Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Did You Know Ernie Els Is a Restaurateur?

Pro golfers owning restaurants is nothing new (we've written before about Graeme McDowell's restaurant, for example). But here's one we didn't know about until recently: Ernie Els owns a nascent chain of restaurants called the Big Easy Winebar & Grill.

The first Big Easy restaurant opened in the South African university town of Stellenbosch inside an 18th-century Cape Dutch building. A second restaurant is now open in Dubai, inside The Els Club Dubai. A third Els restaurant, once again called The Big Easy, is being planned for Malaysia.

Just like the man himself, Els' restaurants are found around the world.

What does Ernie Els serve at The Big Easy Winebar & Grill? "The Big Easy places the utmost importance on serving great food and fantastic wine – all in a relaxed setting. ... dining at The Big Easy showcases the best the region offers with an emphasis is on using the finest, freshest ingredients to produce world-class food."

The menu starts with salads, including a "Rocket & Parmesan Salad." What's rocket? That's what South Africans call arugula. Appetizers include venison carpaccio, Cajun fishcakes, plus prawns, mussels and oysters. Along with The Big Easy Burger, entrees include selections of venison, ostrich, salmon, chicken, prawns, calamari, lamb, linefish and crayfish.

The wine list is extensive, as one would expect in a restaurant owned by a golfer who has his own wine label. The wine list includes Ernie Els and Big Easy wine labels, along with many other choices.

The Dubai location has a menu that includes a few of the same things, but also many different things such as escargot, chicken liver, foie gras, pear and pork chorizo, oxtail risotto and chicken curry. On the side you can order the "Mother of Baked Potato," which is topped with duck confit, crisp pork bacon and Taleggio cheese.

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