The Tasty Joys (and Toys) at the Sun Valley Clubhouse

Ever since it first opened eight years ago, people have loved the Sun Valley Clubhouse.  And it only takes a single visit to the sun deck, especially on an idyllic summer afternoon in the Northern Rockies, to see—and taste—why.

The first thing that impresses you when you take a seat at the restaurant, bar or sun deck at the Clubhouse is the view. Under the deep blue Idaho skies lies a skyline of Baldy, Dollar and the Smoky Mountains, with the lush sage green sea of the surrounding foothills and the deep green hues of the Trail Creek course fanning out along at eye-level.

The views are as glorious as you’ll ever find, but they’re not the only reason people like to eat and drink at the Clubhouse. The food has a well-deserved fan club of its own, especially since chef Wendy Little took over the kitchen.

“We try to do as much in house and keep things as fresh and organic as possible,” Wendy said.

Wendy has been running the kitchen at the Clubhouse—which also caters to a Nordic ski and snowshoeing crowd in the winter—for a year now. She came over to the Clubhouse after a half-dozen years at Trail Creek Cabin, and a culinary career that began by studying in France and “cooking,” as Wendy simply puts her craft, at some of the finest resort destinations in the West.

“I try to do Idaho food whenever possible, organic food that is fresh and in season. That’s important to me,” Wendy said about a menu that features truly local items like Idaho trout and a BLT with maple and cracked pepper bacon they cure on site. The homemade mac and cheese and French fries made fresh from Russet potatoes grown here in the Gem State are big hits with kids and grown ups.
While Wendy clearly enjoys cooking year-round, for her, nothing beats the long, warm days of summer in Sun Valley.

“I love to cook in the summertime,” she said about seasonal fare like fresh artichokes and salmon. “I love the summers here. They’re so brief and precious.”


While the food and views are nothing shy of fantastic, there’s one other reason why folks flock to the Clubhouse. It’s a great place for an après golf—or bike ride, hike or fly fishing—spot. The bar features a variety of specialty cocktails like their popular and spicy Bloody Mary, a Pomegranate Mimosa and Hemingway’s favorite drink from Harry’s Bar in Venice, the Classic Bellini.

This season, the après scene has gotten even better with daily $5 specials on pitchers of beer, glasses of wine and menu items like skirts steaks on Mondays, 1/2 artichokes on Thursdays and pulled pork sliders on Saturdays.

“Our new summer menu has some tasty new offerings as well as some of the old favorites that our guests love,” assistant manager Heidi Hogan said. “Everyone really enjoys the consistency and quality. It’s such a nice place to sit and enjoy the afternoon.”

Of course, some of us enjoy running around and playing as much as we do eating and drinking, and the Clubhouse has us covered there, too.

Besides being the starting point for two world-class golf courses, Trail Creek and White Clouds, the Clubhouse is also home to the Sawtooth Putting Course and even offers free games of cornhole. The “putt-putt” course is fun for any age and since it still counts as playing a round, is also a great excuse to hit the Clubhouse afterwards for some of the best après golfing you’ll ever find.

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