Grasslands offers a variety of dining options ranging from fine to kid-friendly casual and they are overseen by our Executive Chef Steve Beltz. Chef Betlz was born and raised in Miami where he picked up his love of Caribbean cuisine. He later attended the Kaiser College in Tallahassee and was a member of the school’s third graduating class.
He began his Lakeland career in August of 2000 and joined Grasslands in 2005 as a sous chef. After 5 years he was promoted to Executive Chef, a position he has held for the last 6 years. In this capacity, he selects the menus, oversees food preparation and cooks for Grasslands many dining facilities. Highlights of his career thus far have been cooking for Harry Connick, Jr. and preparing curry scallops for Bill Clinton.
Members and their guests are treated like family while enjoying a night fine dining experience in the Main Dining Room every day for lunch and Friday night dinner. This special venue, which overlooks much of the golf course, offers a selection of foods that may include American, French, Italian and Caribbean. The dinners consists of four to five courses with lemon sorbet served between the salad and entrée. Each month has a standard menu with choices that include:
With twelve menus a year, the Main Dining Room offers great variety and creativity in its selections. If you don’t see what you’d like, Chef Beltz is happy to create a personalized meal, as long as he has the ingredients. “We want people to feel like their home. We see many of the same people every day for lunch or lunch and dinner so they become like family. If someone wants a dish that isn’t on the menu or a dish that we served on Friday night, I do my best to accommodate them.”
Chef Beltz also oversees the food service at Grasslands’ Grille Room and Deckside Café. The Grille Room, also called the Club Room, is located inside the Clubhouse and offers unique casual lunch and dinner dining options in a comfortable setting. The Deckside Café is a great year-round poolside venue that offers many kid-friendly choices.
The Main Dining Room often hosts weddings, business and social meetings, receptions, and other events. Chef Beltz prepares menus that includes cocktails with appetizers, buffets, and plated meals. When Grasslands hosts a golf tournament or other large event, he prepares breakfasts, lunches and dinners to satisfy everyone.
Grasslands also offers special brunches for Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in the Main Dining Room for its members and their guests. There is a New Year’s Eve Dinner and also other special events throughout the year that include carnivals and pool side entertainment designed for the young and young-at-heart. “We want everyone to feel like this is home, whether they are children or seniors. Our goal is that everyone who dines with us know that they can ask for whatever they want and we will do our best to supply it,” explains Chef Beltz.
Part of making people feel like home is seeing familiar faces. While Chef Beltz has been at Grasslands for 11 years, Pam Smiley, Director of Food and Beverage, began her career with us 20 years ago. She and two of her servers have been with Grasslands for two decades and they know the guests by face, name and preferences. “Pam and her team are a big part of making people feel at home,” stated Chef Beltz. “They have been with us longer than many of the members and their familiarity with the people who dine with us adds the personal touch to our dining experience.”
Chef Beltz believes that the dining experiences offered at Grasslands rivals the best Lakeland has to offer. “I’m friends with chef Marcos Fernandez at Nineteen61 and we have the same goals – provide great food and make our guests feel special.” While there are many great dining options in Lakeland, members shouldn’t discount the amazing experience awaiting them at Grasslands. “We have great menu options and I’ll buy and prepare anything people want to eat, all they have to do is tell me,” states Chef Beltz. “I have served Kobe beef and South African Lobster Tails. If members tell me what they want on the menu, I’ll prepare it for them.” You can’t get a more personalized, home-like experience than that.
Join us for our Friday night fine dining experience or at any of our other wonderful dining venues. And remember, if you don’t see it on the menu, just ask. We can’t promise to meet every request but Chef Beltz and his team will do their best.
When it was time to retire, we decided to stay in Grasslands. Our community offers a wonderful golf course, friendly neighbors and the convenience of an in town location with a country club feel. We love where we live.
We’ve lived here since 1992, and for us there is no other place to live. Grasslands offers beautifully maintained grounds with sidewalks for walking and visiting with your friends and neighbors. In addition, you feel a level of comfort knowing that there is a security guard on duty 24-hours a day. The central location gives us easy access to Polk Parkway, plus we’re next door to Lakeside Village for great shopping and restaurants. And we have one of the best golf courses in Central Florida. Come and join us and discover for yourself how great it is to live in Grasslands!