Review: Niblick & Greene’s

Eagle Crest restaurant succeeds with bar fare

By John Gottberg Anderson / For The Bulletin

Niblick & Greene’s

Location: 7535 Falcon Crest Drive (Eagle Crest Resort), Redmond

Hours: 5 p.m. to close every day (Brassie’s Bar open at 4 p.m.)

Price range: Appetizers $7.95 to $12.95, entrees $13.95 to $29.95; bar menu $9.95 to $14.95

Credit cards: American Express, MasterCard, Visa

Kids’ menu: Yes

Vegetarian menu: Pastas and salads

Alcoholic beverages: Full bar

Outdoor seating: Seasonal patio

Reservations: Recommended

Contact: www.niblickandgreenes .com or 541-548-4220

Scorecard

OVERALL: B

Food: B-. Dinner in the restaurant was mostly mediocre, although a burger in the bar was great.

Service: A. Prompt, courteous and timely, from first seating to presentation of the check.

Atmosphere: B. Golf memorabilia adorns the walls of the dining room and adjacent bar.

Value: B. Moderate prices would make this good value if food quality kept pace.

In late spring and summer, when the desert sun shines well past 8 and the closely cropped greens glisten beneath the slowly sinking sun, the broad picture windows of Niblick & Greene’s restaurant provide a view across a pond toward Redmond’s Eagle Crest Resort golf course.

At this time of year, of course, the curtain of darkness drops many hours earlier. By the time patrons arrive for the 5 o’clock dinner hour, the panorama has already disappeared into the dark. Their focus turns to the food.

It’s too bad, then, that the cuisine at Niblick & Greene’s isn’t as impressive as one might hope. While a burger meal that I ate in the adjacent Brassie’s Bar was very good, a full dinner for two in the main resort restaurant was very forgettable.

While service was, conversely, excellent — table attendants were prompt and courteous at both of my meals — the golf-oriented decor doesn’t play as well as the subtle Christmas decorations when the golfers have taken the winter off. Crossed irons from old golf sets adorn the walls behind a half-dozen booths, while a collection of different-brand balls are framed next to tables in the 80-seat, family-oriented restaurant.

Mediocre dinner

When my companion and I arrived for a dinner reservation, we were greeted and seated immediately. Our server took our wine order, brought us water and dinner rolls, and in relatively short time presented our first courses.

My tossed salad was little more than chopped iceberg lettuce — crunch but no flavor — with an overly sweet balsamic vinaigrette. The slices and bits of other veggies didn’t contribute much.

I preferred my companion’s soup du jour, a Manhattan clam chowder at which she turned up her nose. Peppery and with very few bits of clam, it was thick with chunks of potato, carrot, celery and other vegetables.

Her steak Delmonico was cooked as she likes it, “on the rare side of medium rare,” which I suspect was hard to do given that the slice of beef was surprisingly thin. The menu promised a 14-ounce rib-eye, but there was no way this could have been more than 10 ounces. But a side order of sauteed mushrooms and blue cheese crumbles added flavor.

My seafood skewers turned out to be a better choice. The sticks had been removed before serving the double portion of prawns, scallops and (especially) cod, intermixed with slices of red and green peppers, red onions and large button mushrooms. Previously frozen, the seafood didn’t have the same flavor as fish fresh from the sea, but it was enhanced by melted butter in a cup for dipping.

Offered a choice of potatoes or rice to accompany, I chose the latter and wished that I had not. Cooked with too much broth, the rice was soupy, something that a generous sprinkle of parsley couldn’t help.

But the medley of vegetables that came with both of our dinners was cooked just past al dente, as we like our veggies. Carrots, zucchini, yellow squash and finely diced tomatoes went into the blend.

Always a chocolate lover, my friend ordered a chocolate cake special, featuring a drizzle of chocolate sauce with marshmallow topping on the side. She had a couple of bites before labeling it too dry for enjoyable consumption.

Brassie’s burger

I had no complaints when I returned alone for a light Monday night football dinner at Brassie’s Bar.

Open at 4 daily — a full hour before Niblick’s — this comfortable, 60-seat pub serves a menu of mostly burgers, sandwiches and salads.

It’s a fine sports bar. Framed posters recalling famous golf courses and events, antique bags and other golf paraphernalia, hang on the walls. Games are shown on four flat-screen televisions.

I couldn’t have been happier with my burger, a full one-third pound of meat cooked medium, served on a large, firm bakery bun and topped with freshly sauteed mushrooms and Swiss cheese — along with leaf lettuce, two tomato slices and a full slice of red onion.

In lieu of fries, I ordered potato salad, which came as a generous amount blended with pickles, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise and a sprinkle of paprika.

The service was outstanding. In fact, the only thing I didn’t like about Brassie’s Bar was the sound of video poker machines too close to where I sat.

Niblick and Greene’s, located since 2004 in Eagle Crest’s Village Square complex, is owned by John Bushnell and Robert Holley, who are also partners in the Tumalo Feed Co. restaurant. Coincidentally, the 9½-mile route from Tumalo on the Cline Falls Highway is the most direct way to travel to Eagle Crest from Bend, a total distance of 15 miles.

The Eagle Crest Resort is five miles west of Redmond via state Highway 22.

— Reporter: janderson@bendbulletin.com

SMALL BITES

The Row at Tetherow officially opened its doors Monday, offering casual pub fare to complement executive chef Zac Hoffman’s fine-dining menu in the Tetherow Grill. The menu of small plates and flatbreads, soups and salads ranges in price from $5 to $15, and features such dishes as a huntsman’s platter, with smoked salmon, grilled sausage and a variety of cheeses, and a braised elk stew. Open 11 a.m. to close every day. 61240 Skyline Ranch Road, Bend; 541-388-2582, www.tetherow.com

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