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Wine Columnist Vin Greco: On The Fairway With Wine And "Crimson Molten Burgers"!

Crimson Ridge • Credit: Crimson Ridge
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Wine Columnist Vin Greco: On The Fairway With Wine And "Crimson Molten Burgers"!

Hickory Bar and Grill and The Iron Club - Vin Greco takes you for a walk on the fairway with wine and "Crimson Motlen Burgers" in hand.

If you're looking for casual dining in a natural setting, Sault Ste. Marie has a couple of gems for your enjoyment.

The Hickory Bar and Grill overlooks fairways and the surrounding woods at Crimson Ridge Golf Club in the northwestern corner of the city, while the Iron Club is found at the Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club on the shores of the St. Mary's River in the city's east end.

Crimson RidgeCrimson Ridge

Both restaurants have excellent pedigrees, as the offspring of two fine downtown restaurants, Panna Bar and Grill, and A Thymely Manner.

In both cases, there's a conscious effort to buy local, and so the ingredients are fresh and tasty. As you might hope, both restaurants are home to beautiful burgers, such as the Hickory Grill's "Crimson Molten Burger" an 8 ounce burger stuffed with Jack cheese and served with tomato, pickle, lettuce and 'Crimson Red Sauce'.

Crimson RidgeCrimson Ridge

The Iron Club's Signature Burger is a masterpiece, charbroiled and mounded with crisp onion curls and dressed with a demi-glace sauce. I added double smoked bacon, and loved it. This burger was accompanied by a summer watermelon and arugula salad. Perfect.

The food goes far beyond burgers, with the Hickory Grill serving a variety of steaks, - or you could choose spit-roasted chicken or miso-glazed Roast Salmon. The Iron Club excels with a 12 ounce Angus beef sirloin, fresh Lake Superior whitefish with a herb and crumb topping, and a selection of generous pasta dishes including sautéed shrimp in a creamy rosé sauce.

Sault Ste. Marie Country ClubSault Golf Club

The Iron Club doesn't neglect the little guys, either. Its special kids menu, "The Mini Putt" is perfectly oriented to kids' tastes and portion-size.

What's also good, from my perspective, are the wine lists. At the Hickory Grill, most of the wines are $25 a bottle but are also available by the glass. All the main wine types are covered, and are generally straight-forward in style. Sycamore Lane is an entry-level Cabernet Sauvignon from California, with the dependable Lindeman's Bin 40 Merlot putting in an appearance from Australia.

In whites, La Vieille Ferme Cotes du Luberon is a typical blend from the south of France, predominantly Grenache Blanc. It's versatile and will suit most tastes.

Sault Ste. Marie Country ClubSault Golf Club

The Iron Club offers exceptional value in wines, as does the 'parent'restaurant, "A Thymely Manner". For example, the well-received organic Bonterra Chardonnay is only $27, which is less than a 50% mark-up, and most of the wines on the list follow suit.

Another top-notch white is Flat Rock Cellars' "Twisted" from Niagara, a flavourful blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Chardonnay. Try it with the whitefish or the shrimp and pasta dish.

Crimson RidgeCrimson Ridge

With that sirloin, I would be tempted by the Giuseppe Campagnola Ripasso, $28, from the Veneto. This will have soft tannins and some dark cherry notes. Let it swirl in the glass for a moment to open up.

The Kaiken Malbec, $24, is another winner. Argentina does wonderful things with this grape, and this certainly carries the day. Some blueberry and mocha notes, in a harmonious red.

Dining inside or out, lunch or dinner, this is a great time to try The Iron Club or the Hickory Grill. I think you'll be pleased.

Sault Ste. Marie Country ClubSault Golf Club

For the Golfer

Welcome to Crimson Ridge Golf Course (The Hickory Bar and Grill), the premiere destination in Sault Ste. Marie for a gorgeous round of Ontario golf. Our top-tier facility has a reputation in the area for providing not only a scenic round of golf, but also real estate opportunities, high quality amenities and much, much more. You will love the experience we have crafted for you at Crimson Ridge Golf Course. Live. Eat. Play.

Crimson Ridge boast a spectacular collection of natural Northern Ontario landscape. Waterfalls, creeks, numerous elevation changes, mature hardwoods and spectacular views and vistas awaiting on this scenic par 72 layout. This design has been expertly crafted by Kevin Holmes, and it incorporates natural features with generous and playable tree-lined fairways, large, gently-contoured greens and strategically-placed bunkers that create a true but fair test of golf for all ability levels. Four sets of tees at Crimson Ridge give all players a course that will suit their game, playing from 5,274 yards to a demanding 6,728 yard challenge. This course is a journey through bentgrass tees and greens, and dwarf bluegrass fairways and rough. Rest assured that when you leave, you will leave with a collection of unforgettable memories.

You can visit the Hickory Bar and Grill Menu here.

Located at 418 Fourth Line West - Sault Ste. Marie - Ontario 705.254.4653

Sault Ste. Marie Golf Course (The Iron Club) is an 18 hole golf course located across from the beautiful St. Mary's River in the East end of Sault Ste. Marie. Our practice facilities include a driving range, a putting green, and a pitching range. These facilities are available for members and guest golfers. The driving range has 12 bays, and targets at 100, 150, and 200 yards and it also includes a practice sand bunker. The putting green presents an opportunity for golfers to practice a series of breaking and sloping putts before teeing off. OUr pitching range, located next to the clubhouse, offers 10-, 25-, and 50-yard targets and sand bunkers for practicing the short game.

Located at 1804 Queen Street East  Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario 705.759.5133

Visit www.saulttourism.com for more information on things to see and do in Sault Ste. Marie!

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