Stephani’sBy the Bay remains open despite rumors

Published on Thu, Oct 27, 2005 by ara Nelson

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Stephani’s By the Bay remains open despite rumors

By Tara Nelson

Despite rumors of closure Stephani’s By the Bay restaurant in Birch Bay will remain open – at least until 2007.

The Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde Community in Oregon bought the property at a Whatcom County sheriff’s auction last November after the owners went into default by approximately $20 million. Stephani Smith, owner of the restaurant, said that her lease is valid at least until 2007.

“We’re staying open,” she said. “And we’re open seven days a week – even during the off season.”

Smith said she thinks rumors speculating her restaurant will close have been compounded by the sale of Sliders restaurant and the Birch Bay waterslides to Homestead Corporation and, recently, the closure of Bob’s OK Corral.

Smith and her husband Eric opened Stephani's Restaurant in 2002 after they sold their former Monroe restaurant, Stephani’s Main Street Café.

Six months after they were married, they decided to open their own restaurant. The popular restaurant on Birch Bay Drive specializes in seafood and makes changes to its menu four times a year, Smith said.
“Eric’s first culinary love is seafood and that’s reflected in the menu. That’s another part of why we sought a waterfront location.”

Their newest menu additions include the Shellfish Sampler Provencal ($18.99), a lemon, thyme and fennel-flavored broth with clams, mussels, prawns and scallops.

“It’s a very herbaceous broth,” Smith said.

She also recommends the True Cod Florentine ($14.99) Alaskan cod sautéed with cream, garlic, shallots and smoked bacon and served on a bed of fresh spinach or the Broiled Mahi Mahi ($15.99) basted in a citrus sauce and topped with crushed macadamia nuts..

When asked what her favorite dish on the menu was, Smith said she couldn’t decide.

“I love fresh seafood so it’s hard to decide,” she said. “The cashew-crusted halibut is good, but Eric’s seafood fettuccini is to die for.”
She also mentioned while many customers enjoy the waterfront view from their cedar deck in the summer, the restaurant’s fireplaces create a cozy atmosphere during the winter.

“In the wintertime, we have lovely, intimate fireplaces in the dining room,” she said.

Stephani’s By the Bay is open daily, year round from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Smith also noted the restaurant’s happy hour includes a $7.99 special light dinners menu from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The restaurant can be reached by calling 371-3724.