Wickwood Inn’s Favorites At Bowdie’s Chophouse
Whenever we go to Bowdie’s Chophouse in downtown Saugatuck, we know we’re in for a special experience. We enjoy the intimate dining room, but of course we always love a seat at the bar. Bowdie’s is the only place in Saugatuck we have a 4 hour dinner … one that you just don’t want to end. The drinks have enticing names such as: The Last Word, Inhibited, Cliff Hanger, Daq in the Day, Aviation, The Happy Wife, Bees Knees, or Blueberry Rum Fizz. Of course Veuve Clicquot Rose always starts things off right. The steaks are dry aged for 28 days and are Prime Beef, grass fed, and corn finished. Bowdie’s chef cooks them completely over an open flame grill and finishes with a Housemade Herb Butter. The Bowdie’s Special Sauce has a horseradish bite to it and made with Crème Fraiche, gentler than sour cream. The terrific Lobster Mac N’Cheese is topped with a Tristan Island Lobster tail (Tristan Island is in the Atlantic, mid-way between Africa and South America) It’s terrific. The Potatoes au Gratin are made with three cheeses and seasoned with a black truffle salt.
Our favorites include:
Beginnings: The Escargot swims in garlic butter and served with grilled crostini; Roasted Bone Marrow with citrus salt and toasted baguette; Giant Wild Gulf Shrimp Cocktail with Wasabi & Watercress and Spicy Cocktail Sauces; The Grilled Caesar and House Wedge salads are exceptional with generous accoutrements; every seasonal soup we taste is deeply flavored and delicious. The rich Shrimp Bisque is memorable.
Mains: The stars of the menu are The Mains. The Market Fish is always the freshest … one of the best Dover Soles ever, and the Wild Alaskan Salmon is terrific. Their Roast Half Chicken is from the Amish farmers in Indiana and when they first opened they’d meet half-way for their deliveries. Of course the steaks make Bowdie’s exceptional, and we are so lucky to have them here. The Tomahawk for Two (a 36 ounce bone in ribeye) qualifies in Julee’s experience as one of the top three steaks she’s ever had …the others at Sostanza in Florence Italy and at Mario Batali’s now closed Carnivino in Las Vegas and for steak lovers a must! The first time Julee ordered this, she ate the entire steak. Now she shares with Bill and still has another meal at home. Other people choose the Bone-in Ribeye for Two or the Bone-in Filet. If you’re a Lamb Chop lover, these never disappoint……it’s a tough choice.
Sides: Round things out with the Truffle Fries, Au Gratin Potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Sauteed Mushrooms. All are generous share with the table portions.
Desserts: Somehow save room for the sublime Blueberry Beignets or the Caramel Bread Pudding.
A Conversation With Bowdie’s
As lovers of food, we talk with local chefs and restaurant owners like those at Bowdie’s of Saugatuck whenever we can. It’s our opportunity to connect with people who are as passionate as we are about bringing great people together for good food.
Today, we have a conversation with Scott Bowdish … owner of the award-winning Bowdie’s Chophouse in our own downtown Saugatuck. Prior to spending 27 years in the cellphone industry, Scott was a busboy at Ruth’s Chris and a server at Ditka’s. Enjoying a great steak became part of his family culture. In 2009, the family started boating in Saugatuck. They fell in love with this small town on the lake and now it is their full-time home. However, they felt the need for a great steakhouse close by … so the answer is to open Bowdie’s Chophouse as their contribution to the community. Scott’s son, Tyler Bowdish, brings along invaluable restaurant experience from Chicago Cuts and now serves as General Manager at Bowdie’s. He is integral to everything that happens on a day to day basis.
“Emotionality is really easy for me. My father always said that Fondas can cry at a good steak.”
~ Jane Fonda
Q: When did Bowdie’s open in Saugatuck, and for folks who maybe haven’t yet been yet, can you talk a little bit about the restaurant?
A: Sure. We opened in 2015, and from the very first moment, our philosophy remained the same. Bowdie’s is about the quality of the food on the menu. Initially, we were a little scared about our price point because it is higher than at other restaurants around us. But, we want to find the best ingredients we can buy and provide those to the customer. We stick to our identity, and that’s the quality of the meat. Yes, we serve amazingly fresh chicken and fish, but when it comes down to it, we’re primarily about enjoying a great steak. Chef Mike Brancaccio returned to Bowdie’s as our head chef, and he does a phenomenal job. 2018 was Bowdie’s fourth summer season, and the business keeps doing better and better, so the approach works. In fact, we opened a second Bowdie’s in downtown Lansing, so that’s really exciting.
Q: Will you tell us more about the craft beverage scene at Bowdie’s?
A: We’re pretty much all about an amazing craft cocktail. Kenton Grasmid, a mixologist from Grand Rapids, has been with us for a couple of years now. Everything he makes is special. He rehydrates cherries. He freshly squeezes all of the juices. So whether you order a Manhattan, Tom Collins, Moscow Mule, Rob Roy, Bees Knees, Happy Wife, or any other cocktail … it’s going to be delicious. We always have two beers on draft and several others in bottles. Our wine list was initially quite limited, but Tyler really takes it to the next level! The wine list is well curated … we carry wines by the glass and by the bottle from the best vineyards around the world.
Q: What do you love about Bowdie’s being in Saugatuck and owning a business here?
A: Saugatuck is wonderful! We love serving great food to locals and tourists. We see Saugatuck as a 12 month town, not just a seasonal place. From the very beginning, we committed to being open 12 months a year, and we stick to that. It’s exciting. We have a base of local people we draw from, and we want to encourage others to return and visit Saugatuck throughout the year. So, we operate accordingly and have not closed since we opened.
Q: Is there anything more that you’d like to share?
A: Yes. I want to commend the level of service that happens at Bowdie’s. The service that I see, and the reviews I read. They so impress me. We have a 4.9 out of 5.0 on Open Table, and that speaks volumes. Everything in a restaurant really begins with good service. Melanie, and Jeff, and everyone else, really care about your experience at Bowdie’s. The bar, the kitchen, and the entire staff all love what they do … and that shows to the customers.
Also, I love being super involved in local charities. It’s our way to give back and support the community that supports us.
Reserve Your Table When You Reserve Your Room At Wickwood Inn
When guests stay at our downtown Saugatuck bed and breakfast they walk to Bowdie’s. It’s that close! After they enjoy an hour of our Sips & Small Plates with the other guests they stroll through downtown to their dinner destination. And, Bowdie’s is one of our guests’ favorites. But, they are a very busy restaurant. So, when you stay with us at the Wickwood Inn, we highly suggest that you reserve your table at Bowdie’s at the same time. Visit their listing on Open Table to reserve. And, when you stay at Wickwood, the innkeepers are happy to answer any questions about the restaurants around town.
Bowdie’s Chophouse of Saugatuck
230 Culver Street