Belle Haven Country Club
By Andrew Kahn
At the start of my senior year, my friends and I decided that we wanted to start a weekly tradition of a group Sunday dinner. However, a conflict arose over where we would dine each Sunday. After much deliberation, we concurred on choosing Belle Haven Country Club.
Belle Haven is located on Fort Hunt Road, just outside of Old Town. For my five friends whom I dine with, the drive from the neighborhood of Belle Haven to the country club takes less than a minute.
As one approaches the large gates of the country club, the “Members only” sign sticks out. Since my family does not belong to the club, I only pass through the brass gates when I come with a friend who is a member. Roughly five years ago my family considered becoming a member but the initial membership fee of close to fifty thousand dollars was too expensive.
With all the news surrounding the Occupy movements and the protests of the 99%, it is easy to see that only the wealthiest of the 1% can afford to eat at Belle Haven. Once you step through the gates, you are immersed in a world of wealth. Last Sunday, we make our way to the dining room, and attempt to find a spot amidst the expensive foreign and sport cars that fill the parking lot. My black 2003 Honda Accord sticks out like a sore thumb. A few spots away is a 1950’s Rolls Royce Phantom with a driver waiting in the front seat.
My friends and I wait in a short line when we enter the clubhouse. Sundays and Fridays are always the busiest because of the all you can eat pasta bar. After a five-minute wait, the hostess seats us in the Adult Grille and takes our drink orders.
The atmosphere of the Adult Grille has the undeniable aura of affluence. The tall leather chairs are extraordinarily comfortable and slightly resemble thrones. The fireplace is constantly attended to and the warmth fills the room on the cold winter night. Outside, the sun is setting on the well-known, 72-par golf course.
Next to the Adult Grille is the Family Grille, which is filled with children of all ages. All of the other groups in our dining room were older people. The conversations of these groups are very similar: two staples of conversation are the stock market and the republican party.
After we get situated and order a crab dip for the table, we make our way to the pasta bar. The amount of options is quite extensive. There are three different types of pasta: spaghetti, penne and bowtie. After you have chosen the pasta you can chose from twenty toppings of various meats and vegetables. Finally, you choose your sauce: alfredo, tomato or butter.
The same chef has been working at the pasta bar for as long as I can remember. After I tell him my order of spaghetti with chicken, bacon, peppers and alfredo sauce, we talk about the country club. He told me that the club was founded around 1925 and he started working here just before the huge renovation to the clubhouse in 2005. My pasta is ready after a few minutes and I join my friends back at our table.
I have come to expect a delicious meal every time I come to Belle Haven. This dinner was no exception. The pasta was creamy, delicious and filling. The bacon and the chicken tasted freshly cooked rather than refrigerated. The portion size is also huge and I rarely finish my plate. My only complaint is that the pasta tends to be a little too oily and makes me feel unhealthy. However, my guilt is balanced out by the all you can eat Caesar salad.
When its time to pay the check, one of my friends always pays for my meal using his family’s member number. Members have a monthly minimum of five hundred dollars that they must spend on food per quarter and my friend’s parents encourage them to eat at Belle Haven frequently so they can meet the minimum. You do not have to ask me twice to eat there!
The dining room at Belle Haven Country Club is a luxurious and enjoyable experience. The food from the pasta bar, along with from the menu, is great. I would definitely recommend Belle Haven to all that have the opportunity to go.