You might not think you have time for lunch, but you should add the Carolina Hotel to your weekly meal plan. Because you’ll never get that hour back, and that hour deserves more than a Lean Cuisine.
Wait, Lunch at the Carolina Dining Room is a Thing?
Yep, temporarily. See, the Ryder Cup Lounge is currently under construction until likely the end of the year. It’s getting a new look to match updates throughout the rest of the Carolina. Here’s a rendering of the new lounge, which will also have a new name.
Sexy, right? Until it reopens, Pinehurst Resort is offering a lunchtime alternative. The team installed a new bar area at the front of the Carolina Dining Room, which gives a new mood to dinner — and a more casual feel to lunch.
“It’s all about delivering the level of service people expect,” says Daniel Collier, Pinehurst Resort’s Food & Beverage Operations Manger. “Whether you’re a local or a guest who’s flying in from Pebble Beach, you can still be comfortable and still find something you like.”
A new lunch menu has also been incorporated that includes favorites from the Ryder Cup Lounge, as well as twists on those favorites.
“When we redesigned the menu, we had to figure out, ‘How can one person execute a lunch menu off the Ryder Cup side, but yet utilize the whole line in the evening?’ So that’s what I’m proud of, making it come together and work smoothly,” says Executive Sous Chef Morgan Wesley.
#SwaySix: Here’s What We Ordered.
Yes, all of this. It’s what happens when you’re given the company credit card and told to show your guests a good time. Just kidding. But we wish we weren’t.
Anywho, here’s the rundown:
- Oysters Pinehurst: Creamed spinach, crispy bacon, brabander cheese, with toasted buttermilk bread crumbs. A spin on Oysters Rockefeller, the mix of salty and briny oysters with bacon and goat cheese gouda is a great intro to oysters for someone who may have always been too scared of the texture to try them. Ask us how we know. ($20)
- Tostada Stack: The nachos didn’t move over from the Ryder Cup Lounge, but these scratch the itch. Plus, there’s no fighting over that one loaded chip: each crispy layer is literally stacked with toppings. ($12)
- Cobb Salad: The half size is big enough to send you into a post-lunch coma. It’s loaded with salmon, chicken, bacon, egg, grilled corn, and more, and topped with a signature peach pecan dressing. The salmon is drilled on a cedar plank, Morgan says, and once it was added to the menu “shot through the roof.” ($12)
- Pork Cubano: It’s hard to go wrong with the classic pork/ham/mustard/pickle combo, but the pepper jelly really hits. ($15)
- Shrimp Tacos: Like the Cubano, the condiments makes these stand out. Crispy slaw plus a tangy remoulade = chef’s kiss. Oh, and opt for the sweet potato fries as a side. Dip them into the pecan praline sauce, which someone at our table said tastes like Christmas. “I can’t take it off the menu,” Morgan says.
- Southern Chicken Sandwich: This sandwich is light on the breading. Which is a good thing when a sandwich is almost as tall as your face. We had it with the kettle chips, which were somehow still crispy when we ate our leftovers for dinner. ($15)
Also of note: the vegetarian, healthy-ish Farmer’s Market Platter with quinoa, hummus, roasted tomatoes, beet chips and goat cheese served with soft, grilled naan bread. It’s an app that could be a meal, for $16.
And for Dessert:
What else could we order but the infamous Mile-High Key Lime Pie? As always, its tangy filling and crispy crust didn’t disappoint. But more importantly (to us anyway) we finally got to see what it looks like as a while pie.
Behold, the Mile-High Key Lime Beehive. Morgan didn’t let us hold it, but said it might weigh 10 pounds. We’ll take his word for it.
Lunch is available at the Carolina Dining Room between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day. A lighter fare menu is available from 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. before dinner begins. Reservations are not required, but can be made by calling 855.235.8507 (Option 6).
This article was produced in partnership with Pinehurst Resort. See the whole menu here.