Comox Valley ‘treasure’ reopens after two years

If you’re in the mood for “simple, classic comfort food” with a languid atmosphere, you should consider Longlands Golf Course.

DONNA AND MARTY Smith have reopened the Longlands Golf Course restaurant after it was closed for two years.

DONNA AND MARTY Smith have reopened the Longlands Golf Course restaurant after it was closed for two years.

If you’re in the mood for “simple, classic comfort food” with a languid atmosphere and a peaceful view complete with trees and deer, you should consider Longlands Golf Course.Marty Smith and his wife Donna have leased the course for two years. They opened the licensed restaurant this spring after it was closed for those two years.“Longlands has been kind of a treasure in the community for 30 years and after (we were) operating the golf course for a couple of years, there was a lot of people disappointed that the restaurant had been closed,” Marty explains. ”We gave it a lot of thought before doing it (reopening), but we’re glad we did.“The response has been really good.”Longlands is renewing a long-standing tradition as a family restaurant, Marty states.“There’s a whole generation who had memories out at Longlands Golf course, and now they’re bringing their kids out,” he continues. “We’re seeing that a lot, especially on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, things like that. So we’ve got the whole next generation bringing their families out to create new memories.”The Smiths’ three children are fixtures at the course, although they’re too young yet to pitch in and help.Marty takes care of golf operations and “some back-end stuff” in the kitchen, while Donna oversees the front part of the restaurant and bookkeeping.“We try not to step on each other’s toes, but we do regularly,” Marty laughs.“It’s just part of being partners,” Donna chimes in.After being part of the golf industry in Kelowna for 15 years, the Smiths came to the Island five years ago.Leaving the Okanagan was no hardship because of where they live now.“We love it out here,” comments Marty. “A lot of people say to us, ‘How could you leave Kelowna?’ but look what we left it for. It’s a great place to raise a family.”Regular customers are the staple of their business, notes Marty.Golfers at Longlands learn to play around the dozen deer residing on the course. “Keeping them away from the flowers is a challenge,” says Marty,” adding that Longlands plants a lot of marigolds because the deer leave them alone.There are no marigolds on the menu, but seafood chowder is a lunch customer favourite.“I love seafood, so you will always see seafood on our menu, lunchtime or dinnertime,” Marty reveals.As if he subliminally implanted a suggestion in my subconscious, I found myself ordering garlic prawns to start. Because Plans A, B and C for a dinner companion had fallen through, I also ordered a bruschetta appetizer to better sample the fare.I devoured all of the prawns, which had just the right texture. Foccacia bread made a good companion for them.The bruschetta (some of which I took home to my appreciative wife) was topped appealingly with tomato, red onion, roasted red peppers and melt-in-your-mouth goat cheese.My tastebuds were rewarded when I chewed the sprig of lemon oregano atop the appetizer. I should have thanked the chef (one of three at Longlands) for growing it in his garden. While sipping red wine, I enjoyed the view, which at some point was augmented by the appearance of two foraging deer.For the main course, I could have ordered shrimp and Caesar salad, chicken curry, a cheeseburger, New York steak or shrimp penne. I had second thoughts about not choosing the pasta (Donna’s recommendation), but any doubt was dispelled when my blackened cod arrived.I bypassed mashed potatoes and chose wild rice (not really rice but a kind of grain) to accompany my six-ounce fillet. Seasonal veggies augmented the fish, but the best part was a delectable fresh peach salsa that perfectly complemented the spices used to blacken the cod.Munching on the sprig of freshly harvested mint cleansed my palate and prepared me for a slab of warm pie and ice cream to cap an enjoyable meal that was a welcome end to a working week.Back home, I presented my wife with a piece of vanilla cheesecake that she said was the best she has ever tasted.• • •Longlands serves breakfast (until 11:30) and lunch daily, with dinner Fridays and Saturdays. The weekend dinner menu changes weekly. Dinner, served from 5 to 8 p.m., has been on for only two weekends.The 18-hole, par three course and restaurant are at 1239 Anderton Rd. between Ryan and Guthrie roads. You can phone 250-339-6363, fax 250-339-6322, e-mail longlandsgolf@gmail.com and get details by visiting www.longlandsgolf.com.editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com