Bogey's: We'll Always Have DeFuniak
400 U.S. 90 East (Hotel DeFuniak), DeFuniak Springs, (850)
Breakfast, Tues.-Sat., 7-10 a.m.; Lunch, Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-2
p.m.; Dinner, Tues.-Sat. at 5 p.m.
Children’s Menu: Will accommodate major credit cards
By Bruce Collier
OCtober 16, 2008 Issue
Bogey's Restaurant is part of the historic Hotel DeFuniak in
equally historic DeFuniak Springs. The hotel, worth an article
itself, is a throwback to the old fashioned, small-sized and
privately owned establishments that offered guests breakfast,
lunch and dinner, all in the same building, without the need
to search out the town for places to eat. I have eaten lunch
at Bogey's several times over the years—I work just around the
corner—but this was my first dinner. Breakfast and lunch are
also served, and the restaurant has a full bar.
We ate at Bogey's on a rainy weeknight, and I was encouraged
to see that the dining room was well attended when we arrived.
It's a single room, with a small lounge area near the bar for
those just there for drinks or an appetizer. Bogey's has a
handwritten list of early-bird specials, and some specially
priced starters that probably vary daily.
The dining room is intimate, with tables nicely spaced for
conversation without too much fear of eavesdropping. Carved
wooden chairs, table linen, and muted lighting provide an
adult-romantic feel. The walls are decorated with French and
Italian liqueur ads from the early 20th century, as well as
movie posters (several of Bogart films, naturally) and
black-and-whites of Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis.
Miles actually looks like he's not angry, a rare shot.
The menu offers appetizers, salads, fish and seafood entrees,
and house specialties. The style varies from Asian/Caribbean
fusion to Italian to American/Continental. It's a fairly wide
variety. When's the last time you saw veal scaloppini on the
same page as fish and chips? It's possible to satisfy pretty
much any taste from this menu. Service, in the person of
Theresa, was friendly and attentive, never rushed.
We started with Bahamian shrimp skewers and crab-stuffed
mushroom caps. Six good-sized shrimp, plump and butterflied,
came on a bed of shredded lettuce, dressed with a
honey/garlic/soy dressing. They went fast. The mushrooms were
lighter than I was expecting (a good thing), and the crab
stuffing emphasized crab over stuffing. Six (maybe more)
piping hot mushrooms yielded about two bites each, with a
buttery béarnaise sauce. It was one of the best versions I've
tasted of this sometimes-heavy dish.
Other starters are crab cake, soft-shelled crab, baked Brie,
spinach and artichoke dip, and oysters Rockefeller. There are
also salads that can serve as a main course: Montego Bay (with
fried fish), Caesar, grilled or blackened shrimp salad, and a
Prime rib was a special feature that night—I think it may be a
weekly thing—so my dining companion went for it. I chose
soft-shelled crab, which I hadn't had in about a year. The
beef was slightly rarer than the medium my friend had ordered,
but she finished it all up. On the side were mixed vegetables,
and we both shared a basket (two actually) of
hot-from-the-oven bread, crusty and garlicky.
Two soft-shelled crab arrived (many places serve only one),
sautéed and hunkered down in a pool of beurre blanc. I got the
mixed vegetables, but baked potato is also available as a
side, and there was a special that night of asparagus. I ate
all there was, and let the bread pick up the rest. I did not
taste soft-shelled crab until I was nearly 30, and I've been
making up for lost time since then. Two-soft-shelled crab for
$16.95 is a bargain.
Other main course choices are New York strip, filet mignon,
chicken marsala, several veal selections, shrimp scampi,
stuffed shrimp, catch of the day, and fried shrimp. The catch
of the day (farm-raised tilapia that day) comes prepared with
a number of sauces - piccata, almondine, Lorenzo, and
Normandie. The nightly specials also include some fish
We decided to split one dessert, though many were offered. Of
tiramisu, "ice cream" versions of key lime pie and bananas
Foster, a crème brulee cheesecake, chocolate bombe, and a
bourbon pecan pie, with chose the latter, served warm with
vanilla ice cream. I ate most of it, the prime rib having
satisfied my friend until lunch the following day. The pie was
the thick kind, just warm enough not to melt the ice cream
right away. The server recited desserts, so I expect they
change from night to night.
Lest you think DeFuniak Springs is nothing but an outpost of
fast food joints and country buffets (it has both), drive into
the center of town, to the fancy little hotel across the
street from the police station, and slip into Bogey's. You can
get one of a number of thoughtfully prepared items from an
impressive variety of styles and won't bankrupt yourself in