Copper Serves up Superlative Food in Warm Elegant Setting
Turn at the Walnut Hills Country Club sign and drive along the winding driveway. You’ll soon catch sight of Copper, set among tall trees and rolling hills. It’s an elegant, yet comfortable restaurant catering to both members and the general public. It’s a place where a warm and welcoming atmosphere combines with superlative food to create an experience worth having.
Copper was opened four years ago in a space that used to house the pro shop and golfers’ bar area. Little remains of its former self. Today, the restaurant, with its walls of windows overlooking the world-class golf course, patio and swimming pool, is filled with copper accents and accoutrements. The décor blends perfectly with the natural setting, and the food is seasonal and locally sourced, with something to please every palate.
Copper seats 120 inside with an additional 45 seats on the patio. As befits its setting on a golf course, it is generally busier in the spring and summer, but it is open all-year round. Currently, Walnut Hills has about 100 employees with that number fluctuating according to need.
“We are planning to upgrade the patio this summer and will have a grill and refrigeration out there to better serve our customers,” says Food and Beverage Manager Scott Arnold. “We’ve added special features like live music on Thursdays, Wine and Cheese Wednesdays and Tuesday Ladies’ Nights.We’re a popular place for special occasions like bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, private parties and other events.”
With the building of the restaurant, the bar has been expanded and the pro-shop relocated. There are private member rooms throughout the facility, but the restaurant is always open to the public. The private areas are currently undergoing extensive renovation. Some community groups use these private rooms for general meetings.
The menu varies according to what is locally and seasonally available and includes such tempting dishes as Baked Brie Skillet, described as “Danish brie wrapped in puff pastry, served with an apple, tart cherry and pecan compote.” There is a Michigan Harvest Salad, which is detailed as “baby greens, fresh apple slices and bleu cheese with red onion, toasted walnuts and dried tart cherries dressed with Michigan cherry balsamic vinaigrette.” And there are entrees like Broiled Lake Superior Whitefish “served with lemon basil butter over winter storm wild rice and seasonal vegetables.” There are also options for vegetarians as well as daily dessert features from the pastry chef. The menu lists many of the local vendors used by Copper.
Arnold is particularly proud of the wine selection and the innovative mixed drinks Copper has available to complement the food selections. They also have a full array of beers, many of which are Michigan-made. “I’m a sommelier, so my focus has been on growing our wine list; wine is my passion,” Arnold says. “I’ve spent a lot of time trying to create cocktails that are unique and different. We have a really nice Scotch selection. I’ve come up with some interesting infusions of liquor. We’re using all fresh ingredients on the bar, juicing all of our own juices. I try to offer a fair price on the extraordinary wines we offer. We have wines from all over the world.”
Obviously, the public is pleased. A review on TripAdvisor says, “Not just good food–outstanding food. Fresh, well-prepared and unique flavor combinations that work wonderfully!” Other reviews report, “We visited Copper with 10 friends from work. The atmosphere was fun and upscale. Everyone really enjoyed their meals. A great place, and we will be back!” And lastly: “Great wine, beer and champagne selection. Food is always great. Save room for a Copper cookie for dessert. It’s a favorite place for date night in East Lansing.”
“Because our signage is low and we’re at the end of a long driveway, I think some people aren’t even aware that we’re here and that we are a public restaurant wrapped within a private club,” Arnold says. “We encourage people to seek us out — they won’t be disappointed.”
2874 Lake Lansing Road
East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: (517) 332-1080