Rosey’s Review: Sapona Bar & Grille

439 Beaver Creek Road, Lexington

Brace yourselves. Are you sitting down? I’m getting ready to tell you about a brand new restaurant in Lexington. And – wait for it – it’s NOT a barbecue restaurant. I know, I was shocked, too. But even better, I was in for a real treat when I visited Sapona Bar & Grille for this month’s Rosey’s Review!

I admit, when I saw the Lexington address, I did a little bit of a double-take. But, don’t let the address deter you. It’s actually much closer than you’d think. I drove from Clemmons and arrived within 20 minutes. It’s a pretty and scenic little drive that gives you extra time to work up an appetite – which you’ll want to have when you visit Sapona for yourself.

And, Sapona is worthy of a visit. Set in a picturesque neighborhood, this semi-private club is a lovely, tucked away, hidden gem of Lexington. With golf, swimming and tennis – the property is designed to be enjoyed by friends and family. Chad Newton, the General Manager and Director of Golf, is overseeing the operations and doing a stellar job! With private event space, patio dining that overlooks the golf course and a fully stocked bar – Sapona is an excellent location with lots to offer.

Upon arrival, I met with Jack and Pam Welker. Regular readers may remember their names. As the owners of Uptown Hospitality Group, they serve as restaurant consultants for a variety of local restaurants, including Salem Glen Country Club (which was featured in April’s Rosey’s Review). Jack and Pam are the experts who have been working with Sapona Golf Swim and Tennis Club since February of 2019, preparing the formerly private kitchen for public dining.

The new ownership made a very wise decision when they hired Jack and Pam. Their expertise has helped the property transformation tremendously as more and more people realize that they can dine at the restaurant whether they are club members or not. Being familiar with Jack and Pam’s approach to dining, I knew I was in for an evening of exceptional food at Sapona Bar & Grille. So, without further ado, let me tell you all about it.

Appetizers first! But, I could have made a meal out of any of them. First up – Mini Black Bean Cakes. As a former vegetarian, I love black bean anything. They were a staple in my diet for a long time. While I do eat meat now, I still enjoy black bean cakes, but these were the best I’ve had in a long time. The plate was prettily arranged with the mini black bean cakes served over a bed of corn, lettuce and drizzled with a wine vinaigrette. Freshly sliced avocado topped the dish, and it was hard to turn away from those and save room for everything else that was coming.

We also tried the Popcorn Shrimp appetizer, and this was a very generously portioned appetizer. Seriously. A half-pound-of-shrimp kind of generous. That’s a lot of shrimp. Hand-breaded, this fresh and tender shrimp was served with house made tartar and cocktail sauces. I honestly don’t know which sauce I liked better. They were both amazing.

Our last appetizer of the evening was the Spinach-Artichoke Dip. I think that whoever first paired spinach with artichokes, and then threw in some creamy cheese for good measure is deserving of sainthood. Nom nom nom…it’s a dish that, when it’s done well, is a major win for everyone. Chopped spinach was mixed with artichoke hearts, sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan and Jack cheese. That’s a whole lot of cheesy goodness. Toasted pita bread comes with it, but honestly, if you just dug into it with a spoon, I wouldn’t judge you.

We also had a chance to try the Lexington Stew – we were in Lexington, after all. This is comfort food in a bowl. It was so hearty, and it could easily be a meal. I am extremely curious if they would be open to selling it by the gallons around January. While I love soup any time of year, I’d love to have a bowl of it on a cold, winter day! Made with pinto beans, collard greens, tomatoes and sausage – the secret to this one is BBQ broth. Definitely an ode to Lexington roots!

As we transitioned to the dinner round, we started with the Steakhouse Salad. What can I say here? It’s a salad worthy of a standing ovation. I love steak. And, this steak was perfectly cooked to tender perfection and served over a bed of iceberg lettuce with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, bacon and topped with bleu cheese crumbles. Outstanding. With housemade bleu cheese dressing, it’s a hearty salad that is simply delicious!

We were invited to try the Catch of the Day. While this rotates, we sampled fresh, breaded cod with grilled scallops. Served on a bed of seasoned rice, the cod and scallops were cooked to perfection. The cod was drizzled with a Thai-inspired sweet and spicy glaze that added a great bite of flavor.

Our last entrée of the evening was the Chicken Tetrazzini. For the pasta lovers out there – you must try this one. Grilled marinated chicken breast is served over creamy linguini pasta that has been tossed with mushrooms, bacon and peas. It’s a hearty, filling dish that is delectably delicious.

I never know where we’ll find room for dessert, but find it, we did. We first tried the Cheesecake, which was in a word, divine. Creamy. Oh, so creamy. With a buttery graham cracker crust and drizzled with both strawberry and caramel sauce – it was incredible.

As much as I loved the cheesecake, the showstopper, in my humble opinion, was the Carrot Cake. A thick, warm slice arrived at the table with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. In fact, the cake was so warm, the ice cream melted as we tried to get pictures! But, the cake had the perfect layer of cream cheese icing and was chock full of nuts, coconut flakes and other yummy goodness. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had ice cream with carrot cake before and, now, having had it, I’m not sure why more people don’t pair these two together. They work together brilliantly!

And, that’s a wrap! Another Rosey’s Review finished and fond memories made of another delicious meal! I am really excited about this restaurant. I am planning to visit again soon and hope you will, too, especially since it’s now open for the public to enjoy! When you stop by, be sure to tell them that Rosey sent ya!


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