Dining

Real Atmosphere, Real Elegance, Real Seafood

Fresh seafood and a contemporary atmosphere combine for a delightful dining experience

Located in the heart of the new uptown development in Bay City is the Great Lakes Bay Region’s newest fresh seafood eatery, Real Seafood Co. The riverfront eatery offers freshly caught premium fish and seafood from the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes, all prepared in fresh, contemporary dishes.

“When Mainstreet Ventures (Real Seafood’s parent company) heard about the dream for the rehabilitation of the waterfront in the new uptown development in Bay City, we felt that Real Seafood was a perfect fit for a hip, urban space,” says General Manager Jeff Ridinger. “We opened our doors in May, and the response has been fantastic, and we are proud to be part of the community.”

Head Chef Micah Lovett, a Michigan resident hailing from Traverse City, runs the kitchen and prepares a unique menu—offering guests some favorites such as seared scallops with balsamic brown butter and leeks, premium fresh oysters on the half shell from the Raw Bar, miso sea bass, and the restaurant’s unique paella—a fresh take on a traditional Spanish recipe of saffron rice, mussels, lobster, shrimp, chicken, chorizo sausage, and peas. The dish, cooked in a large, special pan, is meant to be shared by two or more people.

“Our seafood is delivered fresh from Boston and Grand Rapids four times a week, and everything on our menu—including our sauces, soups, and desserts—is made fresh to order in house. We even butcher all of our fish in shop to ensure the highest quality cuts. Beyond seafood, we also offer top-grade meat, including filet mignon, pork chops, chicken, and beef tenderloin.”

In addition to the extensive menu, which guests peruse on touch-screen tablets rather than on traditional paper menus, is the restaurant’s gorgeous waterfront setting. The full wall of windows lets sunlight stream in, and the booths and tables are arranged to maximize water views. A mix of glass, bricks, and metal give a contemporary feel to the space, and a second floor mezzanine offers spectacular views of the riverfront.

“Real Seafood offers guests what I like to call ‘approachable elegance,’” says Ridinger. “We’re casual enough to make everyone feel welcome but polished enough to feel special.”

Real Seafood Co., 199 Uptown Dr, Bay City, 888-456-3463, www.realseafoodcobaycity.com. Hours: Monday – Thursday (11 a.m. – 10 p.m.), Friday – Saturday (11 a.m. – 11 p.m.), and Sunday (12 – 9 p.m.). Bar is open one hour past close every night. 

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