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The Missing Link 

Tetherow's new pub brings high brow to the people

In April, Tetherow, the golf course resort at the cusp between the city and the mountain, will open up 50 spacious hotel rooms on its 700-acre site. Formerly a burn zone a decade ago, the golf course and private homes sprung up like wild flowers in the charred grounds. But for the past several years that space—an exquisite rippling apron on Mt Bachelor's east side—primarily has been an exclusive enclave with private homes and a golf course with a million-dollar view.

But over the past year or so, that exclusivity has melted away, and given way to what is emerging as a quasi-public, upscale playground.

And, perhaps the best vantage for locals to this openness is the newly opened "The Row"—a sophisticated, yet welcoming and buttoned-down, bar and casual restaurant.

With near giddiness, the proprietors talk about the grounds and activities around Tetherow as if describing summer camp. There is a 100-foot slip-n-slide, and they are working with Bend Park & Recreation to provide mountain bike trails across the hilly property that will offer important connections to popular public land trails. And, within this sprawling gesture to reach out to the public, The Row is the hub (and pub) that holds it all together—and it is, in a word, awesome.

The smell of the lodgepoll and freshly cut stacked pine is still present in the newly renovated restaurant. And, rather than a pub-style seating, The Row has replaced vinyl booths with leather couches, and linoleum floors with textured wood floors, and spinning bar stools with wood and leather tall chairs. It has a distinctly modern feel to the interior, and, vaguely feeling as if it is overhanging an east-facing cliff, it looks out over the golf course.

The other restaurant, Tetherow Grill, only hosts 38 seats, and during busy summer months is popular for post-golf fancy dinners, often with a wait. With the addition of hotel rooms set to open on April 17, Tetherow was in need of additional eatery options, and with The Row it has brought it—and brought it with style.

Casual but upscale, the proprietors point out that not only is the space spacious and a great post-golf hangout, but is also welcoming to skiers and snowboarders for après-ski drinks and food, and a great spot for mountain bikers to cool off in the summer.

Prices are reasonable, but the food was high-quality with plates, burgers and flat breads from $5-15 (including the highly recommended house-specialty Bleu Diamond Burger, made with Cascade Natural beef with maple bacon, demi glace and Rogue Creamery bleu cheese), and entrees from $15-22, like the Guinness glazed melt-in-your-mouth flat iron steak and the Yukon potatoes dripped with malty ponzu sauce.

The cosmopolitan menu is inspired both by head chef Zac Hoffman's local experience, as well as the staff who are knowledgeable and food-enthused.

"Slightly elevated, but in people's comfort zone," notes Hoffman about the menu he has created from scratch.

With truffle sausage and braised elk on the menu, it definitely is not average pub food, but it is still salty and rich, expertly matched with the 12 beers on tap and 32 bottled options.

The scotch egg is a deep fried masterpiece, with an outer crunch and soft boiled egg inside, served on a plate splashed with a tart mustard—a rare treat for a menu outside of Scotland.

The corndog lollipops have less in common with county fair food than fine dining; mini-corn dogs, graciously light on the batter and stuffed with rich smoky sausage.

What stands out about Hoffman's pub menu is the pop. Nothing is bland or expected, but nothing is unreadable or completely out of the ordinary. Hoffman is elevating the pub menu while still keeping it accessible for the culinary layman. An elk sausage and fresh jalapeno flatbread was a pleasant upgrade from the typical dry pounded out crisp, and the kettle chips, made in-house and doused with a healthy dusting of sea salt, perfectly compliment beer. Yes, The Row is a clubhouse. But it is a new style of clubhouse, one more about inclusivity than exclusivity.

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