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The Dish With Gish: The Bulldog gets some new tricks on its revamped menu

Pumpkin Ale and Oktoberfest by Schlafly Beer (St. Louis): “Schlafly Pumpkin Ale is 8 percent alcohol by volume,” Moore says, so “my friend and I started mixing them so we could still get the pumpkin taste without getting hammered.”

Pumpkin Ale and Oktoberfest by Schlafly Beer (St. Louis): “Schlafly Pumpkin Ale is 8 percent alcohol by volume,” Moore says, so “my friend and I started mixing them so we could still get the pumpkin taste without getting hammered.”

Pumking by Southern Tier Brewing Company (Lakewood, N.Y.): This imperial ale is brewed with pumpkin and has hints of clove, cinnamon and pie crust.

Octoberfest by Free State Brewing Company (Lawrence, Kans.): Moore likes this local beer because it’s well balanced. “Mildly sweet but perfectly malty.”

Harvest Ale by Founders Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, Mich.): “It’s an American IPA that isn’t too dry,” Moore says. “It has citrus-y and herbal top notes.”

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James Dailey, the new chef at Bulldog Restaurant & Bar, wants everyone to try his Reuben.

The classic sandwich is piled high with supremely tender corned beef, smothered with melted Swiss and sauerkraut and served on toasty slices of marble rye. The corned beef is juicy — not tough and dry — and loaded with flavor. How does it get that way?

“That’s a closely guarded secret,” Dailey says.

Dailey took over the bar’s kitchen in April. Since then, the chef has been freshening up the Bulldog’s menu in an effort to help the bar at 1715 Main St. compete in the increasingly restaurant-dense Crossroads Arts District.

“We gutted the menu,” Dailey says. “It’s a bit more upscale than (the Bulldog has) done in the past.”

Dailey got rid of the Bulldog’s pre-processed menu items and started prepping all the meats in-house. He says he brines the corned beef that goes on the Reuben ($10.50) and roasts the turkey atop the Bulldog’s namesake club sandwich ($9).

The chef also started ordering more local products — the burgers are served on Farm to Market buns, and the fish in the Pub-Style Fish and Chips ($13.50) is coated in Boulevard beer batter — and added dishes to the menu that are way more “restaurant” than “bar.”

The Grilled Romaine and Steak salad ($13) tops lightly charred greens with top sirloin steak, blue cheese, grape tomatoes and a white balsamic vinegar reduction. The Cedar Plank Salmon ($16), served with crisp green beans and oven-roasted potatoes, is a hefty Atlantic fillet drizzled with an addictive, buttery lemon sauce.

The Bulldog’s new menu items push the definition of bar food — but still taste great with a beer.

Fall into beer’s cool season

Candice Moore loves fall beers so much, she starts drinking them in summer. The Riot Room bar manager and passionate beer geek has been known to sip the rich, malty brews in tank-top weather, even though they’re made to pair with football and cozy sweaters.

Moore, who started studying beer styles when she was helping to open the Foundry, 424 Westport Road, now manages the Riot’s Room extensive beer selection. The bar at 4048 Broadway St. serves 50-plus beers on tap and more rare brews in bottles.

“We’re the best-kept beer secret in Westport,” Moore says.

Enterprise reporter Sarah Gish writes about dining every first and third week of the month. Contact her via email at sarah@inkkc.com or tweet @sarah_gish.

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