Sunday, August 2, 2009

Back Bay Seafood Restaurant - Gulfport, Mississippi











Back Bay Seafood Restaurant
1458 Magnolia Street (east and off Cowan Rd.)
Gulfport, Mississippi 39507
Phone number: 228-248-0505
Lunch: Monday through Friday – 11 am – 2 pm
Dinner: 5 pm – 10 pm Monday through Thursday
Dinner 5 pm – 11 pm Friday and Saturday
No lunch Saturdays
Parking underneath and around the building
Stairway to dining area – no elevator

By Jane Feehan

Back Bay is located at the old site of Tug’s Wharf in Gulfport. It was opened in mid-June by Rob Stinson who, with partners, also owns Lookout 49 and Salute, both in Gulfport. That said, it may be a bit premature to give this place a proper review, but because of its early popularity warrants a comment or two.

My visit wasn’t a culinary experience BUT the place has lots of potential and is already a busy watering hole for the over 40 crowd.

Don’t let the spot and the exterior of the place throw you off. It’s on stilts - a rustic looking joint on its fa├žade – with a newly renovated interior. The full bar is a semicircular affair with a great view of the back bay, thus its moniker. An upper level porch encircles the interior dining area providing a great place to gather with friends for a casual meal and interesting vista, especially at sunset.

Now for the food.

The menu, a large one (and perhaps one of the problems), offers a variety of appetizers from $4.25-$9.25. I chose to start things off with their Sea Bread, dressed with small shrimp, bits of crawfish and ham and dressed with a light, flavorful sauce. It was tasty and enough for three or four people.

For the main course, I picked grouper for $13. About eight or nine sauces are listed to choose from ($2.99-$4.99) so I decided on “Sway Sway,” a lemon juice and basil concoction, but was told they were out of basil. My second choice was a spinach, artichoke and parmesan mixture – far too heavy for the grouper, which was not freshly caught but frozen. Not a good thing for a place claiming to be a seafood restaurant.

The mixed vegetables I ordered as a side was a medley of squash, zucchini and onion. Cooked in the same spicy mixture as the grouper, the vegetables didn't complement the meal; rather, save for the difference in textures, it was difficult to discern fish from vegetable.

When I return (and I plan to), I’ll stick to one of their many appetizers – perhaps seafood stuffed mushrooms or a shrimp-filled martini glass topped with remoulade. Or I may try their pasta and crawfish. There’s pork, chicken and steak dishes for the landlubbers. Service:Good
© 2009

More about the Mississippi Gulf Coast at: http://www.gulfcoast.org/
How about some Paula Deen Cajun Seafood Balls at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/cajun-seafood-balls-recipe/index.html

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