Ray's Waterfront Restaurant
1316 4th Ave
Perhaps owner Ray Simutis's fifteen years of knowledge and experience as an Alaskan commercial fisherman is why the fish at Ray's Waterfront restaurant is so tasteful and incredibly fresh. The talented cooking staff from around the country who prepare the creative and delicious American and Asian influenced dishes make this restaurant a landmark. This is a must visit when in Seward for a luncheon or evening dining experience, especially after a Kenai Fjords Tour or a Renown Charter Cruise. Just go to the Seward small boat harbor and look for the lighthouse by the city docks.
The menu is diverse--something for everyone and for every nosh desire. They even have a children's menu. The seafood dishes are excellent with the plank salmon and Halibut Andaman being house favorites. Like with everything else, Ray's goes the extra step and serves the salmon on a cedar plank with the aroma of warm wood infused in the fish. The Signature and Ribeye steaks are a quality cut and perfectly prepared. All the portions are generous with a tasteful presentations. Other dishes include: Halibut Cheeks Rasario, Crab Cakes, Cioppino (a tomato based fish stew over linguine), juicy slices of rosemary spiced lamb, Black Pearl scallops, rosemary chicken and the very popular pan seared Thai seafood.
The salads are creative (reminds me of the Cheesecake factory) and most of the dressings are homemade. The appetizers provide choices as diverse as baked brie to steamed mussels or clams or a hot seafood dip. Ray's seafood chowder is famous and fantastic and the nine different burgers, fish and chips, french dip, and Santa Fe chicken and vegetarian dishes are popular at lunch. The wine list is extensive and reasonably priced.
Now for the setting. If the culinary experience isn't enough, the setting of Ray's Waterfront alone is a memorable experience. Overlooking the Seward small boat harbor, Ray's has a panoramic, breathtaking view of the mountains surrounding Resurrection Bay, through large glass windows in the dining room. You can view the colossal cruise ships in the harbor and the myriad of small boats from the private and fishing fleets, seals, otters, seagulls, and eagles.
The walls in Ray's bar are adorned with many of the local fish species found in the surrounding waters of Resurrection Bay and Prince William Sound, including a 400 lb. halibut. Next to each display is a description of the fish as if you were in a natural history museum. It's a great place to entertain guests, tourists and children while you eat.
Dining at Ray's is a visual feast and educational as well as a culinary experience.
Overlooking the Seward Small Boat Harbor. (Closed November-March)
(Submitted by Jeff Macktaz)
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