Eating At the Lake of the Ozarks: 7 Questions for Michael Castle

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The small business owners that work hard day in and day out are what help make the Lake of the Ozarks such a desirable destination all year ’round.

This week, we sat down with Michael Castle, owner of On The Rise Bakery & Woodfired Bistro in Osage Beach — To ask him how food has changed over the years, what it’s like to make it in the restaurant business, and what dishes he’s most excited about for this fall.

CWV: You’ve come full circle, beginning your culinary career at The Potted Steer in Osage Beach, graduating from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in NYC and now owner of On the Rise Bakery & Woodfired Bistro in Osage Beach, among other food-related ventures. How has the food scene evolved at the Lake of the Ozarks since you started your own culinary journey years ago?
MC: The foodie education in America has improved drastically over the 10 years or so with the advent of the Food Network as well as all ofimage1 the chef “personality” shows that are on television right now. I think it’s contributed to the elevation of the everyday chef at home and my customers come in to dine with a better idea of what we are trying to accomplish at On the Rise.

CWV: As we head full-swing into fall, what dishes and flavors are you most excited about at your restaurant?
MC: My favorite dish this time of year is our Meyer lemon Crispini with caramelized onions, prosciutto ham, goat cheese, arugula and of course, Meyer lemons.  It’s our way of holding onto the last burst of summer as we move into Autumn.

CWV: Many of our guests like to bake for their families and with their kids. Do you have any tips, tricks, or best practices when it comes to baking at home?
MC: Baking is mostly science with a lot of common sense thrown in. Don’t be afraid to try everything…it’s not like people will complain that your house smells great!

CWV: What serves as the inspiration for the delectable menu items you create at On the Rise?
MC: Inspiration…that comes from “everywhere” and it never ceases to slow down. I love to create.

CWV: What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of owning a restaurant at the Lake oimage3f the Ozarks?
MC: I think like most people, it’s the simple pride you take in doing things well. Owning a restaurant also provides a create outlet when it comes to food and design as well as the challenges of running what I believe to be the most difficult business one can enter into.

CWV: Who are a few of your culinary heroes and why them?
MC: Any chef that has managed to run a successful restaurant while holding himself and everyone around him to the highest of standards…Thomas Keller, Ferran Adria and Grant Achatz to name a few. But, I cannot leave my good friend Chef Dan Frederickson!

CWV: What advice or wisdom would you give to children, teens, or adults who or are considering the culinary path?
MC: First of all, there is no glamour in the restaurant business, despite what you see on television. The hours will be grueling, the demands never wane and to be successful in this business, you better be demanding of yourself as well as those around you and be confident in your own vision. If you’re okay with all of that, you are going to LOVE it!

Lake of the Ozarks Named in Top 5 Places in the US for Dockside Dining

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Photo credit: J.B. Hook’s

As if you REALLY need another reason to make it to the Lake of the Ozarks this fall, here ya go!

According to Funlake.com, the Lake of the Ozarks was named, by Boating Magazine, as one of the Top 5 Places in the United States to dock and dine.

Boasting more than 200 restaurants in the area, the Lake of the Ozarks has so much to offer: quick bites, delicate and delicious fine-dining, seafood that will knock your socks off, decadent desserts, and so much more.

Out of the hundreds of restaurants at the lake, 60 of them are located right on the lake. That means gorgeous views, all year round.

Be sure to check out some of these favorites:

For even more choices, visit FunLake.com.

Fall Bar Hours at the Lake of the Ozarks

The Lake of the Ozarks is open for business during the fall, however, there some of the bars and restaurants have special hours during the off-season.

We came across this VERY informative list, courtesy OzarkRick from Midwestboatparty.com. Thanks, Rick!

FALL 2013 BAR HOURS:

Beavers at the Dam — Open Tues–Sun through the end of the year; closing for the season on New Year’s Day

Ozark Yacht Club — Open Wed–Sun, not closing for the season, closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day

Boat House at Village Marina — Open Fri–Sun, 11 a.m. – close, through Oct. 26

Schmidty’s — Open weekends through Oct. 26

Momma’s — Open Fri–Sun this weekend at 9 a.m. for breakfast, until 11 p.m. Fri & Sat and until 9 p.m. Sun, closed for the season after Oct. 13

Shady Gators — Open Fri–Sun, last day open is Oct. 19

H. Toad’s at Camden at the Lake — Open all season

Coconuts — Open for Harbor Hop, Closed Oct. 13.

The Jerk Shack — Closed for the season

Jolly Rogers — Open this weekend, closed for the season after Oct. 13

Bumps Barefoot Bar — Closed for the season

Franky & Louie’s — Closed for the season

Scallywags — Open this weekend, closed for the season after Oct. 14

Backwater Jacks — Open Thurs–Sunday through Oct. 27, then closed for the season

Dog Days — Open Wed–Sun until Oct. 19, then closed for the season

Topsiders — Open 7 p.m.–close, Fri/Sat/Mon through Oct. 21, then closed for the season

Shorty Pants — Open 7 days a week until November, then reduced hours, closed for the season after Nov. 30

Paradise — Open every day, closed after Oct. 13

Papa Chubby’s — Open weekends through Oct. 26, then closed for the season

Larry’s on the Lake — Open every day through November, will close for the season based on weather conditions in November

Bulldogs Beach House — Open Thurs–Sun through Oct. 26, may open a couple of weekends after that

NautiFish — Open 11 a.m. – 1:00 a.m., no close date specified

The Fish Company — Open Fri-Sun, closed after Oct. 13

Captain Ron’s — Open Thurs–Sun until early November, no close date specified

Bear Bottom Resort — Open Thursday–Monday through the off-season

Big Dick’s Halfway Inn — Open Fri/Sat, until New Year’s Day

Where to Eat Jamaican Food At the Lake of the Ozarks

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It’s so tasty, MON!

It’s true. You don’t need to head to the Caribbean to try the zesty, spicy, kick-in-your mouth flavors of Jamaica.

During your stay with us at the Lake of the Ozarks, head to Gravois Mills (near mile marker 5) to try out The Jerk Shack!

If this is your first Jamaican cuisine experience, be sure to start with the fried plantains. Crispy, crunchy goodness! For the main dish, there’s plenty of meats to choose from, all cooked with a jerk seasoning that will have your tastebuds craving for more. Their famous Jerk Chicken and Dreadlock Jerk Pork are two entrees we’d highly recommend.

Even though the food and drinks are the star of the show, no restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks makes the top of our list without having a gorgeous view of the lake. Take a look at this photo below to see the view The Jerk Shack has in store.

Our Favorite Restaurants at the Lake of the Ozarks

Some of the best cuisine in the Midwest can be savored right here at the Lake of the Ozarks. Boasting with over 100 plus restaurants: bar and grill burgers, barbecue, buffets, world-renowned chef creations and all types of ethnic offerings. Here are a few of our favorite restaurants at the lake.
We want to hear from you!  What is your favorite restaurant when you’re visiting the Lake of the Ozarks?
Olive Branch Restaurant
Olive Branch Restaurant

May your time at the Olive Branch be a new beginning for you. Look around you at the friends and family enjoying the good food and fellowship of this place. Many a new beginning got its start over a good meal, and many a person has felt at peace and in harmony with the world after a time of fellowship and dining. It was for this purpose that the Olive Branch came in being. It is more than a restaurant; it is a gathering place once again just as it was when it was a church. As you leave this evening, perhaps you will hear the cooing of the dove calling the human family to peace, and if you are truly fortunate, perhaps you will see a dove in flight with an olive branch in its mouth.
Location: Located at the Indian Rock Golf Course. 100 Indian Lake Avenue, Gravois Mills, MO 65037
Url: View Website
Phone: 573.372.2090
The Duck
The Duck

This distinctive lakefront dining experience features both traditional favorites and innovative creations prepared with the freshest ingredients by our culinary staff. Whether on our covered deck, screened porch or inside dining rooms, you’ll find great dining in a great lakefront setting.
Location: Located in Lake Ozark off of Horseshoe Bend. Address: 67 Cherokee Court, Lake Ozark, MO 65049
Url: View Website
Phone: 573-365-9973

Dog Days Weekend: Five Restaurants To Try

Between all the splashing and watching Fido take the gold, you’re probably going to get hungry!  If you’re in town for this year’s Dog Days Canine Cannonball, here are some restaurants to try. Never pretentious, but always delicious, these five are worth checking out after a long day at the lake:

    1. Olive Branch Restaurant: May your time at the Olive Branch be a new beginning for you. Look around you at the friends and family enjoying the good food and fellowship of this place. Many a new beginning got its start over a good meal, and many a person has felt at peace and in harmony with the world after a time of fellowship and dining. It was for this purpose that the Olive Branch came in being. It is more than a restaurant; it is a gathering place once again just as it was when it was a church.
    2. The Duck: This distinctive lakefront dining experience features both traditional favorites and innovative creations prepared with the freshest ingredients by our culinary staff. Whether on our covered deck, screened porch or inside dining rooms, you’ll find great dining in a great lakefront setting.
    3. Baxter’s Lakeside Grille: Our classic American restaurant builds on the rich history that the Lake Area is known for. All of the restaurants we brought to the Midwest share a common commitment: use only the finest, freshest ingredients, coupled with personal service and warm, inviting surroundings.
    4. The Blue Heron Restaurant: Tuesday through Saturday, your host Joseph H. Boer invites you to a dining experience at the Lake of the Ozarks.  When it comes to win, The Blue Heron is second to none: 3 Consecutive Years at the Potted Steer Winner of the Wine Spectator Award of One of the 100 Best in the World. Cheers!
    5. JB Hooks: JB Hooks’ dining room overlooks a panoramic view of the main channel of the Lake, and offers a relaxing atmosphere to add to your dining experience.