Chef Shack Bay City

4.8
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125 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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French
2017 James Beard semi-finalist "Best chef midwest"

The jewel in the Chef Shack empire crown, this historic bar & restaurant has been around since 1920, in the tiny Wisconsin river town called Bay City.

Chef Shack companies purchased this fine property in 2012 and have lifted it to the next level in cuisine & service in a rustic natural country setting.

Guests traveling the Great River road experience this special destination in delight and turn into believers of what a restaurant in the middle of nowhere can deliver. Chefs & life partners Lisa Carlson & Carrie Summer have brought their New York City training to this small 40 seat establishment.

Sourcing organics and creating a French focused menu for the public's delight weekends only each year through New Years eve.
Creating a" hidden and hard to find" secret dining experience and exceeding expectations.
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w
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Upon arrival the table was set and ready for our reservation. This was the second time we choose Chef Shack for a special occasion and once again we were not disappointed. The cafe is quaint and the service personable. Leaving without ordering dessert would be a sin, and even after 3 entrees and 2 apps, we opted for the pot de creme - perfect, perfect, perfect. The service here is how I like it, appropriately slow and easy - no point in rushing a good thing.

S
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I had a great time at this beautiful little bistro just southeast of the Twin Cities. The staff was friendly and attentive. The menu featured seasonal, local ingredients that were prepared to perfection. The bar menu was fun but not fussy. If you want a short drive in the country with beautiful scenery and a lovely meal, check out Chef Shack Bay City.

DB
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Must taste for yourself! We return often, it’s unique in a sea of ordinary

C
Minneapolis
5 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

From the moment one walks in the door is greeted, the evening is exceptional. The offer of a small welcoming bourbon house-made cocktail brought a smile to our faces. But it was the greetings offered by the bartender that made the entrance such a pleasure. The server knew the menu very well and knew how the kitchen operated perfectly. We ordered some things to share so we could tase them all, and were accommodated with pleasure and very well. The food - A salmon appetizer, a meatloaf entree (spicy), and a curry entry were all very good. It was an evening we thoroughly enjoyed - un-rushed and in a wonderfully eclectic atmosphere. Would absolutely recommend.

JA
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

WE WILL REVISIT AGAIN THIS WAS A VERY NICE EVENING ,OUR WAITRESS WAS VERY GOOD AND THE FOOD WAS AAAA+++++

TJ
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Superbly prepared.

HS
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great people and wonderful food made for an excellent dinner date

OT
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Loved this place in a unique locale on the Great River Road. Great food and reasonable prices.

CC
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Acccidental find.
What a surprise. A gem of a treat in a small town.

JG
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely restaurant with wonderful service, hospitality and yummy food.

OT
New Orleans
3 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. Gets better every year.

m
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was the BEST meal I have had in a long time! Fish cakes were out of this world! Beet salad a work of art. The servers were absolutely fabulous, could not have been nicer. Very relaxing. I will go back as soon as I can. It is beautiful inside, reminded me of being in Paris. Can't wait to go for dinner. Winner winner!

CS
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great place in Bay City for a special event meal. My wife and I celebrated our anniversary with Sunday brunch. Food and beverages were very good and reasonably priced.

OT
Minneapolis
46 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best brunch ever! And what a way to make a perfect weekend outing with a drive down to Lake Pepin and Bay City for a French Garden inspired experience. We will come again. Thank you so much!

CO
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this restaurant! Delicious food in a unique atmosphere and beautiful location. Without a doubt, our favorite restaurant.

L
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Found this gem while on a day trip from Minneapolis. Adorable! Great atmosphere and food!

f
Naples
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A gem of our region. World class experience in a beautiful rural area. Reminds me of the delights of traveling in rural Tuscany this past spring - combining elegance with rusticity. The food was a mixture of ethnic traditions: of France, Italy, Thailand and other creative explorations of making wonderful food from seasonal options.

ES
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely dinner. Best meatloaf ever. Great cocktails. Cream brulee was fabulous!!!

BE
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the place we go to for special occasions, as well as in-between. The food and drinks are always amazing! We're lucky to have this restaurant so close to where we live!

N
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great place to celebrate a birthday! The vanilla custard dessert will not soon be forgotten! The staff and other guests made the evening very special.

OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The warm welcome included a wonderful aperitif. Service, salads, and entrees were fantastic. Beautiful space indoors and out.

LK
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved the whole experience at Chef Shack! The patio is perfect for a cocktail and the whole venue is quite charming. After we were seated, we received a welcome drink (bourbon punch) . Both the sausage and the tomatoes and burrata were delicious appetizers - they were both so fresh and flavorful! I had the trout and my husband had the brisket that basically melted in your mouth. The chocolate pot de creme was the perfect way to finish the meal :)

JJ
Minneapolis
11 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Second time here, and it was as good as we remembered. We will definitely be back.

L
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cozy and charming; the food was fantastic as was the cocktails.

PH
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent dinner. The cocktail we had was delicious, and the meal was wonderful.

CD
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We boated in from Red Wing and docked at the camp ground in Bay City. It was a short walk to the restaurant. We had a wonderful experience! Outstanding service and the food was amazing. Staff was more than accommodating! We are going to plan to get a group from our marina to boat in soon!

LA
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Girlfriend Get-Away weekend to the area, first time to the Chef Shack, recommended by our Airbnb host. Service was wonderful and the food was exceptional. We had the fresh trout, salmon and green Thai curry - all three were so delicious. Desserts Heavenly! The burnt honey ice cream was my favorite and I could have eaten a quart right then and there, the lavender vanilla custard, so creamy and luscious and choc. pot o cream, divine. Highly recommend this location. The only feedback I would have would be for the addition of tea light candles on the dining tables and a sweet little votive of fresh flowers! Would fit their funky French flare and be a lovely touch to the overall ambience. Simple touches to elevate the overall décor.

S
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chef Shack Bay City is a bona fide 'diamond in the rough'.
There is little to note from the outside of the building that houses the Chef Shack, and you'd be right in assuming that it appears to be nothing more than a typical small town lunch counter. However, once you open the door, you immediately sense how delightfully wrong that assumption was.
The ambiance has a light, fresh rustic quality that is in perfect harmony with the seasonal foods that are wonderful examples of farm to table thoughtfulness. With this in mind the menu rewards both new and regular diners with a choice selection of mindfully prepared courses that showcase the flavor of freshness and the creative skill that resides in the kitchen.
We feel lucky to have such a unique place to frequent and always look forward to the next visit.

k
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful! Carrie and Lisa are very welcoming, and service very professional. Food great too.

S
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

We love that little place. It felt a bit chaotic this time, because most of the tables were filled and staff were rushing around, apologizing. I got elbowed in the head by one. We had a reservation and waited at the bar until a table was ready. We were not asked if we wanted a cocktail by the bartender. The food flavor was great, but the portions were very small, and I left there hungry. They had run out of two of the offered entrees by 6:30 as well as wine that was on their list.
We would go back for a cocktail. It’s just too pricey for the amount of food you get.

w
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chef Shack Bay City is a treasure. Must visit and always on my day trip go to list...brunch, dinner, whenever I have the time - it's MORE than worth the trip.

KM
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We celebrated Father's Day at the Chef Shack and followed our dining experience with a walk along the lake. Although this little gem is only about 20 minutes from my home, I'd never been there. Now that I have been, I'm pretty certain I'll be back.

C
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Best food in the area. Chef driven, local, preparation, presentation is perfect. Always something new to try and favorites remain. Love the seasonal choices. Good coffee.

BE
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our favorite restaurant. We enjoy taking out-of-town guests here.

CF
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great...would suggest they include bread with the meals as paying extra for the small pieces of bread and butter, which wasn't anything out of the ordinary, seemed a bit beneath such an establishment!

B
Minneapolis
53 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had intended to dine at another one of our favorite restaurants in the area we have been going to for @ 30 years but decided to try the Chef Shack tonight instead. I was surprised to be able to here reservations on short notice. From the time we entered the restaurant and were warmly greeted by the hostess in had a good feeling we had made the right choice. There is a limited selection menu, but all the options were excellent. We enjoyed a beet salad and smoked salmon for appetizers and then moved on to our main courses of Trout and rac of lamb. Both were excellent!
We had great food and excellent service. I would recommend this gem in Bay City!

OT
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ever since learning of Chef Shack, it’s been on the “must visit” list. This was the weekend....The 4 hour drive was worth every bit of the experience. From the moment we walked in to the moment we left, the service was impeccable. And the food? A feast for the eyes as much as for the body. If you’re looking for something special, this is the place.

s
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our friends had not eaten there before. They congratulated us on this gem of a restaurant complete with a long, long wooden bar that dates from the 20s. Our table was historically appointed with old china, silver and an enticing menu. The place has an interesting flair, the music was wonderful and turned low. We could actually talk easily to our friends. We 4 tried all of the small plate items and a couple of the entrees along with 2 desserts. There were no disappointments. We can’t wait to go again, such fun to introduce friends to this lovely and satisfying dining experience! Did I mention the service? Again, 5 star.

L
Tampa
115 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I travel constantly and eat out all of time around the country, however this was one of the best restaurant experiences I have had recently. Restaurant is in a tiny town on the Mississippi River in Bay City, Wisc. The place is an old converted bar, and is very rustic. However, don't let the little town or the rustic look fool you. The chef(s) here know how to make some terrific food. We were given a delectable aperitif when we arrived, and then seated when we finished those. Great selection of cocktails and a decent wine list. We ordered a sampler plate of appetizers and they were spectacular. We also had the two salads on the menu, and they couldn't have been fresher or more tasty. They had 4 entrees on the menu and we ended up ordering all four, and each was spectacular. The trout, lamb chops, brisket, and the thai curry shrimp were so delicious and full of flavor, with each being cooked perfectly. We also had the baked Alaska and crème brulee and they were also just perfect. We will definitely come back again when we travel back to this part of the country. HIGHLY RECOMMEND, YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.

AC
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Much as I’d like to keep this gem of a restaurant a secret for myself and my close circle of epicures, these chefs deserve popular success. There should be a line out the door every night they’re open. I’ll be in it.

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