What’s new at Bandon Dunes? The Ghost Tree Grill raises the stakes

The Ghost Tree Grill at Old Macdonald at Bandon Dunes.

The new Ghost Tree Grill at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is nestled among the trees behind Old Mac's punchbowl 18th green.

Nathan Kahler/Courtesy Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

At Bandon Dunes, no one ever talks about “signature holes.” Courses are discussed in their entirety. But “signature dishes?” That’s a lively topic at the Oregon resort. For years, a leading candidate has been the meatloaf, a gargantuan portion of ground beef offered at McKee’s Pub, near the main lodge. But in recent months, meaty challengers have emerged, all from the menu of Bandon’s newest culinary outpost, a refined steakhouse and raw bar, the Ghost Tree Grill.

Tucked into the trees behind the 18th hole at Old Macdonald, one of the resort’s five 18-hole courses, the restaurant takes its name from an Old Mac landmark: the spectral-looking cedar tree that frames the tee shot of the par-4 3rd hole. It takes its inspiration from ranches, farms and fisheries around the Pacific Northwest, resulting in seasonal and regional indulgences that range from Dungeness crab cakes and jumbo calamari to rack of lamb, rib eye and smoked prime rib.

The familiar Old Mac logo greets guests at the entrance of the resort’s newest restaurant. Nathan Kahler/Courtesy Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Like the golf at Bandon, the space is modern-minimalist in design, with a gabled roof and weathered cedar siding that blends into the woodsy backdrop. An open kitchen gives way to a centerpiece bar that splits the dining room and stretches to a patio with outdoor seating. Inside, a fireplace flickers and large TVs screen live sporting events. But the best views are through the floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on the course, with the restaurant’s namesake tree framed in the near distance.

Ghost Tree’s opening marks the latest addition to a resort whose growth has been a study in thoughtful expansion and environmental stewardship. It also signals a surge of activity around Old Mac, where plans are to add to Bandon’s already sprawling accommodations. From those rooms, it’ll be a short walk to a restaurant where post-round revelries unfold over fresh seafood and Flintstonian cuts of meat. The signature dish? Debate that before you argue over whose signature goes on the bill.

Upscale but understated, the dining room has an airy, light-filled contemporary vibe. Nathan Kahler/Courtesy Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
A large patio offers al fresco dining, a firepit and unimpeded views of foursomes wrapping up their rounds. Nathan Kahler/Courtesy Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
Under chef de cuisine Brandon Parrill, the menu includes such coveted cuts as Kobe and Wagyu beef from Japan and Australia, but most dishes are regionally sourced, including the dry-aged, 24-ounce rib eye from Double R Ranch in the Pacific Northwest. Nathan Kahler/Courtesy Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
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