Senior dining at the Creekside Grill in Rossmoor

by foodhoe on May 30, 2011

1010 Stanley Dollar Drive. Walnut Creek. CA. 94595 | 925.949.8658 | website

My parents live in a sprawling gated community called Rossmoor which is located in the picturesque 1800-acre Tice Valley area of Walnut Creek. This lovely neighborhood is home to over 9,000 active and independent seniors with two golf courses, a theater, library, state of the art gym, tennis courts, lawn bowling greens, heated pools and more than 200 clubs and workshops for those interested in leisurely pursuits. I always see deer, geese, and wild turkeys wandering the well manicured grounds and you must keep an eye out for golf-cart crossings and slow moving pedestrians.

Earlier this year, the Creekside Grill opened its doors in the new social building which is home to a pro shop, several meeting rooms, and patio dining with views of both golf courses.  The clubhouse is the final piece in the $12 million redevelopment of the Creekside complex, which also includes buildings for golf course maintenance, the local news and TV station.  The buildings had been under construction for some years and I have been watching its progress as I drove by it 2 or 3 times a week.  Prior to this new restaurant, there was only a little cafe that served sandwiches, a few hot dishes that was very popular for meals to-go and a bit depressing.  So we were very excited to see a full restaurant proper open up within Rossmoor.

The Executive Chef Jose Luis Campos is a native to Walnut Creek, and has worked all over Northern California at establishments such as Auberge Du Soleil, Zare, Fleming’s Steak House, Scotts Seafood, and Vic Stewarts Steak House among many others.  He was most recently Chef De Cuisine at Bing Crosby’s Restaurant & Piano Lounge in Walnut Creek which closed last year.  The menu focuses on new American cooking- comfort food that is familiar, yet new and fresh.  The dining room has tall ceilings and is surrounded with windows which give it a bright open feeling. There is a dramatic stone fireplace at the entrance to the dining room that is bright with flames which makes the cavernous room feel cozy.  The tables are spaced far enough to allow wheelchair and walker access and are all dressed with crisp white tablecloths and topped with a vase of fresh flowers.  We came for brunch on our first visit and then returned for lunch a couple of weeks later.  For the brunch, they dropped off a fragrant basket of fresh pastries: warm bear claws and a variety of scones.

I can never resist Bagel and Lox ($9) when I see it on the menu.  It was a very fine plate with slices of luscious smoked salmon  served alongside slices of marinated cucumbers and red onion, whipped cream cheese and a pile of capers

The bagel was very toasted, but still tender inside and still quite warm so that the cream cheese softened when I spread it on.  Delicious!

We split the Baba Ganoush and Hummus ($8) appetizer platter.  It was piled high with garlicky dip made from pureed eggplant, slices of grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, grilled flatbread, kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese.  My parents enjoyed exploring their way through the variety of flavors and textures.

Mr. K enjoyed the Classic Caesar with grilled salmon ($11) which he said was one of the better caesar salads he’s had.  It was a pile of whole leaves taken from the hearts of romaine lightly tossed with a lemony dressing rich with the flavor of anchovy, herb croutons, and topped with shaved parmesan cheese (which looked like the kind that comes out of a bag).

I had the Creekside Cobb with grilled chicken ($10) which was also huge.  A bed of shaved romaine lettuce, topped with hard boiled egg, smoked bacon, avocado, tomatoes, crumbled blue cheese with sherry vinaigrette on the side.

My mom enjoyed the Creekside Burger ($8) Grilled to your liking, it comes with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions with cheddar on a french roll which is served with delicate shoestring fries.

My father had the Rossmoor Reuben ($9) which was filled with thin slices corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, house made thousand island dressing, baked on rye bread

Don’t you want to just bite into that?  He said it was very good and I tend to believe that…

My father’s favorite though, was the Veggie Sandwich ($7) which was stuffed full of mushrooms, arugula, grilled eggplant and peppers, swiss and pesto on a ciabatta roll.  It was served on a big platter with a huge mound of coleslaw and a variety of pickles.

It looks pretty good, and he is looking forward to go back for another. That says something right there…

Mr. K had the Grilled Salmon ($16) which was served with lemon couscous, turmeric roasted turnips and carrots, accompanied with an olive oil vinaigrette.  He thought the sides were rather bland, but I liked the roasted vegetables.

The salmon was incredibly fresh and succulent and the interior was so rare that it felt like it melted in your mouth.  If you like this kind of searing, it was fantastic.  My dad thought it was undercooked…

Chocolate Bread Pudding topped with a caramelized banana served with a rich vanilla sauce.

The Blueberry shortcake was a solid construction of a split flaky biscuit filled with creamy custard and blueberries drizzled with berry sauce and fresh strawberry slices.

The restaurant has only been open for a month and while the service is pretty young and inexperienced, everyone was very patient and respectful with their elderly clientele.  I am glad to note that you really couldn’t tell that you were dining in a retirement community, the menu offered flavorful food with a variety of textures and the atmosphere was warm and comfortable.

The only downside of this restaurant is that it isn’t really open to the public, because it is located within a gated community which means that you have to know a resident in order to get in. But if you’re visiting for a game of golf, there is a convenient parking lot just for golf carts.  I’m looking forward to exploring their breakfast menu and also want to try their prime rib special which is only served on Tuesday.

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