January 15, 2012

Bayou Fish House and York Street Cafe

I drive down York Street in Newport quite often and pass Bayou Fish House every time.  I've been waiting and waiting to check it out (no idea why I've waited) and decided Friday was the perfect time for some comfort food.  It was the evening of the snow, it didn't really snow, it was actually more like a bunch of snow flakes blowing around from one place to the next in freezing wind but it kept everyone else in their houses and allowed us to get front-row parking all night long.

I used a groupon I purchased several months ago for 2 fish dinners including 2 drinks.  The space is small but open and I like that you can see the food prep; almost gave it that eat-in kitchen feel.  We were greeted and received a description of the different types of fish ranging from light to full flavored in terms of fishyness.  The menu is basic and includes 3 varieties of fish meals for $6.95 and the shrimp meal for $8.95.  Each meal includes one side and separately the sides are $2.25 each including fries, slaw and gumbo.

I ordered the whiting and Katie II ordered cod.  We each went with a side of fries and I added on a side of the gumbo in addition to the complementary grilled onions and peppers. Our food was ready in about 10 minutes and our eyes lit up when it was placed in front of us.  I sprinkled a small dusting of salt over everything and went to town.  The thin filets of whiting had a nice flavor and were generously coated in crunchy batter which was substantial and hearty. The meal didn't come along with the usual puddle of grease underneath everything.  The fish was crunchy but not too crunchy and the fries were nice and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. I took a bite of the cod and it was delicious as well, tender and a much meatier fish than the whiting.    

The fish was great, the fries were prepared to my liking but the gumbo was my favorite part.  The flavorful brown broth was full of rice, sausage, okra and chicken.  It wasn't mild but wasn't so spicy I had to take sweat breaks between bites and it paired nicely with the fish.

Bonus points for offering Mr. Pibb...

The service was also one of my favorite parts.  Two people were running everything on this unusually slow night (due to the snow) but the owner told us it is typically standing room only.  And I believe it. I would put up with a little bit of discomfort for this food.  Bayou is about 1.5 miles from my house and a quick drive but will make a nice walk in the warmer months.  I already know what I'm going to order on my second trip- fried shrimp with gumbo and cole slaw.  Their 2nd location will be opening in Price Hill on Price Avenue in about a week. 

We decided to head out for a drink after dinner and went up one block to York Street Cafe.  I dined at York Street about 2 years ago and Katie II use to swing dance here but  neither of us had been recently.  They seated us on the couches which lent itself to some nice people watching.  It gave me a bird's eye view of the restaurant and I honestly could not stop staring at everyone and all the delicious looking trays of food that passed us.  Must organize a girl's night here soon!

We each ordered a drink and just as I was wondering-out-loud what their dessert menu was like I looked over and saw a counter full of cakes.  The server brought over a listing of one of the best selections of home-made cakes I have ever seen.  We went with the Lemon Buttermilk but they also had a banana mocho cake, butter rum cake and a flourless chocolate tort to name a few.  The cakes are all made in-house and they will prepare them by request for birthdays and special events at the restaurant; just need to give them at least a week's notice.
I love lemon flavored anything but this cake was to die for; even though I was stuffed beyond belief I couldn't stop taking bite after bite.  The frosting was silky and flavored with just enough lemon intensity.  The cake was great too and I've been busy scouring the internet for made-from-scratch cake recipes so I can replicate this.

Another great evening in the KY.  I think most people would be amazed at the awesome independent restaurants Newport has to offer if they would step away from the Levee.  I'm determined, at some point in the near future, to eat my way down Monmouth Street.  Sounds like fun, don't you think?

Bayou Fish House (Newport) on Urbanspoon

York St. Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. Great Write up on Bayou FH. Can you add that to Urbanspoon?

  2. I added the Urbanspoon html after posting the review but I think it takes them up to 5 days to approve it and publish on their site. Should be there in the next day or so!

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