Wood-fired pizzas, salads and more -- with a side of local history -- are on the menu at Applegate Country Club. [Photo by Maureen Flanagan Battistella]

Pizza and more behind a brilliant red door

Walk through the bright red door of the Applegate Country Club and get ready for a tasty trip into another time. Open since August 2017, this old house in the middle of Southern Oregon’s wine country has been transformed into a warm and comfortable restaurant with a limited menu that features wood-fired pizza and more.

Open to all, the Applegate Country Club is a gathering place for locals who want to meet up and eat good food. Three tempting salads are on offer, Caesar, Greek and beet, each more than enough for two. The beet salad was delicious, with goat cheese, arugula, toasted walnuts and mandarin oranges setting off the sweet meaty flavor of the red beets. Two appetizers are on the menu, one with smoked salmon and the other artichoke - the highlight being the crostini made of tender, puffy and blackened dough, baked with garlic salt and herbs then torn into pieces.

Pizza has pride of place on the Applegate Country Club menu and it is outstanding. There are eight different 13” pizzas that run from about $13-$20, all the expected of course: cheese, pepperoni and Margherita. But there are some specialty pizzas that the locals love, particularly The Pears Are a Fallin’ with pesto, goat cheese, pear, pecans, prosciutto and topped with arugula tossed with balsamic vinegar. My sausage and pepper pie was everything I’d hoped. Tasty spiced meat, slivers of fresh green, red and yellow peppers, and the pizza, just perfectly charred, exactly the way I like it.

A liquor license was granted just this week, and new on the menu is a curated selection of some of Oregon’s favorite beers, and soon, the menu will feature a similarly curated selection of local wines.

Service is pretty quick at the Applegate Country Club but you won’t mind the wait. Inside the small white clapboard house, a clock is right twice a day, stopped at 5 minutes of 10. The tables are pipe-framed and topped with yellowed issues of the Medford Sun from 1893. You’ll wonder at the articles and recognize some of the names, Pickel and Wooldridge. Outside, a fire pit warms visitors and a shelter and tables are ready for music in the garden, lovely even in fall.

Cyn Torp runs this restaurant and will talk your ear off if she’s got a moment to spare. Her big smile brings light into the rooms and her hearty laugh resounds through the place as she tells stories. Cyn fell in love with the Applegate six years ago, and what started as a road trip ended up a home on Humbug Creek Road and fine food in a lovely setting. The Applegate Country Club is Cyn’s dream come true, a place of community where locals can enjoy good food, appreciate the gardens and wonder about the old cabin, The Applegate Museum now closed.

You’ll know the Applegate Country Club by its brilliant, rainbow fence. Located at 15090 OR-238 Hwy 238 right where North Applegate Road veers off, the Applegate Country Club is open Friday through Monday, from noon to 10 p.m. Call ahead to 541-846-1666 for takeout.

— Maureen Flanagan Battistella is a free-lance writer in Ashland, Oregon. She can be reached at mbattistellaor@gmail.com


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