Gulf Coast Flavors – Casual New Orleans Style
Sometimes, you just have to get your Cajun on! A step into Dani Rae’s rustic décor will transport you to that ‘friends and family throw down’ that only could happen on a hot summer night in the back yard along the shores of the Gulf Coast.
We dare you to take the plunge and head up to Denton for a delicious dip in the shore waters at DaniRae’s Gulf Coast Kitchen and get ready to kick back, relax and enjoy great gulfcoast dining!
This family-friendly local restaurant and bar on the south side of Denton speaks with a distinctly local accent. It’s a drawl that emanates from the seafood dishes on the menu, which run from raw oysters and seafood fondue to grilled or blackened seafood, pastas, fried seafood platters of all persuasions, and house specials that include more than a few things that aren’t seafood. Few neighborhood restaurants execute as wide an array of dishes as excellently and consistently as Dani Rae’s..
All of the dishes at Dani Rae’s are prepared from scratch with time proven, authentic recipes, with distinctive flavors. Order the fried shrimp, frog legs, alligator, catfish or delicious chicken fried steak. Maybe you’d prefer Louisiana’s spicy cuisine. No problem. Try the Jambalaya or their signature dish Louisiana-style Barbecue Shrimp. In the mood for a smorgasbord of seafood? Try the Cioppino Fisherman’s Stew, one of the restaurant’s biggest sellers. Owner Gary Beavers has perfected this classic recipe from San Francisco. It includes tilapia, scallops, shrimp and mussels.
Beavers also sells seafood for Farmer’s Seafood based in Shreveport.
“That way I get to see what’s coming in fresh and get the first pick of what’s out there,” he said.
Beavers, and his wife of 34 years, Jan, own the restaurant, which they named after their daughters, Dani and Rachael. Gary, a registered architect, has always had a true love of cooking. He followed a dream and in 2013 took courses at the Culinary Institute in New York. It was through a business partner in his construction business that Gary became a partner in what is now Dani Rae’s.
“I helped design the building when it opened as Three Fins. I became a partner after it changed to Frilly’s and two of the original partners left. The next thing I knew I owned the whole thing,” Gary said with a chuckle. “I inherited a Cajun-style restaurant. We’ve stayed true to those roots but made the recipes more authentic.”
The restaurant business for the Beavers’ is a family passion. While Gary oversees the operations, Jan handles the advertising and bookkeeping. Their daughter, Dani and son-in-law, Nick manage Dani Rae’s. Oldest daughter, Rachael, helped develop new recipes.
Jan says part of Dani Rae’s success is Gary’s service-oriented mindset.
“Gary loves to cook for people and loves to please people with his food. When Gary is working on a new dish, he takes it out to customers get input. He has improved the recipes and elevated the dishes to a whole new level of delicious. We’ve had a lot of transplants from Hurricane Katrina say, ‘Oh my gosh, I haven’t had this food since we left home.”
Nowadays, Gary has someone else do most of the cooking, and the spicy, savory flavors of the food are still as succulent.
“I’ve never met anybody who cared so much about every aspect of his work,” Gary said of his head chef, Julian. “The health department says they have never seen such a clean kitchen. He has grown from our line cook to running the whole kitchen, and recently, we made him a partner in Dani Rae’s”
The Beavers’ keep the atmosphere as flavorful as the food with live entertainment on Thursdays. There’s also baked oyster night on Tuesdays, which offers six different savory and delicious varieties.
Dani Rae’s has a full-service bar and happy hour drinks every day. During crawfish season, patrons come in and eat pounds and pounds of crawfish, Gary said. After the crawfish season ends, Dani Rae’s creates a different special each week.
Cast a little gumbo and coconut shrimp into the mix, along with the fun, laid back neighborhood atmosphere, and you have a nibble of what you can expect to catch at Dani Rae’s.
Be sure to visit Dani Rae’s at 2303 S Interstate 35 E, Denton, TX 76205. Call for more information at 940.898.1404 or visit their website at
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