Enjoy a memorable dinner at Old North State Club.
The sun is setting at Old North State Club, its beauty framed by the dining room’s panoramic windows. There’s a vibrant energy in the air. The club’s beloved Executive Chef Michael Monahan has something new in store for members tonight, and the smell of steaks sizzling on the grill is a tantalizing aroma.
Even to those who frequent this club and dining room often, like myself, this is a special environment that never gets old. That’s because Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point is a special place, where a day spent on the links or exploring the natural beauty around the club is complemented by an elegant, memorable meal in the dining room.
Monahan has been at Old North State Club since 2015, and his culinary style and trendy menu offerings have transformed the club into the place to be on Badin Lake. The members have certainly taken notice as well, as Friday and Saturday evening dining is especially popular.
“A packed dining room is always a great thing,” says Monahan. “We strive for everything to be perfect for every diner, and when the dining room and bar are full, the kitchen staff is really able to fire on all cylinders.”
Although he has been at Old North State Club for three years, Chef Monahan has many more years of experience with McConnell Golf under his belt, including stints at Sedgefield Country Club and the former Cardinal Golf and Country Club. He began working at the Cardinal in northwest Greensboro in 2008, taking over for current McConnell Golf Corporate Executive Chef James Patterson (or as he’s fondly known, JP). When JP left the Cardinal to oversee operations at Musgrove Mill Golf Club, he knew he was leaving the club in good hands with Monahan.
“Chef Michael has always been an asset to McConnell Golf, not only in the kitchen and behind the line, but also from an innovation standpoint,” says JP. “His background of working in restaurant kitchens helps him to view club dining operations differently from other chefs. Different ideas and discussions between our chefs is always a good thing.”
Chef Monahan has transformed the dining experience at Old North State Club into much more than just a white table linen establishment. Of course the club has white tablecloths and frequent dinner specials, however, there is so much more, including themed dinners and events. From Mediterranean Night to Seafood Night to the popular oyster roast, there is always a theme to offer members something new and exciting while also keeping the culinary staff on its toes.
Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to attend one of these special evenings at the club — a Butcher’s Table event, in which Chef Monahan rolled a cart of beef to each table where diners were able to choose between tenderloin or ribeye and choose the size of their cut.
And this was not just any beef. It was Aberdeen Red Angus, a heritage breed originating in Scotland and grass-fed in North Carolina. There were many petite filets cut that evening, and there were also many large ribeye steaks served.
Along with the choice of steak, diners could choose between a number of sides, salads, and of course dessert. Although the steak was the main feature of the evening, the accompanying side dishes also played a major role in how the meal came together.
“The flavors of the protein are what most diners enjoy, but what people do not understand is how those flavors are enhanced greatly with the addition of the proper spiced seasonings as well as the appropriate side items,” says Monahan.
Also in his third year at Old North State Club, Club Manager Frank O’Hara sees an uptick in the culinary operation over the past few years.
“In the dining industry, consistency is important,” says O’Hara. “Consider the private club atmosphere, where almost 100 percent of your patrons are repeat customers. The consistency dynamic is magnified that much more. One of the challenges we face every day is how to remain consistent with our menu and flavors coming out of the kitchen for the members whom enjoy certain items, while also creating new and innovative items and tastes for our members and guests to enjoy.”
The next time you’re on the McConnell Golf website, head over to Old North State Club’s page and check out their calendar of events and club newsletter. Choose an event to attend, make a reservation, and book a weekend getaway to Old North State Club. I guarantee it won’t be your last!