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Jul 5, 2009 05:02 PM

A sad tale - Bayside Restaurant Westport, MA

I really, really wanted to like this place....really I did. 5 minutes from Horseneck Beach...great view...cute decor...lively terrace. We arrived and chose to sit inside instead of on the terrace (15 minute wait vs. no wait inside). About 1/3 of the tables were occupied inside. After we sat we waited, and waited, and waited (10-15 minutes) and finally flagged down someone and asked for water and a margarita. About 5 minutes later our waitress showed up and we ordered a fisherman's platter to split. Then we waited, and waited, and waited....about 10-15 more minutes passed and our margarita showed up. Overly intense mix flavor and tequila was not apparent. More waiting.....another 15 minutes or so and someone decides to bring us a bread basket (pity?). Our food arrived almost immediately after. Very disappointing. The fish was battered, which we really don't care for. Clams and scallops had absolutely no flavor....I'm suspecting frozen. The clams were so limp and greasy, that I actually left them all. You have to realize that I have NEVER left clams before, even if they were on the greasy side but sweet inside. Scallops had an interresting panko coating, but no flavor. Hand cut fries were unremarkable. The worst thing was the tartar sauce. Kudos for trying to present a homemade version, but this was more akin to a chopped pickle salad barely held together with mayo. The pickles just fell off of whatever you tried to eat it with and the pickle was so dominant that it was useless to eat.

This place has amazing potential.... just misses the boat completely in service and food quality.

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  1. Oh, and BTW, we paid $33 w/tax/tip for this mess.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Science Chick

      I'm sorry to hear all this. My SO and I had a late afternoon meal on the terrace there about 4 years ago, and I remember it as being pretty good food in a lovely and serene setting. I also appreciated their attempt to practice sustainability as much as possible. In fact, we have kept Bayside in mind as a decent alternative if we ever find the wait at The Back Eddy to be unendurable (hasn't happened yet). A great pity that Bayside has slipped so much. Gosh, next you'll be telling me that Marguerite's has gone downhill!

      1. re: groaker

        We ate at Marguerite's a couple of months ago and it was terrific! Unfortunately, they are closed on Sundays.........

        1. re: Science Chick

          If only Marguerite's would move into the Bayside, you'd have one hell of a dining destination.

      2. re: Science Chick

        This is really a sad tale!

        I often wonder when I have experiences such as this, do the owners even check out the competition? There are so many great restaurants in RI, MA, Cape with many different offerings to please just about everyone. It's such a competitive market in our area. Do the owners realize this?

        1. re: OOliver

          The place seemed to be run by sign of an owner or "mature" manager anywhere.

      3. you ordered a fishermans platter in Massachusetts, not wel known for scallops, and clams are extremely seasonal due to red tides but resturaunts are forced to offer them do to the nature of needy tourist customers. And as far as batter on the fish its new england, we new englanders fry our fish they same way the brittish did. I am in no way giving a review on this resturaunt having never eaten there im just questioning the source of the review at hand

        10 Replies
        1. re: thee_eddieb

          Thee, what makes you question the source? "Limp & greasy", "no flavor". There's no excuse for that. And where are you getting your info about MA not being well known for scallops?

          "By far the largest wild scallop fishery is for the Atlantic sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) found off northeastern United States and eastern Canada."

          1. re: JaneRI

            I tried it myself last summer and the slow service was a nightmare, since we were waiting w/a 3 yr old. Too bad the Back Eddy isn't open for lunch....not many choices in that area.

            Back Eddy
            1 Bridge Rd, Westport, MA 02790

          2. re: thee_eddieb

            I do agree on the batter part. It's pretty much expected when you get a fried seafood platter that everything will be breaded or battered.

            1. re: ratbuddy

              Breaded yes, battered, no. New England fish fry is nothing at all like the British. If a menu says fried fish, it's generally safe to assume a crumb breading of some type. If not, it will almost always say "beer-battered" or "English style".

              And I've never heard of any seasonality to clams. If red tide is a factor, the source will change from the Cape, for instance, to Ipswich, RI or even Maryland if red tide is widespread. But that happens very rarely.

              And I certainly agree with JaneRI regarding scallops, as do the many day-boat scallopers here on the Cape and throughout Massachusetts.

              1. re: ratbuddy

                Let me clarify the batter issue. I am strictly voicing my personal preference. Any of the places we frequent on the MA North Shore use the "dry, wet, dry" approach, that yields a delicate thin coating. Other places use a wet, thick batter, akin to a British fish-n-chips. I simply prefer the thin coat approach, and find this at most of the best places throughout New England. Moreover, I find fisherman's platters at every seaside joint I frequent from Maine to MA, RI and CT. I am amused by thee_eddieb's comment about "we New englanders". Sorry, but I am a born and bred one myself..........I guess we can't be pigeonholed into preferring one style of fried seafood! ;) BTW, thee, I notice this is your first post. Could you share places in the Westport area that you prefer?

              2. re: thee_eddieb

                I have eaten he about 30 times - my husband LOVES the patio.... But the are a perfect storm of bad service (attitude and neglect) and half-assed cooking. I try something different every time- yes, appetizers and dinner often come out within a minute of each other. And stuff is just 'off'. We eat out a LOT, and this place we go to just for the view!

                1. re: Paintpaintpaitn

                  You have eaten there 30 times for bad service, half assed cooking and stuff that is just off. That is beyond comprehension.

                  1. re: Paintpaintpaitn

                    Sorry, but when I go out and spend my hard earned money, the food and service matter tremendously for me....even with a nice view. Sorry to hear things haven't changed there, but, quite honestly, folks who continue to patronize mediocrity give the establishment no motivation to improve, IMHO.

                    Since then, we've been spending our money at Margueritte's instead. No view, but the food is made with love!


                    1. re: Science Chick

                      Interesting that I could write the same review that started here in 2009 and here it is 2012. Ate there on labor day after waiting a half hour (although there were several empty tables) outside and then sitting at a table inside for another half hour before getting something to eat. As someone else here said,there's no evidence of a manager or someone holding this place together. It was so chaotic that although there were many lunch specials on the board and it was after noon,the waitress and hostess (although I think they were one and the same) said they were so backed up with breakfast that they weren't able to get around to serving lunch yet but we could have some cornbread and wait. ?? Several people asked if we wanted a drink. It was like a free for all. No one seemed sure of their roles there and in fact the first person we saw said she'd just come on her shift and wasn't sure what was going on. What?? Had a caesar w/a nice piece of salmon but there was zilch seasoning and, so, very little flavor. This place is in a fantastic spot and does have big potential but they need some management. That is the biggest problem. And yes,Marguerite's is the place to go. Would've gone yesterday but they were closed for the holiday. Such a disappointment.

                      1. re: jodygirl

                        Sorry for your disappointing experience! :(