The CPFB recently paid a visit to Bay Harbor on a Wednesday during the off-season (only open for HalloWeekends) of Cedar Point. That meant crowds were low to non-existent, which was the perfect time to dine with kids at Bay Harbor.
Bay Harbor offers a Wednesday night Pasta special, where a number of their select pasta dinners are only $15. In addition, select a Garden or Caesar salad for $5.
$50 and under bottles of wine are half off and select house wines are only $5 per glass.
Upon being seated, our kids were given kids menus, with coloring games, as well as a package of washable markers to share. Kids love markers compared to crayons, which is a major reason we think our kids were occupied with their menus for so long. Great idea to provide kids with markers to color! (Update: On our 10/21/15 visit, crayons were handed out instead of markers)
Pasta night included the following featured options for $15.
Pasta Pomodoro (Fresh tomato sauce, roasted sweet peppers, Mozzarella, basil Parmesan cheese with spinach fettuccine)(Add chicken or shrimp for $3)
Chicken Carbonara (Julienne chicken breast, cheese tortellini, bacon, and Alfredo sauce)
Cajun Shrimp Alfredo (Sauteed shrimp, roaster red peppers, onion, tomato tossed with linguini in a creamy Cajun sauce)
Chicken Picatta (Sauteed chicken breast in a lemon butter cream sauce with capers and Crimini mushrooms over angel hair pasta)
Chicken Parmesan (Parmesan crusted chicken breast topped with housemade marinara sauce, served with linguini pasta)
Bistro Shrimp Pasta (Beer battered shrimp, tomatoes, Crimini mushrooms, basil tossed with linguini in a garlic lemon cream sauce)
Seafood Pesto (Scallops and shrimp tossed in angel hair pasta in a pesto cream sauce)
Our one son decided to start off his meal with a freshly made Caesar salad. The salad was nicely prepared with crisp romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, homemade croutons, and shaved Parmesan cheese.
The salad was very well received, and was excellent and full of flavor. Our only complaint were the croutons were not crisp, and tasted kind of stale, but otherwise, very good.
We also selected to order the house salad with ranch dressing. The vegetables were all fresh and crispy, and it was a nice, refreshing start to the meal.
Both of our two older kids elected to order the kids macaroni and cheese meal. We were honestly quite surprised to see that the mac & cheese was the simple, straight out of the box Kraft version and not housemade. While we see the appeal of providing kids with the version of mac & cheese what they generally love, at a high end restaurant such as Bay Harbor, we expected to see them put their own unique twist on the meal.
The kids meals were also served with a battered potato wedge. These fries were excellent, and while none of our kids are fry fans, both the parents thoroughly enjoyed dipping them in a our pasta sauces or eating them on our own.
For our entrees, we elected to order the Bistro Shrimp Pasta and Chicken Picatta. Both pasta entrees were served with a slice of bread baked with a large portion of melted cheese.
The bread was so good, I may have considered trading my entire meal for a basket of the cheesy creation. The melted cheese provided for an excellent contrast to the crispy bread and was perfected toasted.
The Bistro Pasta was served with five larger beer battered shrimp. I was excited that the meal was served with Crimini mushrooms, but disappointed in how few were served in the dish. If the Bistro Pasta would have been served with as many Crimini mushrooms that were served in the Chicken Picatta, we would have been more impressed. Overall we enjoyed the Bistro Shrimp, but the Chicken Picatta, one of our house favorites, was better. The Chicken Picata had a nice lemon butter flavor, and the chicken was nicely pounded thin. The angel hair pasta was also a nice accompaniment.
The portions of both pastas was substantial enough to take half home for a second meal. This makes the CPFB extremely happy because one of our pet peeves about pasta restaurants is when they try and skimp on the portion size.
Overall, we were really impressed not only by the atmosphere of Bay Harbor, but also the high quality of the food.
Update 1/7/15: Our family enjoyed the Bay Harbor Pasta Night so much, that we returned for another visit, this time with some extended family.
Several guests ordered the Chicken Picatta, made with a nice lemon butter sauce paired with the saltiness of capers.
The Pasta Pomodoro was beautifully presented with nice contrasting colors of red and green. Topped with shaved Parmesan.
The Seafood Pesto was served with 5 tail-on shrimp and 3 large seared scallops. The pesto was subtly mixed into the cream sauce. We would have liked to see a little more pesto to really bring out the flavor, but overall, very good.
On this trip we elected to go with the Chicken Picatta and Chicken Parmesan.
In order to pull off Chicken Picatta effectively, the dish has to be made with the right amount of lemon juice so as not to overpower the flavor, yet not have too little juice, and lose the essence of the meal. Sadly on this visit, the Chicken Picatta was a miss, as there was not enough lemon juice to adequately flavor the dish. The pasta and chicken were well prepared, but were drowned by the bland sauce.
Having tried the majority of the pasta dishes at Bay Harbor, we can confidently say that the Chicken Parmesan is our absolute favorite. The chicken was well flavored and crispy, yet moist and tender. The red sauce was excellent and paired well with the linguine.
Since the Chicken Parmesan was served with two pieces of meat, it was easy to portion the dish for half now, and half to take home for later.
Tips to Dining at Bay Harbor
Make sure to keep a copy of your parking receipt, regardless of the time of year. Bay Harbor will either reimburse you the cost of parking or take the cost of parking off your bill.
Everyone that visits Cedar Point should at the least go into Bay Harbor and order an appetizer to get reimbursed their parking fee. That in itself makes it one of the best hidden values in the park.
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