Fresh views, fresh fish
Creative seafood menu at esteemed Bay City establishment is complimented by next-day freshness from sources.

By Megan Westers
Photography by Andrew Jowett

With a deck and patio overlooking the Saginaw River, diners at Bay City’s newest seafood establishment, Real Seafood Co. Bay City, are treated to a delightful alfresco experience during the warmer months of the year. Its airy, contemporary-style dining room also provides a year-round view. But what draws most customers to this well-known name that opened in Uptown Bay City in 2015 is simply the fish.

“We really do offer the freshest seafood around,” Real Seafood Co. chef Aaron Musinski said. “Some of our dishes are more classic (seared scallops, for example) and others might have an Asian flair to them (Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass). Or sometimes, we’ll create more of a trendy dish (Citrus Chipotle BBQ Shrimp). It just depends on what we want to do.”

One look at the extensive menu confirms the upscale restaurant is a seafood lover’s haven, whether starting with crab-stuffed avocado appetizers or tuna, shrimp and oysters from the Raw Bar to the house specialties or the fresh catch of the day, which can be prepared seven different ways from Shanghai style or blackened to broiled.


“(After we receive it), we keep our fish for a maximum of three days,” General Manager Ryan McHenry said. “Honestly, it’s the freshest you’re going to get without being on the East Coast.”

Real Seafood Co. serves seafood from the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico, along with fresh Great Lakes fish like whitefish, walleye and perch. Seafood sourced from around the globe is overnight shipped as soon as it’s caught and prepared.

The ambiance of Real Seafood Co. is as fresh as the food.

“If the patio is open, it’s almost always full,” McHenry said. The large deck overlooking the river is a great spot to sit outside with a meal or a glass of wine and enjoy the view and the ships passing by. The restaurant’s patio has an outdoor bar, heaters and umbrellas to shade their guests. It also is next to the restaurant’s dock, where boaters can tie up their vessels for easy, waterfront access. “Our capacity literally doubles when the patio is open,” McHenry said. The indoor capacity is about 180. — See the current issue for the full story.