Café Savannah at Forest Ridge in east Broken Arrow celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. For two months.
The restaurant, known for its sweeping views of the Forest Ridge Golf Club public course, now has a new name, a new menu and a new look.
It’s now Rocking R Ranch House, a nod to the Robson Family Ranch that was started on this property in 1928 by L.S. Robson. He’s the grandfather of Joe Robson, who launched the Forest Ridge planned community development in 1989.
The menu, largely developed by executive chef David Priest, has a Southern comfort slant on classic dishes, and the remodeled dining room has clean, modern lines and a comfortable ambience.
“It has a ranch house feel but is still polished and modern,” said Brad Rockholt, food and beverage director.
Rockholt and Priest worked together a few years back at Bonefish Grill, and both signed up last August to lead the transition to Rocking R Ranch House.
Rockholt emphasized that the restaurant and golf course always are open to the public.
“A lot of people believe we are a private country club, but we are open to everyone all of the time,” he said.
We went by for dinner recently with some family members, including three from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and landed a long, wooden table that easily held our group of nine.
I admit I did not attempt to taste all nine entrees, but I got a nice sampling across the menu.
My favorite dish was the one I ordered, which isn’t always the case. It was the beef short rib ($15.75). I know it isn’t a particularly expensive cut of meat. I know that because it has shown up as the main dish in an extraordinary number of wine dinners the past few years. But done right, it’s delicious.
Mine was a large-boned, big guy with a hefty amount of chuck meat attached. It had been slow-braised until the meat was fork-tender and still held a lot of flavor. It came with pan gravy and a vegetable medley that included broccoli, carrots, red peppers and yellow squash next to a mound of mashed potatoes.
A Ranch wrap ($8.75) was supposed to include grilled chicken, bacon, shredded cheese, tomato, romaine lettuce and ranch dressing. The person who ordered it had the chicken blackened and substituted chipotle ranch dressing for plain ranch, which boosted the flavor and gave it a little kick.
A pulled pork sandwich ($8.95) was a nice choice, featuring a mound of tender pulled pork on a soft brioche bun topped with coleslaw and honey-chipotle dressing.
A crispy chicken salad ($9.95) included a bed of mixed greens topped with bacon crumbles, diced tomatoes, diced red onions, pepperjack and cheddar cheeses, hard-boiled egg and chicken tenders. The chicken was lightly breaded and golden brown.
The Ranch burger ($11.25) was a messy affair — the best kind — with a half-pound patty, pulled pork, bacon, pepperjack cheese and honey-chipotle on a brioche bun.
I did not see them on the menu, but I noticed one person had a serving of tobacco onion rings. Whether they were a special that night or were being added to the menu, the thin, stringy, lightly breaded onion rings were tasty.
Among the dishes I did not taste but which received good reviews, especially among the younger set, was a brownie ($6) with ice cream, berry chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
Rocking R Ranch House has full bar service, a daily breakfast menu, Saturday morning breakfast buffet and Sunday breakfast and brunch buffets.
Our server, Makenna, was courteous and efficient and seemed to handle our large group with ease.
Walls are decorated with oversized photos of the old Robson Family Ranch, a nice and interesting touch. The dining room has wood tables, floors and beams, but a soft taupe on the walls and the large windows overlooking the golf course give it a light feel. Patio dining is available in good weather.
“It won’t be long until it greens up outside and the flowers bloom and it gets even more beautiful out here,” Rockholt said.