Re-introducing locals and tourists to a place they once loved.
A lot has changed over the span of 50 years. What started out as a Holiday Inn in 1965 has been transformed into a modern-day resort and restaurant now called the Lodge at Port Arrowhead. Sitting front-and-center is the sleek, completely renovated Fat Polly’s Restaurant with a new menu and a new head chef.
Scott Gillie brings with him the experience and innovation to execute a menu with a twist on traditional favorites as well as unique signature dishes. Gillie spent the last 10 years working at H. Toad’s but his career started 20 years ago at a Holiday Inn in California where he grew up. After moving to Lake of the Ozarks he spent several years at Tan-Tar-A before going to the 7-mile marker at the Horny Toad Entertainment Complex.
When he was brought onboard at Fat Polly’s the goal was to re-introduce locals and tourists to a place they once loved, and that included creating a great dining experience.
The first thing you might notice is the unique flair presented on typical menu items like the jalapeño peach wings, shrimp avocado salad, and the Arrowhead Rangoon stuffed with Philly meat instead of crab. Even the burgers have been taken a step further giving customization options with toppings and dressings, and offering signature items like the Polly Burger topped with brisket, an onion ring, bacon and honey BBQ mayo.
There are, of course, plenty of favorites like chicken tenders, caesar salad, wraps and sandwiches, pizza, steak dinners and a kids’ menu. Gillie says he plans to make additional changes in the future, including adding more ribeye items and different wraps.
During football season the restaurant goes all out to celebrate fall sports. With the NFL ticket package you can catch all your favorite teams on the big screen but make sure to stop in during select days for festive menu items. Saturday it’s Frito pies and chili dogs, Sunday is football platter finger foods, and a nacho bar is available for Monday night football. Happy hour is served Monday-Thursday.
One of the most popular items on the menu, here’s how you can re-create it at home.
Over medium heat sauté a handful of green and red pepper and onions. Add peeled shrimp and cook for several minutes. Add in a few sun-dried tomatoes, sliced andouille sausage, a teaspoon of roasted garlic and cook for several minutes. Deglaze the pan by adding white wine. Add 1 cup of heavy cream and a tablespoon of cajun seasoning. Let reduce. Cook and drain penne pasta according to directions and add to the skillet. Sprinkle parmesan over pasta and add sliced chicken breast. Plate the dish and top with parsley and more parmesan.
A bit of history
In 1965 the resort opened as a Holiday Inn to much fanfare. The entire cast of the Beverly Hillbillies attended a grand opening celebration. A year later 50 more rooms were added. When a fire destroyed the restaurant in 1970 it was rebuilt and included the addition of meeting rooms and a pool. In 1972, another 50 rooms were built.
In 1999 the property was sold to a Kansas City businessman who owned Port Arrowhead Marina located next to the resort. Over the years several ownership changes occurred and in 2016, business partners Jared Johnson and Mike Pagliai took over hoping to transform the property into a modern, business-appropriate, family-friendly lodging facility.
After 10 months of construction, the hotel reopened in the summer of 2017 offering 145 rooms at the Lodge at Port Arrowhead. More than $4.4 million has been spent on renovations so far.
* Information provided by www.lodgeatportarrohead.com.
About the restaurant
Where: 3080 Bagnell Dam Blvd., Lake Ozark
Hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.
Online: www.lodgeatportarrowhead.com, Fat Polly’s Pub on Facebook