a cart, greens fees of $185 include one, along with course balls. You can play 9 holes in two hours, or just take advantage of the 9-hole putting green at the Lodge, complimentary for hotel guests.
Stay & Play rates for two people for a superior king room start at $275/night, including 18 holes of golf. The room rate alone is currently $165. Lodge guests pay $110 each for daily greens fees.
Quail offers a great backdrop for events large and otherwise. Small weddings can take advantage of a sweet spot by the pond, or in the meadow, while tents on the driving range allow them to accommodate up to 1k guests. The ballroom is ideal for up to 200 and the Covey comfortably handles up to 75 in a delightful, intimate setting.
Look for some special monthly wine and other dinners in the Covey space, starting in February. Kearns is working on the concept now. Expect originality.
For now, though, he wants you to know there are a few items that are not on the regular Edgar’s menu but are available by request, including the impossible burger, as well as gluten-free breads, buns and flatbreads. Says Kearns, “We will gladly customize dishes to dietary preferences. We don’t say ‘no’ here.”
Laura Ness is a longtime wine journalist, columnist and judge who contributes regularly to Edible Monterey Bay, Spirited, WineOh.Tv, Los Gatos Magazine and Wine Industry Network, and a variety of consumer publications. Her passion is telling stories about the intriguing characters who inhabit the fascinating world of wine and food.