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The Loft at Vesper Hills Golf Club

Picture this: you are driving through the scenic hills and crystal lakes of southern Onondaga County when you happen upon a perfectly manicured golf course. You stop into the clubhouse and find a bustling restaurant. You are seated outside on a large deck overlooking the greens.

Warm bread and Olive Oil dip to begin with.

Between the emerald hills and shimmering lake you can’t help but be overwhelmed by the natural beauty this location has to offer. You are then given exemplary service by the friendly staff. The sun is setting and painting the sky with tones of blue, purple, pink, yellow, and orange. Your meal arrives and the presentation is so beautiful that it rivals the scenery. You take a bite and realize that it is even more delicious than the presentation lead you to believe. Doesn’t this sound like something from a dream? It’s not a dream; it’s simply a description of dinner at The Loft at Vesper Hills Golf Club. You too can visit this little ‘slice’ of heaven this summer. The Loft at Vesper Hills is open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 9pm and on Sunday from 11am to 8pm. They are located at 4291 Octagon Road in Tully.

If you haven’t been to Vesper Hills in the last few years, I highly recommend you treat yourself to this experience! This is their 6th season under the ownership of Mark and Suzanne Drumm. Throughout this time they have worked tirelessly to complete much needed renovations to this majestic golf course, including completely overhauling the greens, the parking lot, the club house, the pro shop, and the restaurant, The Loft. Owning a construction company, Drumm Construction, made the Drumm’s the perfect people to restore this property that had been well loved but previously neglected. Mark Drumm started this project because he wanted to give back to Tully, the community that he and his family have been a part of for seven generations. He wanted to give people a place where they could enjoy their leisure time golfing, dining, and hosting important events. Vesper Hills Golf Club has two great golfing specials that they offer to give back to the community. The first is that on weekdays seniors can golf, rent a cart and have a hot dog and a drink for only $25. The second is Military Mondays, so every Monday veterans can golf for free!

Piquant Walleye, topped with the Loft’s own Union Oyster House crumb topping, Applewood Smoked Bacon, relish, onion and a lemon Aioli.

The renovations, although still constantly improving, have been a complete success; one might say nothing short of a ‘hole in one!’ They have even added an island green at hole 8. They are proud to announce that they have been rated the sixth best public golf course in Central New York and among the top 5 best golf courses in the Finger Lakes. Vesper Hills Golf Club proudly hosted the 2018 Empire State Senior Games. They are happy to announce that they will be hosting other golfing events this summer including the SDGA Two-man scramble on July 29th and the first round of the Apogee Investments Senior Amateur Championship on August 6th. They are also hosting a Swing Sisters Clinic for lady golfers on August 5th, for more information on this head to CNY.PGA.Com.

Not only is the golfing great but the dining at the Loft at Vesper Hills Golf Club is really spectacular. You can expect to find creative and innovative cuisine and a relaxed and rustic area. You can’t beat the great food and the icing on the cake is the beautiful view overlooking Otisco Lake. They have been voted one of the Top 17 Al Fresco dining spots in the area for two years in a row! The chefs really take pride in their use of fresh ingredients artfully crafted to create dishes that are delicious, unexpected, inventive, and beautiful! I can’t help but point out that I’ve never seen Yak on a menu anywhere else in town! The yaks are farm raised in Tully and the meat is high in protein, low in fat, and tastes incredible!

We went to The Loft on a warm and sunny Friday evening. The drive was an absolute delight and reminded us of all of the natural beauty Central New York has to offer. We were quickly seated at a table for two on the deck overlooking the golf course and Otisco Lake. The view was nothing short of breathtaking!

Rhode Island Calamari

We began our meal with the warm bread and olive oil dip that was provided by our friendly server. There were so many things on the menu that looked absolutely mouth watering. We really liked that in addition to the menu there was a weekly specials menu to choose from. This menu changes weekly to reflect the fresh ingredients available and the innovative ideas of the chefs! For our appetizers we tried the Rhode Island Calamari, a delightful portion of calamari fried crisp and tossed with cherry peppers and garlic herb butter. The sweetness of the calamari was perfectly complemented by the spiciness of the cherry peppers and was an interesting twist on traditional calamari. We were feeling a little adventurous and also ordered the Duck Wontons which were warm and creamy and served on a bed of chilled udon noodles and stir fry vegetables and topped with a citrus soy wasabi. This dish combined a lot of interesting flavors to create something that was unexpected and delicious. For our entrées we both chose selections from the weekly specials menu. Kyle ordered the Piquant Walleye, perfectly cooked Walleye topped with the Lofts own Union Oyster House crumb topping, Applewood smoked bacon, relish, onion and a lemon Aioli. It was also served with a side of rice and vegetables. The flavor combination was creative and cooked to absolute perfection. I ordered the Diver Scallops, pan seared U-10 scallops served over a gingered parsnip puree with a fresh cucumber and pineapple salsa. This dish was one of the prettiest things I have ever eaten and the ingredients created a masterpiece in my mouth! As we finished our meal we decided to stay a little longer to watch the beautiful sunset fill in the sky. We decided to share a Chocolate Lava Cake, a warm chocolate cake with a molten chocolate center juxtaposed with cool and creamy vanilla ice cream and then drizzled with Hershey syrup. We couldn’t think of a better way to end a Friday date night!

Diver Scallops-pan seared and served over a gingered parsnip puree.

The Loft at Vesper Hills Golf Club should definitely be a stop on your summer destination bucket list! They are also the perfect place to host your upcoming events, parties, rehearsal dinners, and weddings! The food is equal parts delicious and beautiful and the scenery is unbeatable! Check them out on facebook and on their website http://vesperhills.com/ for more information and to keep up with events and specials.

Kerilyn Micale
Kerilyn E. Micale is a Cicero native.