LAKE SHORE — For the traditionalists, Sherwood Forest Tavern provides a casual culture shock.
The restaurant’s motto “Our secluded get-away for quality food and a casual mood,” is a 180-degree shift from the former fine-dining option of Grand View Lodge.
The rustic, romantic decor remains with large, dark log walls and the gigantic fireplace, which demands attention from its grand location in the middle of the dinning room. But there is an air of casual running throughout the building and spilling out onto an outdoor seating option. It starts with the servers, who are adorned in black T-shirts and shorts. It’s also found in the menu, highlighted by the inclusion of burgers, wraps and sandwiches.
The usual appetizers are listed, sausage stuffed portobello mushrooms and coconut chicken fingers served with a pineapple marmalade dipping sauce are two items unique to Sherwood Forest Tavern.
Mushrooms are a common ingredient in many of the dishes, including a few of the burger choices. A honey burger with strips of bacon, mushrooms, Gruyère cheese, honey mustard, arugula lettuce and a tomato is one unique option. Burgers run from $13.50 for the stack, two half-pound patties with cheddar cheese, topped with shoestring onions, arugula lettuce and tomato, to a $7.95 naked burger.
Wraps cost customers $10.95 and sandwiches range from $13.95 for a grilled filet mignon to a $9.75 portobello veggie sandwich.
The soup and salad menu includes the standard chili and wild rice soup with a soup of the day option. A sauted garlic shrimp salad ($11.25) and a strawberry chicken salad ($10.25) are two house specialties. The shrimp salad incorporates spring greens, sliced strawberries, cantaloupe, honey dew melon and grape tomatoes, topped with garlic shrimp and drizzled with mango dressing.
Those menu items feel right with the new atmosphere and tavern approach. But Sherwood Forest does offer entrees, including walleye, filet mignon, ribs, chicken and a stuffed pork chop that comes with a sauteed mushroom bacon risotto and seasonal vegetables.
Entree prices range from $22.95 for the 16-ounce sirloin to $13.95 for the charred chicken served with a lemon grass and apricot sauce.
The Northwoods ice cream sundae is a house specialty dessert with key lime pie, apple bread pudding, strawberry cheesecake and chocolate cake also offered for $6.95 to $7.95.
A berries ‘N Sorbet option is on the menu, but make sure you get what you order on this selection.
The service is excellent, which helps to acclimate oneself into the new atmosphere at the new Sherwood Forest Tavern.
It will be interesting to see if the new casual approach works in an area that already features Zorbaz, Jake’s City Grille and Cowboy’s.