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Private Golf Course Now Has Public Restaurant

Ayana Wilson Ayana Wilson Private Golf Course Now Has Public RestaurantPhotos by Ayana Wilson.
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Golf season is officially upon us. The Memorial Tournament begins at Muirfield Village Golf Club today, inspiring several across Central Ohio to pick up their clubs and swing for the sky.

And what goes better with a round of golf than a few cold drinks and a tasty bite? Owing to the fact that most golf courses are private, their dining rooms and restaurants are as well. Well, that is, until now.

The Little Turtle Golf Club is a private club located at 5400 Little Turtle Way in Westerville. It’s ranked as one of the Top 25 private golf clubs in the state by OhioGolfGuide.com, but remains affordable and accessible to all.

More importantly, Little Turtle is home to Little Turtle Grill & Bar, which officially went public this year. What this means is that anyone is welcome to enjoy the scape, atmosphere, and gourmet food which used to be exclusively for members.

You may ask here, what’s the appeal of going to a golf course for dinner or happy hour? Well, firstly, Little Turtle’s greens  are absolutely breathtaking. Designed by Pete Dye, the links are specially crafted to test golfers at all levels, as well as please aesthetic sensibilities.

The dining room at Little Turtle Grill & Bar seats roughly 112, with an additional 40 seats on the patio. The menu was composed with the help of local restauranteurs Anthony Rothman and George Chaposky, and features new American classics with a hint of Southern comfort.

Chef Ryan Harrington is the man behind the magic. The head chef at Little Turtle for well over 20 years, Harrington’s new menu still has all the flair of private club membership, without all the drama, hassle, or cost.

“We’re trying to keep things affordable here without sacrificing the quality,” shares Harrington. “We do a lot of specials, host family nights, and hold a lot of events for both members and the public. We truly believe we’re the best kept secret in the city.”

For starters, try the Buffalo Shrimp – large, juicy, and well-sauced. Or the Shellfish Salad Sliders, house-made lump crab, shrimp, and lobster salad on Hawaiian King Rolls. When dipped into the side of wasabi soy dipping sauce, this dish is sunshine and wheat beer-ready.

As are the Fish Tacos made with blackened, fried, or grilled tilapia, served with Antonio & Edel’s salsa. And the Grilled Romaine & Tomato Salad which has a lovely smokiness and bright dressing, while still maintaining crunch and texture.

The stars at Little Turtle, however, are the burgers and pizzas, the latter of which is brand new at the restaurant. More specifically, the OMG Burger, which has a double stack of patties, three kinds of cheeses, and all the fixings.

It’s a gut buster, but there are also options like the Philly Cheese, Black & Bleu, and the Turtle Burger. Pizzas come in two sizes, and can be customized to order or diners can order a specialty pie, like the BLT Pie or the Spicy Buffalo Chicken Pie.

Appetizers cost anywhere from $4-$11, while main dishes run $5-$16. On Tuesdays, families can get one large, single topping and two kids pizzas for $15, and on Fridays, Chef Harrington creates special dishes showcasing the latest in dining trends.

There are 8 membership levels to Little Turtle, including Student and Social membership packages. Little Turtle is also a great venue for weddings, graduation dinners, and other special occasions.

For more on Little Turtle Golf Club and the Little Turtle Grill & Bar, visit www.littleturtlegc.com.

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