We went to Five Bays to celebrate my father's birthday. We could only get a reservation for 8:30, and when we arrived we were told that our table was "just finishing up" and so we went to the bar for a drink. Unfortunately it was clear to me very quickly that the people at our designated table were not "finishing up" at all, they were settling in to chat for the long haul. I wondered how this would be handled as I had heard the host telling a couple without reservations that that they were fully booked for the rest of the evening. I was very glad to see that the host recognized that our table was not going to be free quickly enough to meet our reservation, and in very short order he changed another table configuration and had us seated at a different table. So kudos for good service before we were even seated, which just continued once we were at the table and our waitress was extremely helpful and friendly.
The real story about Five Bays has to be the food, though -- as it should be! We started with the crispy fried artichokes (amazing, delicious little bites) and the Asian vegetable wontons (crispy skin with a nice vegetable filling, and a tasty hoisin sauce drizzled on top). There were two specials this evening, including a halibut special which was extremely tempting, but I had gone in planning to get the halibut on the regular menu and I stuck with my plan -- and I'm so glad I did! I wasn't sure I would care for the tomato tapenade on top, but it was absolutely delicious and was a perfect complement to the perfectly cooked halibut, the wilted spinach underneath, and the fingerling potatoes. When I go back to Five Bays (and I will!), I should try something else, like the pan-seared scallops with lima bean, andouille and crab succotash which my mother had and looked delicious, but it will be very, very hard to pass up that halibut. My father's filet was perfectly cooked and the risotto it was served on was creamy and delicious. For dessert, my daughter and husband shared the warm cookie ala mode, my father had the cheesecake tart with roasted peach, and I had the pineapple tiramisu, which was so enormous I had to bring 2/3 of it home. But, as a pineapple and coconut fan, I really enjoyed this dessert, although if I had to make one suggestion it would be that the lady fingers were not moist enough (more rum, anyone?). However, all in all, I highly recommend this restaurant and can't wait to go back.
One last thing to add -- my main concern with going at 8:30 is that so many restaurants in this area seem to fizzle out after 8pm, and everything from the service to the food suffers, not to mention the atmosphere is overly quiet and dull. However, this place was still going strong when we left at 10:30 -- I believe the kitchen closes at 10pm but there were still plenty of people there at that time eating, getting a drink at the bar, meeting up with friends. Obviously this is a very popular spot with the locals.
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