In four short years, the Bearded Dogg Lounge in Gaylord has definitely gotten the attention of its diners, who enthusiastically post on sites like Tripadvisor, Yelp, Facebook and Urban Spoon.
The unusual décor and imaginative menu stem from chef/owner Chad Edwards, who named the restaurant after his parents’ bearded German wirehaired pointer.
Edwards, who worked in Denver at a catering company, moved to Gaylord after his parents said they wanted to have a restaurant adjoining their eclectic store, the Old Spud Warehouse.
“I dropped what I was doing and moved home,” Edwards said.
In keeping with his parents’ unusual furniture and accessories store, the restaurant is a patchwork of textures and re-used materials. Old doors serve as walls or booths, the bar is made from a nunnery’s old floorboards, and antique (or at least well-used) tables dot the premises.
The Bearded Dogg has no deep fryer, flat top range, freezer or walk-in cooler. Everything Edwards makes is from scratch, including pasta. The fresh approach extends to the food preparation, where the dishes are grilled, baked or sauteed.
Eclecticism spills from the décor to the menu. Starters range from chili Thai tuna, which is blackened sushi-grade tuna served over Thai-style coleslaw, to a braised lentil dip topped with minty yogurt.
Sandwiches include an open-faced corned beef; a chicken Caesar wrap; and the grilled popper burger, with whipped cream cheese, cheddar chunks and jalapenos baked into the burger.
Entrees include duck breast with green onions, mushroom and oven-dried tomatoes served on fettuccine tossed in a creamy wild mushroom demiglace; vineyard chicken served with a marsala sauce and roasted grapes; even a special house-made ravioli stuffed with a blend of seasoned ground sirloin and prime rib, sautéed with light cream, red onion, banana peppers, sundried tomato and basil.
While numerous tastes and ingredients are represented, the menu doesn’t overwhelm diners with too many choices. That’s deliberate, according to Edwards.
“We may only have one of something, but it’s really good,” he said.
General manager Chris Newberry says that the seafood pasta, a house-made fettucine with a mix of scallops and shrimp, topped with thin-sliced Capicola ham, is his favorite.
“The scallops are to die for,” he said. Server Christi Freier said the salmon, glazed with lime-infused clover honey and topped with warm oregano goat cheese, is her choice.
“I like the contrast with the goat cheese and the lime-infused honey,” she said.
One of the more impressive dishes is the imported meat and cheese platter, which includes English Shropshire, Spanish manchego, a small feta cheese torte, Calabrese salami, and several types of olives.
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The Bearded Dogg offers some special drink concoctions, including a host of martinis. The namesake Bearded Dogg martini is made with Beefeaters gin, Tuaca and lime juice, and the white chocolate raspberry features Godiva white chocolate.
Another favorite drink is the Summer Wolf, with Bacardi’s Wolfberry and Black Razz rums mixed with pineapple juice, Sprite and grenadine.
“Bacardi requested the recipe,” Edwards said proudly.
The ambiance reflects the lounge style, with a fireplace and couch and low tables as well as dining tables. The mix-and-match (mostly mix) approach makes for an engaging and interesting escape from the humdrum.
Appetizers/starters/plates to share start at $9. Sandwiches start at $9; soups at $5; salads at $7. Entrees start at $18.
The Bearded Dogg is located at 302 S. Otsego in Gaylord. Phone (989) 619-0298.
Open Tues.-Sat. 11am-11pm. The kitchen closes at 9pm Tues.-Thurs. and 10pm Fridays and Saturdays. Visit beardeddogglounge.com or check Facebook for more information.