First Look: Range Grill + Golf

— By Design presents dsmDining —

Above: Bison are at home, home on the range—or at least on the menu at Range Grill + Golf.

By Wini Moranville

This past weekend, I attended a preview of Range Grill + Golf, the new restaurant and bar opening in Urbandale today that shares a building with six golf simulators. Your trusty dsmWeekly broke the news about the one-of-a-kind spot in this article last spring.

The handsome dining room could be described as “high-end sports bar,” with tufted leather chairs, cushy booths and a pleasing geometric wall design in light and dark green, echoing the colors on golf courses. Seven large televisions, most tuned to different channels, make for a sports-viewing bonanza—or an onslaught, depending on how much you enjoy watching sports while dining.

The menu opens to an extensive selection of casual and contemporary bar-grill favorites (buffalo wings, nachos, onion rings, flatbreads, steaks, chops, pasta, sandwiches, burgers and salads). Some of these crowd-pleasing choices get a few updates—for instance, snap peas instead of celery are served with the buffalo wings, and steaks can be ordered with signature preparations, such as pecan and pimiento chimichurri or a Wisconsin blue cheese crust. Veering well off the beaten path are big-game choices such as elk tenderloin medallions and bison filets, medallions and burgers. Dinner prices range from around $13 to $33. Lunch has fewer entrees and more sandwiches.

At dinner, I reveled in the Range bison burger ($15), with a soft, flavorful patty of ground, grass-fed bison topped with caramelized onion, garlic aioli and aged cheddar and served on a tasty pretzel bun. The Cajun Heat/Iowa Sweet chicken breast entree was a splendid concept—Cajun-spiced grilled chicken breasts atop a sweet-corn cream sauce. My dining buddy wished for more kick to the Cajun-heat angle, but she admired the kitchen’s expertise in cooking the chicken to plump and juicy perfection, and the Iowa-corn sauce was indeed sweet (and unique).

We were impressed by the staff—from the hearty hello to the warm goodbye, the entire team was expert and engaged. We encountered no glitches in service, even though it was only the second night of their soft opening.

Check out Range Grill + Golf’s website at rangedesmoines.com. Find them at 11865 Hickman Road, Urbandale; 515-252-7500.

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