PORT ORCHARD — Eating at the Bay Street Bistro “is like going to a friend’s house for dinner where they are both a good chef and host,” said owner Brady Miller.
Miller and his wife Deanna purchased the Bay Street Bistro in 2015 from then chef/owner John Strasinger, who opened it in 2010.
Miller said their purchase of the restaurant came when a previous buyer’s acquisition fell through; Miller said they wanted to keep the restaurant open in the community, and so he and his wife purchased Bay Street Bistro “spontaneously.”
Miller also works in strategic management, and Deanna Miller is in retail management, so restaurant management, while different, doesn’t seem like too much of a leap.
Since the bistro first opened its doors under Strasinger’s purview, the restaurant has utilized fresh, locally sourced ingredients and served dishes combining Northwest flavor with Italian and Mediterranean influences.
With the Millers in charge, that tradition has continued.
Deanna and Brady bought the restaurant in downtown Port Orchard because they loved it, Brady Miller said.
“It was adding culinary culture to our small town,” he said. “We thought it had a good foundation to improve and grow, as well as continue to expand the culinary culture.”
Bay Street Bistro has received various community-voted awards over the years, too, including runner-up in Best in Fine Dining in King 5’s “Evening Magazine” Best of Western Washington contest, as well as being ranked best seafood, best romantic spot, best steak and best Italian in various publications; they’re even rated high on Facebook (4.7 stars), Trip Advisor (4.5) and Yelp (4.5), which Miller described as “where typically the reviewers tend to submit critical reviews.”
“We have had some guests even say having the Bistro in Port Orchard was a checkmark in their decision to move to the area,” Miller said.
He added that some of the most popular dishes of their menu include the smoked pork chop in a marsala wine sauce, Julia’s boeuf bourguignon and fresh seafood dishes. Their full menu is available online at baystreetbistro.com/menu.
Furthermore, Miller said Bay Street Bistro has “themed, four-course Sunday Suppers every week, wine dinners the last Thursday of the month, as well as other special events such as the Scotch or bourbon dinners or Prime Rib Wednesday on the first Wednesday of the month.”
The bistro also has a number of creative cocktails; general manager Nathan Abbott said they come up with something new every week, including a stormy sea, which Abbott described as a “reverse cosmopolitan” and a gin fizz, which includes the use of egg whites.
“Our products and the way we use them make us very unique as a restaurant and bar,” Abbott said.
“(Bay Street Bistro) has more than doubled since we purchased it, and continues to grow year after year,” Miller said. “We are in the long process of opening an adjoining bar that will be the everyday version of the bistro, with more focus on wine, crafted cocktails and small bites, with a relaxing environment and light music.”
Miller added that the expansion, which will hopefully open by the end of October, will include an ongoing “chef’s table,” with custom-made meals.
“The Bay Street Bistro is consistently the best place for find dining in South Kitsap. What a treasure we are lucky to have!” said Emily D. in a review of the restaurant. “If you haven’t eaten there yet, what are you waiting for?”
For more information, visit baystreetbistro.com or facebook.com/BayStreetBistro. Bay Street Bistro is open 4-9 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday; and 4-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. THey are located at 834 Bay St., Port Orchard. Contact them at 360-602-0310 or through their website.
Michelle Beahm is the online editor for the Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at mbeahm@sound publishing.com.