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“Unexpected gem” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bay Cafe

Bay Cafe
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Romantic, Scenic view, Special occasions, Families with children, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Virginia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Unexpected gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2009

In an area replete with fried everything, this was a welcome surprise. The previous Tripadvisor reviews were accurate. It's not fancy; be sure to get a table outside where you will have a view of the bay. But the food was wonderful - well-prepared, fresh and delicious. I had the special: steamed grouper with artichokes in a white wine sauce, very fresh green beans, and a yummy, delicately seasoned potatoe pancake. The salad before dinner was superb. Their wine list is great, too. They had a super selection of chardonnay by the glass, which is usually a pet peeve of mine: La Crema, etc. vs. usual Kendall Jackson at other restaurants. The service was prompt and professional.

Helpful?
Thank Gina1250
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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265 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    182
    55
    14
    9
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Finally, a restaurant worthy of a 5 star rating!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2009

Wow! Finally, after numerous disappointing meals at various restaurants around the Fort Walton Beach and Destin area we found one worthy of accolades. The restaurant is located just under the bridge with a nice outdoor deck on the water. The reflection of the lights off the water set the romantic mood for the late evening dinner. My husband and I each had a glass of house red wine. He had a merlot and I had the cabernet. Both were very good and reasonably priced compared to the watered down tropical drinks at previous restaurants. They had a nice wine list which I have not noticed in the other restaurants. After making our meal choices the waitress brought us two piping hot loafs of fresh French bread with butter. Yum! My husband ordered the escargot for an appetizer. It came in a light crispy pastry. He said it was very good and enjoyed the pastry. For dinner, I had the filet mignon which I requested done medium. It was served with fresh vegetables (green beans, white beans and baby carrots) and a potato pancake. It was done to perfection. Practically melted in my mouth! The vegetables came hot and cooked to perfection. Not mushy or crunchy! My husband ordered the duck in a cherry sauce. It was very tender and enjoyable. Although we normally do not order a dessert we couldn’t pass the opportunity to try the silk chocolate mousse pie and the tiramisu. Both were delicious! Wow! What a change to have finally found a restaurant that knew not only how to prepare food but also had the ambiance and the excellent wait staff to receive a five star review from us. We would highly recommend this restaurant without hesitation to everyone and especially to all of the other visitors who have been extremely disappointed in the meals that they have overpaid for in the other restaurants around the Destin-FWB area! This restaurant is worth the money and the drive! p.s. We recommend the outdoor seating--right on the bay. See attached photo.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank VirginiaWanderers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arkansas
Level Contributor
66 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Wonderfully delicious”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2009

We used tripadvisor to find this treasure just below the bridge at Fort Walton Beach. The filet mignon was wonderful, my husband's baked grouper was perfect, the tiramisu cake excellent, and the chicken piccata perfectly cooked. We will definitely visit when we return to Fort Walton.

Helpful?
2 Thank ArkansasProfessor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Oh
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Oasis in Tourist Desert”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2009

Thank goodness for the Bay Cafe. After nearly a week over-priced, over-salted, greasy tourist food it was so nice to stumble onto this place. The service was very good, and the food was even better.

The Bay Cafe serves French, Southern-European-American fusion food. I had the chicken piccata which was done perfectly. This was also the first restaurant I found in the Destin/Ft. Walton area with decent, savory appetizers. The appetizers are so good, you could make some of them into a meal. The Artichoke plate appetizer w/ olive oil was great.

The Bay Cafe is all about the food, and they also have a substantial and decent wine selection. So many of the other restaurants in the area were all about the $12 tropical drinks and served bad food w/ cheap chardonnay. I was glad to find someplace like the Bay Cafe to get a nice meal and a decent glass of wine.

The atmosphere is quiet, mature and subdued, and there's a nice view of the water.

The amazing thing was that the food was only about $3-4 dollars more than most of the dinners at the bad restaurants with the over-priced margaritas. Well worth the price.

My only complaint was that the bread was a little light, but I have to admit, it is the kind of bread you're likely to get at bistro in France: A thin, crackery crust with a very light bread inside that's mostly air. I prefer a heavier, artisan-type bread.

It's hard to find but worth the effort. This is the first place we're going next year - and we will be back!

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
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      Atmosphere
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      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ned23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“We love Bay Cafe!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2009

This restaurant is a must anytime in Ft. Walton Beach. I have been eating there over the past 15 years and never miss it when I come to town. I dream about the grouper with artichoke and melt-in-your-mouth filet. This place has a jaw dropping view from the deck. They even have a boat dock, which makes a perfect evening after a day out on the boat.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Lalagova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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