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Sunday, October 9, 2016

This restaurant alone is worth the trip to Running Y Resort


Ruddy Duck

This restaurant alone is worth the trip to Running Y Resort

Story by Leslee Ryerson

Photography by Jerry Clarkson


When the Running Y Ranch was purchased by Bill and Lynelle Lynch in Oct. of 2014, they knew it had the good bones of a fantastic lodge in a desirable location and an Arnold Palmer signature golf course.

At the time, however, the resort was missing a few amenities that world-class resorts are known for, notably a spa and fine dining. Today the 82-room resort features 7,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, vacation rentals, town homes, chalets, a fitness center with an indoor pool, a shopping village with a café, two onsite restaurants, and the Sandhill Spa.

A big part of that major revamp was hiring Executive Chef Matthew Renshaw to run the fine dining Ruddy Duck restaurant inside the lodge. Chef Matthew has created an incredible menu that is both healthy and delicious, with an abundance of Blue Zone Approved dishes so tasty you won’t feel deprived ordering them.

Being Blue Zone Approved means striving to adhere to the evidence-based practices that help people live better and longer. The practice is based on the New York Times best-selling book, The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People. It’s an innovative, systematic, and environmental approach to total health and well-being that integrates eating right, exercise, sense of community, and putting family first. It works through small steps and little lifestyle changes that make a dramatic difference if practiced regularly. Blue Zones is successfully raising life expectancy and lowering health care costs, while also bringing down smoking and obesity rates.

Those at the Ruddy Duck are committed to local sustainable products grown in Southern Oregon. The restaurant uses cage free eggs, regional fresh meats, seafood, and produce. This summer the restaurant planted two large plots full of vegetables in the community garden that is on property, harvesting much of what is needed for seasonal dishes. A greenhouse has also been built, and will be used to lengthen the growing season and supplement the garden.

Erika Hagen-Brown, who is in charge of the organic greenhouse and garden, is a huge proponent of healthy organic food options. “I am super excited to have been hired on to manage the new organic greenhouse and to build the garden plots. I love growing organic herbs and veggies for the resort restaurant. I think the farm to table concept that the resort is taking on helps the restaurant clientele develop an appreciation for healthy organic food options and it helps them learn about the awesome local food sources we have here in the basin.”

The full-service restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For breakfast, the hearty menu has plenty of standard fare but with resort flavor, like a cowboy breakfast (two eggs, grilled ham steak, biscuit, sausage gravy, and potatoes) and Huevos Rancheros. Along with those rich meals are quiche, omelets, waffles, and lighter offerings like honey nut granola with fruit compote and Greek yogurt, as well as an egg white frittata or smoked trout with a bagel, cream cheese, and capers. Ruddy Duck’s Blue Zones Approved breakfast offering is a goat milk smoothie with berries, banana, honey, and almonds. The Blue Zones Approved Okinawan breakfast is Miso soup, brown rice, seaweed, daikon, and an organic poached egg.

The lunch menu offers a lot of the same things as the dinner menu, but with the addition of some sandwiches. Among them are an amazing prime rib dip and a delicious chicken Panini. A salmon BLTA boasts wild king salmon on focaccia with lemon aioli, while a fresh halibut puttanesca with tomato olive garlic anchovy salsa is served with a side of salad, fruit, fries, or tots. For a hot dish you can have chicken pot pie with a creamy chicken vermouth sauce and root vegetables served with a side salad.

Running Y Resort is bringing the Ruddy Duck to the next level with a growing wine list, featuring some local wine, specialty cocktails, and an extensive and well thought out dinner menu sure to please any palate.

Daily dinner specials range from Coq au vin on Monday for $20, shrimp and grits for $21 on Tuesday, classic prime rib on Friday for $27, and a healthier choice on Sunday of Cioppino for $26.

During the growing season, Tuesday has an off-the-menu special called Farm Tuesdays that's a dish created from what is available at the Tuesday farmer’s market.

The starters menu has some healthier choices, like a red pepper hummus platter and bo ssäm (shredded Korean braised pork lettuce rolls with saämjang, kim chi, and steamed rice). The pork is delicious with the spicy saämjang and the kim chee wrapped in a crunchy lettuce leaf, which is the perfect texture and juxtaposition of the cool and crunchy, yet warm spice. For some comfort food, try the gourmet mac n’ cheese made with smoked cheddar, pancetta, and peas.

Soups and salads run from a healthy chicken tortilla soup with pepper jack, lime, jalapeño, avocado, and salsa to delicious tomato basil bisque with 21-grain grilled cheese croutons. The classic Caesar salad is made with homemade anchovy dressing and pecorino, while the chopped summer salad has citrus, tomato, marcona almonds, heart of palm, cucumbers, tomatoes, drunken goat cheese, avocado, sesame seeds, and fennel vinaigrette. A carne asada salad has marinated New York steak cooked to order, tomatoes, black beans, pepper jack, salsa, corn, sour cream, avocado, tortilla, and chipotle ranch dressing.

The variety of entrees makes it hard to choose. Seared Halibut Moqueca is perfectly seared and spice-rubbed halibut is served with Brazilian saffron coconut vegetable stew and brown basmati rice. Another specialty dish is the northwest elk rib-eye steak perfectly prepared and served with tallow roasted potatoes, brocolinni, and a huckleberry gastrique.

Other notable entrees are the pan-roasted duck breast (duck confit, mushrooms, spinach, and manchego with raspberry vinaigrette) and the Double R Ranch Prime New York steak served with wild mushroom salad, onion jam, rogue bleu cheese, and asparagus. To make the double cheeseburger interesting, you can substitute for a veggie or bison patty, or make it a lamb and feta burger.

For the Blue Zones Approved dishes, you can pick from ribolita––a Tuscan white bean and whole wheat bread stew––or a portabella mushroom stuffed with pesto and pecorino with truffle vinaigrette.  

The creativity is carried over to the sweet side with desserts, like a chocolate decadent cake with raspberry sauce and home made ice cream. Offerings on the menu aren’t limited, but add things at will, like a barely sweet, light and fluffy huckleberry and hazelnut semifreddo I enjoyed during my visit.

Having just celebrated its 20th Anniversary, the work Ruddy Duck restaurant has put in should guarantee another successful 20 years, at least as one of Southern Oregon’s premier destination resorts.




October 25, Wine Dinner

December 6, Beer Dinner


The Ruddy Duck at Running Y Ranch Resort

5500 Running Y Rd., Klamath Falls




Blue Zones


Blue Zones Project


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