Sport Bar Menu Gets an Upgrade
Swinomish Casino and Lodge underwent major additions this past summer. Answering popular demands, they added new dining options: Fatburger, Manchu WOK, a renovated Carver’s Cafe, and revamped the Swinomish Sports Bar & Grill. Chef Corey O’Neil, the assistant director of food and beverage, is responsible for the grill’s new, elevated menu.
A Sedro-Woolley native, O’Neil graduated the California Culinary Academy in 2005. After graduation he worked in Seattle’s iconic Ray’s Boathouse and Cafe before moving back to Skagit Valley. He has been at Swinomish Casino for almost five years, making him a knowledgeable source on what Swinomish patrons want from a sports bar.
At first, Swinomish Sports Bar & Grill looks like a regular sports bar with the typical booths and big screen TVs, but that’s where the similarities end. Sports memorabilia decorates the spaces between the walls: Seahawks jerseys, Mariners caps, and even Hank Aaron memorabilia—all of which patrons can purchase. Then there’s the food.
It’s not your run-of-the-mill sports-bar food. Chef O’Neil forged a middle ground between the casino’s fine dining restaurant, 13moons, and Carver’s Cafe, the casino’s casual eatery. He hit a mark where patrons can dine on fried Brussels sprouts studded with tangy dried cranberries ($10) and pan-seared airline chicken breast with honey pecan butter ($17) without feeling the need to wear a tie.Diners can sample a light, citrusy-ginger ahi tuna salad ($17) or go the more classic bar-food route with zesty buffalo chicken pizza ($11). The bar’s Italian grinder sandwich—layers of pepperoni, ham, pepperoncini, and Italian dressing on a toasted sub roll—is great for a light meal ($11). If you’re looking for something more filling, try the incredibly tender grilled hanger steak ($25). The steak soaks for 24 hours in a honey Dijon mustard marinade. It’s served with a bright chimichurri sauce, seasonal vegetables, and mashed potatoes.
In the mood for barbecue? Go for the half or full rack of dry-rubbed ribs ($18 for half, $25 for full). The in-house smoked ribs are a little sweet, a little zesty, and pack a slight hit of heat. Served with honey horseradish coleslaw, cowboy beans, and a cornbread muffin, it’s a meal that’ll make you think you’re in Memphis.
When the game goes into overtime, calm your nerves with an order of cinnamon sugar dusted mini-donuts served with a caramel dipping sauce ($6). Even if your team loses, your appetite wins.
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