Hot Dish: Bayside Turns 25 with a Splash
Tony Ridgway and Sukie Honeycutt’s two-story, 6,500-square-foot Venetian Village anchor has a month’s worth of reasons to celebrate.
Photos by Michael Caronchi
The more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s a half-truth when it comes to Bayside Seafood Grill & Bar.
Ringing in its quarter-century anniversary in October, the restaurant is still as relevant as ever in our evolving culinary landscape thanks to chef-owner Tony Ridgway’s deft direction and co-owner Sukie Honeycutt’s noted wine program (why we included it in our October issue’s 10 best waterfront dining spots, on newsstands now). But don’t expect to party like it’s 1990—gone are the days when men wore jackets and women arrived perfectly coiffed. As Naples has relaxed, so too has Bayside. The upstairs patio overlooking the bay (the Upper Deck) has expanded from six tables to 25 and counting, while the adjacent main dining room was updated a few years back to give off an air of casual elegance. A wine shop also debuted in 2014.
This October, aside from live music Wednesday through Sunday on the Upper Deck, and a special anniversary Silver Patron Margarita ($10) available on weekends, each week a new entrée (all $25—how apropos and reasonable) will be on offer, in keeping with Bayside’s annual observance of National Seafood Month (see below for details).
But for something truly special, don’t miss the celebratory reception Oct. 7. From 5-7 p.m., the restaurant will thank loyal fans with free pours of Jeio prosecco and passed hors d’oeuvres, plus an appearance by artist Paul Arsenault, whose works add local color to the restaurant’s walls.
At a glance …
4270 Gulf Shore Blvd. N. (south side of The Village on Venetian Bay)
Anniversary seafood specials ($25 each):
WEEK 1 (Oct. 1-10): Seafood Boil (pictured at right)
Octopus, shrimp, clams and andouille sausage in a light broth with corn-cob slices and red potatoes
WEEK 2 (Oct. 11-17): Caribbean Snapper
Grilled snapper served with a black bean, chorizo and yucca puree and crispy plantains
WEEK 3 (Oct. 18-24): Pan Seared Miso Scallops & Shrimp (pictured at top)
Pan-seared scallops and shrimp over pad Thai noodles with bok choy and a honey-miso glaze
WEEK 4 (Oct. 25-31): Pan Light Blackened Grouper
Lightly seared grouper filet over Southern cheese and bacon grits, fried green tomatoes and wilted Swiss chard with a dollop of spicy remoulade