John Donne 9 p.m., May 27
No Tee Time Required for Canyons Restaurant at The Crossings in Carlsbad
Canyons restaurant, perched above The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course and the Pacific Ocean, is part traditional golf clubhouse and part fine dining. We discovered this when we recently took company there for a casual lunch (with the possibility for a round of golf afterward).
The restaurant is very spacious with many large round tables and a huge fireplace at one end. With large windows facing the ocean, there’s also a bar for the golfer with one too many triple bogeys, or for celebrating a hole in one! The lunch menu features starters, salads, sandwiches, and “warm plates”. Catering to the traditional clubhouse fare, one can find Cobb salad, steak and fries, etc. on the menu. The food savvy golfer can select a bison or wild boar burger, among other things.
Our order consisted of a French Dip ($12), a Country Club ($10), Canyons Burrata Cheese ($12), and a kid’s pasta with marinara ($6). The French dip sandwich was what you would expect, with plenty of jus for dipping. Interestingly, the club sandwich contained a fried egg adding a “country” feel to the "clubby" club. The portions were certainly generous and other than my daughter, who said some of the pasta was under-cooked, everyone agreed that the food was satisfying.
I started with a cup of corn chowder ($4), but was surprised to receive soup that was orange. Thinking that it had curry in it, I discovered that the chef’s secret ingredient was the Vietnamese chili sauce, sriracha. It added some zing to it and I liked it! Off the Warm Plates section, the burrata cheese was served with tomatoes, arugula, basil, avocado, and garlic drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Plentiful pita wedges accompanied the dish, which was artfully arranged on a large plate. I would have preferred less cheese and more of the vegetables, which tasted delicious with the slightly caramelized vinegar.
Although only serving breakfast, lunch, and an early dinner, with a Sunday brunch, wedding hosting availability, and dining events, they are filling their card with options for golfers and non-golfers alike. We ended up forgoing golf, but the hardy lunch and ocean breezes sent us back down to Palomar Airport Road, contented.
Canyons restaurant at The Crossings at Carlsbad 5800 The Crossings Drive (formerly Hidden Valley Rd) Carlsbad, CA 92008 760.444.1888 http://www.thecrossingsatcarlsbad.com/canyons