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“Promising Bainbridge Island Newcomer”

The Beach House Bar
Price range: $10 - $15
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: The Beach House Bar features exquisite craft cocktails served alongside Chef Joe Benish's tasty pub creations including Fish and Chips and Smoked Carolina Wings, as well as a delicious selection of small plates, salads and sandwiches. You are invited to grab a table by the fireplace, enjoy the view from a spot on our charming outdoor terrace, or find a seat at the Alley Cat Bar with your friends and neighbors. It's relaxed. It's friendly. It's your neighborhood watering hole. It's The Beach House.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

The Beach House has been slammed by crowds ever since its recent opening in the new Pleasant Beach Village development in the Lynwood section of Bainbridge Island. Our first visit confirmed what is drawing all the eager diners here -- a handsomely decorated place with peek-a-boo water views from the outside deck and creative Northwest cuisine artfully prepared. But the crowds have also brought distinct service problems, since the staff is always struggling to keep up, night after night after night. The young servers are friendly, in the casual Northwest way, but so overwhelmed that they are rushed and inattentive. The kitchen staff also seems to struggle under the crush, with food that can take a maddenly long time to arrive at the table. So much time passed between the clearing of our appetizers and the arrival of the main course (a half hour or more -- and only then after we finally inquired about their whereabouts) that it made us wish we had brought a snack to tide us over. Finally, our server seemed virtually clueless about the wines on the carefully chosen Northwest list. She finally brought us a printed cheat sheet handout that was so rhapsodic about each and every wine on the list -- a severe case of adjective overload -- that it was no help whatsoever. And when we asked the server if the staff gets to sample the wines, in order to better inform guests, she said they only sample the wines by the glass not those in the full bottles -- an amateurish approach to staff training that ought to be changed immediately. So we left the Beach House with admiration for the food but full of questions about it will ever be able to make one forget the obvious service shortcomings. That seems unlikely as long as the restaurant is struggling to handle crowds -- which could be even more of a problem with the onset of fall weather and closure of the outside deck area.

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1  Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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60 - 63 of 63 reviews

Reviewed August 7, 2013

The Beach House, located at Pleasant Beach on Bainbridge Island, Washington is a charming really nicely decorated restaurant offering a great menu and good service, prices are affordable and the food is good. Staff are friendly as well. You can sit inside or outside on the spacious deck which offers views of the water. There are fire pits for during cooler weather. All in all a really pleasant experience at this location which offers a selection of stores, wine bar, self serve yoghurt store, market place and a very special Inn. Make the effort after you get off the ferry in Winslow to come down to Pleasant Beach, this is the new hot spot on Bainbridge Island. The facility that houses the restaurant, stores, etc., is beautifully designed and crafted with wonderful landscaping. No detail has been spared. You can stroll through Fort Ward park or sit by the water at Pleasant Beach. There is a great place across the street called The Tree House, they offer the best pizza and live music and next door is a very special bakery. Just a 25 minute ferry ride from Seattle, Bainbridge Island is a convenient weekend getaway. Bring your bike!

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1  Thank BarbadosOkra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

The restaurant is part of a 6-room boutique hotel on a bluff overlooking the English Tudor village below and offers wonderful bay views from the patio. We arrived Friday evening sans reservations, but Amy went out of her way to get us a coveted patio table after a 30 minute wait in the (cramped) bar, giving us frequent progress reports. Transporting drinks (wife's Grey Goose martini was perfect) to the patio, where blankets were thoughtfully provided on a chilly evening, we delighted in entrees of Halibut and Sea Scallops, both exquisitely prepared. I am a rhubarb lover, but reluctantly passed on dessert. A local couple at the table adjacent swore by the crumble, and were just two of some other friendly Islanders we visited with before and during dinner. Although they have been open about 60 days, the evening went smoothly and we will definitely return on our next visit to Bainbridge

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1  Thank Seetheworld360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

On a busy Saturday night three of us had a dinner with a couple of high points and a great deal of mediocre service and food.

The restaurant is in a lovely building overlooking the water, with attractive seating outside that is usually spoken for but very nice if you can get it. The main room is comfortable but relatively close and quite noisy,posing hearing issues for the older part of the clientele.

Let's start with the good. The entrees were, for the most part, quite tasty. The lamb chops, cooked rare to order, were delicious. The halibut was moist and perfectly cooked. The mushroom-based risotto was flavorful if a bit too sweet for my palate and was not truly 'al dente' as a risotto should be. That was the good part.

This place has been open for two months, has been well reviewed, and ought to have its act together. On this Saturday evening it was understaffed and amateurish in far too many respects. Start with the drinks: martini wasn't cold (despite a specific request for that); Bainbridge 75 cocktail (a gin and tonic with prosecco in it) was virtually tasteless and was sent back; the glass of Waterbrook sauvignon blanc was OK if an unusually sweet example of that varietal. Overall not a promising beginning -- and, by the way, it took forever to get anything from the bar.

On to the opening course. We had a dozen oysters despite the fact that the server couldn't pronounce their name and had to look up where they came from (come on, people -- we're in the Northwest, we live on oysters, we fuss over their name and origin...). They were OK, not hugely flavorful (which may be a function of the season), and served, oddly, with a fruity ice and a cocktail sauce that both overpowered the delicate flavor of the oysters. The bacon-wrapped dates, on the other hand, were decadently rich and delicious.

Salads were oddly disappointing. The field greens salad sounded great on the menu but lacked flavor even after adding salt and pepper. Perhaps underdressed, but in any event rather bland. The Caesar was full-flavored, nicely presented with anchovies crossed in prayerful fashion (their last rites?) at the side of the plate, possibly a bit over-seasoned. It was OK, but more of a steak house OK than memorable.

We had wines by the glass with our varied entrees. The wine list emphasizes Washington and is very reasonably priced -- kudos to them for that. We ordered reds, and after the waitress apologized for the third time for their not arriving we began to think we should convert the order to dessert wines. (This is where the understaffing comment comes in: the bartender was clearly overtaxed by a full house, and the relative scarcity of the wait staff indicated that they were spread thin as well -- if you can't staff properly for your busiest night you're in trouble.) When the reds arrived the waitress identified one as the cab and one as the blend -- and had them reversed, whether her error or the bar's it's hard to say.

Desserts were from their tray of individual small glasses: a rhubarb crumble, a key lime, a chocolate something. They were all tasty, but nothing more. Nice enough, but nothing that caused you to stop, savor and say 'wow'.

All in all it was an evening of major misses and a couple of hits. Measured by steak house standards it might get a B, but by any sort of gourmet standard it was at best a C. The preparation of the entrees shows that there is some good cooking going on, but the whole experience was so flawed that we will wait to hear of major change before we try it again.

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Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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