Dining profile: Find a ‘hidden treasure’ of a restaurant at Coyote Creek Golf Course
The Coyote Creek Bar and Grill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner
Published in the May 11-25, 2016 issue of Morgan Hill Life
By Lauren Newcomb
It’s a rare treat to discover that a place with a gorgeous setting you’ve driven by on the highway countless times is actually a good quality restaurant that’s open to the public. Coyote Creek Bar and Grill is one such hidden dining treasure that has labored for years under a “members only” misconception.
Located in the club house on the scenic Coyote Creek Golf Course a few miles north of Morgan Hill, the casual style golfing restaurant sports breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and hills, creating a beautiful setting to perhaps watch a sunset while enjoying dinner, or bask in the sun on the patio at lunch with a cocktail. And breakfast starts at 7 a.m. for early risers.
Because the restaurant is located on a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, most people naturally assume that it is a private establishment open only to golfers who pay an annual fee to belong to the club. Restaurant manager Heather Britton explained that not only is it open to golfers, Coyote Creek welcomes anyone and everyone to come and dine with them. The restaurant boasts a relaxed, casual atmosphere, and, unlike the golf course itself, requires no dress code.
Having recently taken on the job of upgrading the restaurant and introducing it to the greater South Valley community, Britton wants to shake things up. “We are going to be changing the menu a little bit to make it more of a seasonal menu and get some lighter dishes in there,” she said.
The menu offers mainly American food, from hamburgers to fish and chips, but Britton and chef Lucio Telles hope to introduce new and exciting flavors to the menu.
Telles has a passion for cooking born of years of hard work and perseverance working at popular roadside diners to build a career in the culinary arts. “I started at Big Boy as a dishwasher,” he said, “and then I worked for 13 years as head line cook.”
When Telles learned a position opened up at the Coyote Creek Bar and Grill for someone to head the kitchen, he jumped at the opportunity. Recently he and Britton have been working together to whip up new menu items, revitalize the restaurant and spread awareness.
“We’re trying to do Italian food, Chinese food, and Mexican food,” Telles said. “We’re trying to keep it fresh.”
In keeping with the quality of the restaurant, Telles and Britton make sure that the food they serve is fresh. “We do our own (hamburger meat) grinding here every day,” Telles said. Having tried frozen hamburger patties once, he decided there was no contest with freshly ground meat and firmly determined never to do that again.
Hamburgers are one of the restaurant’s more popular dishes. Britton and Telles attribute that to their practice of grinding the meat and adding their own spices and condiments to the mixture.
The bar has a variety of drinks, from local wines and beer to the Moscow Mule and a new addition in anticipation of summer, a cucumber mint lime martini. “We make our own cucumber vodka in house,” Britton said with a laugh. “It is delicious.”
Another welcome addition is a spicy margarita with jalapeño. “People like the spicy drinks so we’ve started to incorporate those into our specialty drink menu,” she said.
When commuters are driving home after a long day of work or stuck in traffic while perhaps heading for Gilroy or Hollister, the Coyote Creek Bar and Grill may be a welcome respite.
“This is a nice spot to just take a break from the traffic in the afternoon, to come in and relax, enjoy the sunset,” Britton said. “Our patio is amazing, and I definitely encourage people to visit.”