The Suleiman family find new ways to deliver the classic dishes you know and love.
By Sarah Jacobs
In life, few things matter more than the legacy we will leave behind. The Suleiman family is working hard to ensure that the name they are building for themselves in the restaurant industry is one that will stand the test of time. The family owns three restaurants in the Ocala area, and each of them have their own unique flair. A year ago they decided to add Legacy at Nancy Lopez Country Club to their business endeavors and, in true Suleiman style, curated a gorgeous restaurant for their customers. Manager Joseph Suleiman works hard to ensure a personal touch is delivered to every guest. If you are looking for a distinctive dining experience, Legacy is sure to deliver an atmosphere and a meal that will have you immediately planning your next visit.
Upon arriving at Nancy Lopez Country Club, the restaurant is easy to locate on the beautiful grounds. The exterior of the building is quintessentially Floridian in its design and blends nicely with the tropical feeling of the golf course. The moment you set foot through the door, you will feel as if you are in a whole new world. The Suleimans did a full renovation from floor to ceiling of the building, and no detail was overlooked. The pattern of the carpet, the embellishments on the wallpaper, and the custom light fixtures come together to create the perfect ambiance for fine dining. Furniture was handpicked to fit the space, and every piece adds to the rich mood the interior exudes.The bar was redone and completed with red light glass from New York City, which rounds out the feeling that you could be in the Big Apple itself. Nancy Lopez’s legacy is proudly displayed through family portraits and memorabilia from her golf career and flows smoothly into each piece of the restaurant. Diffused lighting helps make the setting more intimate, and sound panels were built in to dampen the normal noises of the restaurant, allowing guests to focus on their conversations with minimal interruptions. It is apparent that any need a customer might have was taken into consideration when designing Legacy.
The menu was created with the idea that fine dining and service would be provided at competitive prices. The cost of each dish is reasonable for the amount of care that is put into every item. Legacy boasts an array of dishes that are not easy to find in the Ocala area. The Suleimans work closely with their kitchen staff to make sure that every plate arrives at the table with the perfect presentation. Whether it be edible flowers, delicious sauces, or a bit of fiery flair, each menu item is a work of art on its own.
Appetizers for the table could include beef carpaccio or escargot. The beef carpaccio is served with yogurt blended with local honey and dijon mustard and will be a perfect start to your meal. The escargot is prepared perfectly and each of the twelve pieces served will feel as if they melt in your mouth. If you want a memorable drink , the bar menu should be fully explored. A refreshing lemon drop martini is a fun way to start your meal, or if you are feeling adventurous, order a smoked old fashioned. The old fashioned is delivered in a cloud of smoke that appears otherworldly. The smell and the flavor of the drink are enough to make anyone stop and savor each sip.
When you are ready to move on to the main course, there are several options that should be featured. Pear and Ricotta–stuffed Sacchettini comes tossed in a pulled short rib, marsala cream sauce and envelops your tastebuds. The creamy sauce compliments the crisp bite of the pear, and the expertly prepared sacchettini is important from Italy. If you are looking for a rich meal that delivers flavor and comfort, look no further than the Salmon Wellington. The crispness of the pastry combined with the moistness of the mushrooms and the salmon make this dish a stand out. Slow roasted for 14 hours, the lamb shank is another meal that is sure to impress. It is drizzled with a port wine reduction and delivered to the table with freshly roasted rosemary. Chateaubriand is a rare find on any menu, but Legacy will win you over with theirs. Many of these items are accompanied by whipped garlic potatoes and vegetables that are capable of stealing the show on their own. To end your dining experience, there are a variety of desserts to pick from. Chocolate lovers should try the Chocolate Trilogy. It is sweet and light but still manages to bring a richness that could bookend any meal.
Legacy does not just provide a place to enjoy fine dining but also takes their customers other entertainment needs into consideration. Personalized wine lockers are available for customers to store their collections and allow access to wine tastings and difficult to find wines. They are beautifully displayed with custom name plates. If you have a particular bottle in mind, you can also bring your own wine to chill before your meal. Legacy also provides a scotch collection that features vintages aged as long as 35 years. VIP membership is available and earns you special discounts and promotions, making dining with Legacy even more accessible. For those that like to try their hand at new adventures, cooking classes are offered on Mondays at 12:30 and 2 p.m. A chef immerses you in every step of making a dish as you sip on a glass of wine and sample the completed meal. Private dining is also available for any event you might be hosting and will allow you and your guests to have a memorable evening.
Consider visiting Legacy for your next date night or special occasion. The Suleimans will make your fine dining experience unforgettable, and you will definitely want to return to sample all of the phenomenal food they have to offer you.
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