Chef Shack Bay City

4.4
66 reviews
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$31 to $50
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French
Top Tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Local Ingredients
  • Worth the Drive
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 publics delight weekends only each year through New Years eve.
Creating a" hidden and hard to find" secret dining experience and exceeding expectations.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
French, American
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Hours of operation
Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm;
Sunday: 10:00am - 2:00pm
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Phone number
(715) 594-3060
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer
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Catering
We can craft a chefs feature menu for you,
Or pick up cuisines on platters for
Takeaway
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Wabash
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Parking details
Abundant off street parking
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Public transit
None
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, High Tea, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 66 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

We didn't like sitting so close to the other tables. The rib eye steak was tough.

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CM
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

very disappointing, fruit not ripe and meager; had better quiche from Costco

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CO
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It's our favorite restaurant, and we've been going there for years. It never disappoints.

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OT
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fabulous!!!!

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AG
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

The food is good but the service was atrocious. There was confusion about what server had our table resulting in unacceptable stretches between anyone coming by. We told them we were unhappy and the offered us NOTHING as a remedy, this with haute cuisine prices. Too bad because it is a cute spot in a location where nothing much is available, but the service and lack of concern about it left such a bad taste we won’t be going back.

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MJ
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

At nearly a $200 tab for wine, appetizer, 2 salads , 2 entrées, one scoop of ice cream and two coffees, this meal was not a good value. Also, I don't think you become a semi-finalist for James Beard Best Chef Midwest with the way the Steak Frites was plated Saturday evening!

But given the proximity, I'm sure we'll be back one day to try again.

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JS
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This trip to Bay City expressly to eat what Lisa and Carrie have prepared, tho this year we invited friends to join us. Everything, from the amuse bouche to the desserts was fantastic!

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MM
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Attentive, high quality, the place should be packed each weekend!

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G
Minneapolis
20 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We always enjoy: worth the drive

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SR
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The patio is a pristine setting. You like your dining in someone's home. Pork plate had a nice smoke flavor and homemade hot sauce was packed with flavor. Sangria is a can't miss

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OT
Minneapolis
10 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent French style cooking in a casual atmosphere

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BE
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was excellent, as always! We really enjoyed having a drink out on the deck.

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P
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

We enjoyed the ambiance and drink very much. While the food in the past was excellent, our entrees were on the dry side and not very interesting. We thought the wait for our main course was too long, almost an hour after we ordered. Our appetizer was excellent as was the custard dessert. Wait staff was very pleasant and attentive.

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N
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place. So cozy and tasty. We drive down from St. Paul for Brunch and never have been disappointed. Worth the drive - see the sites and taste the local food. Next time we go for Dinner.

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M
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

While Bay City is not exactly where one would expect excellent cuisine, you can definitely get it at Chef Shack. Food is fresh and creative, and serving size won't disappoint midwestern appetites. The escargot was a great hit at our table, not just for its preparation with ramps and capers, but also for its generous serving and plenty of bread for dipping in the sauce. The creamy cheese curds also had a wonderful dipping sauce. The vegetarian at our table was pleased with the pasta prepared just for him. The smoked pork was amazing, sitting on a stack of puff pastry and potatoes. Overall, the wines were reasonably priced and there was a good selection cocktails and draft beers. For dessert, we highly recommend the burnt honeycomb ice cream. Definitely worth returning the next time we're in WI.

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CN
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Our favorite restaurant! We try to get there every week!

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P
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A lovely surprise on a beautiful river drive. What looks like a “shack” is a true gem.

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PB
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Chef Shack is a local gem that I had never heard of. Pierce County WI is not known for find dining, but Chef Shack is a highlight featuring ingredients from local farmers, prepared in imaginative, beautiful, utterly delicious ways. Highly recommended.

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g
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

There were some highlights (the burnt honeycomb ice cream). But the main bbq (pork and beef were ordered) were dry and without flavor. Too bad.

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LS
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our tastebuds were completely delighted with the fantastically seasoned offerings. The escargot was perfect, chicken pate incredibly creamy and our entrees were delightful. The food brought smiles to our lips...a perfect date night. Can’ t wait to go back!!!

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CT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our favorite restaurant. We're so lucky to have Chef Shack in our neck of the woods. Every meal is perfect. Many special touches. I've never eaten radish greens before. Great. The atmosphere is lovely, calm (even tho the staff is very busy) and elegant. We always leave with a special feeling. Keep up the good work!

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N
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on May 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This little gem south of St. Paul by and hour is the perfect place for a little get away.
The drive along Wisconsin 35 is picturesque with the destination just as lovely.

We went for a Sunday drive and Brunch and were not disappointed. The ambience is shabby chic with a vibe that makes you feel relaxed and at home. The menu is approachable and filled with delightfully seasonal accents.

Look them up - you can also find them closer - we are fans of the Chef Shack on Franklin and there food truck.

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BM
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic. Yes the fries could be a bit wetter and served hot. The mass of food we ordered might not have been served all at once. But, frankly every bit was delightful. The duck was exceptional, the steak lovely with the hen butter, the pate and ... it was all great. And not expensive. I would drive the hour to eat there even if I wasn’t staying down near Bay City for a weekend off. Wonderful. Do not miss this opportunity to taste the best food.

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MN
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Food was very tasty and presentation was good. Our bill was $254.00 including a $40 tip (20%). My wife an I split a bottle of red wine and our guests had one glass each of white wine. I had the $39 rib-eye with long potatoes fry sticks and the other three had the fish. I had plenty to eat but the other male seemed to be looking for more food after he quickly consumed his fish. My rib-eye was a little to rare for me and I like my steak more on the pink side. For the price, I would suggest they use a better cut of meat like a porterhouse. I’ve had rib-eye sandwiches for $7 from a food truck that were just as tasty and nearly as large in portion. The potatoes quickly cooled off and then were less appealing. I had the spinach side dish which was tasty but again expensive for the amount (small bowl). I think that was around $9. Loved the service and atmosphere. Very nice evening and noise level for having conversation. These are big city prices in a little river unsophisticated town. Their clientele will be rich city folks that have a weekend home on the bluff overlooking beautiful Lake Pepin and don’t mind or know better that they are paying $60 each for a meal that has food costs each under $10. But maybe that is what it takes today to survive when the restaurant is small, food is quality and the service is excellent. It’s not cheap to build a restaurant, have good help, and make a decent living. It was a nice place to take our friends. Glad I hadn’t picked the place and they were responsible for the bill. Give it a try if you aren’t too concerned about overpaying or you like supporting good chefs that deserve a fair living return for their talent, hard work and vision.

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J
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed an awesome family meal here. Our server was outstanding, recommended great and affordable wine, and everything was timed perfectly. There was a guest chef- Stewart Woodman - which was exciting, and we were most impressed with the beautiful casual ambiance of the place, tucked away in little Bay City, WI.

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BO
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

I think the brunch items would benefit from some breakfast items. For example, the duck confit was much better with an egg that I ordered. I did only receive the egg after I was half done eating the dish, but it was good. My friend's pancakes were not--they were doughy and heavy. Steak and salad was enjoyed by my husband, but again an egg would have greatly improved that dish.
I had expected more, but it was generally good.

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CK
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a rustic french restaurant on the east shore of Lake Pepin (just across the river from Red Wing). It is small and intimate and the food is exceptional and reminded us of meals we have enjoyed in southern France. The service was outstanding, the very good wine moderately priced and even the dessert features a pudding topped with wild grape jelly from grapes harvested on their property last year. Great value....we will be back again.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Best Chef in the neighborhood, please support! The New Years Eve pri fix menu was a perfect way to end their season. We will be back in the Spring!

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CO
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this restaurant. Our favorite.

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Brilliant multi course New Year’s Eve meal, prepared and presented with love. I am fortunate to have this restaurant in my neighborhood.

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N
Milwaukee
5 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were there for the pris fixe New Years menu. We love this place because food and service is consistently excellent and we never know what is on the menu.

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OT
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Cozy with nice ambiance overall. Healthy Food prepared nicely; with good size servings. Reasonable price considering quality and taste. Definitely would go back.

Cute and quaint spot away from the city.

Tom

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BE
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is never a disappointment!
As you can see, the Bloody Mary's are a meal in themselves!

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DL
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent as always

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our dinner was just awesome. So nice to find such a great place close to our favorite weekend getaway.

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

A great place to eat when driving from the Twin Cities to Lake Pepin.
The food choices are always inviting and satisfying.

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N
Milwaukee
5 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never know what's on the menu and never disappointed. They take very good care of their guests and you feel pampered and appreciated.

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OT
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Cannot wait to get back to this gem of a place. From end to end, the meal was outstanding. Staff personable and just the right amount of friendly. Love, love, love.

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was a total gem. My husband and I both loved our food very much. The tomato mozzarella salad and the Thai dish was the best I had ever had. They used all fresh ingredients. We travel all over the country and it was really surprising to find a gourmet restaurant in such a remote place. Don't let the name Chef Shack fool you. Highly recommend this place!

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The menu for the Chdf Shack was very limited. Two lamb dishes (chops and ribs) and a Duck. The only other dish offered the night we dined was a scallops in a Tai curry sauce. Since the parties were not duck or lamb friendly we all had the scallops with salads and appetizers. The appetizers were fresh and flavorful, although small plates.

When the scallops arrived, we were surprised that they were dime size and appeared to be from a bag of frozen seafood, not a scale or flavor we expected from a supposed top rated venue. The curry sauce was ok, a small scoop of jasmine rice complemented the dish, was more like a stew or soup.

Overall for the price of a Minneapolis downtown restaurant, this rural venue was quite disappointing both in the selection and the quality of the food, with medium high pricing and an arrogant staff, we will find it hard to return.

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