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Written By: Jenny Samuels
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Always sharing fun times inside and outside of work, the staff at Macky’s is a close-knit group that returns to the restaurant year after year.
Macky’s Bayside provided 10-year-old Nevaeh Steward with a handheld net for catching minnows in the bay. Happy Birthday, Nevaeh!
    Macky’s … where life is good! College-aged customers who frequent Macky’s Tuesday night theme parties and Thursday night Little Black Dress nights are familiar with this locally famous motto. This week, when I visited the bayfront restaurant on 54th Street, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Macky’s is also extremely family friendly. The dining room is packed with kids of all ages, and the youngest customers delight in a specialty frozen drink menu just for kids.
    The private sandy beach allows swimming, while handheld nets are available for kids to catch minnows and other bay wildlife. Plus, Macky’s Bayside will host an all-ages White Clam Open on Sunday, August 14, to benefit the Maryland Coastal Bays Program. This family event will award prizes to the individuals who catch the biggest clam and the most clams.
    The food at Macky’s Bayside is spectacular. The menu features an array of creative steak, pasta, and seafood entrées, such as the Shrimp and Scallops Creole—gulf shrimp, sea scallops, roasted onion, fettuccini, and Creole tomato sauce. Staffed with friends who are as close-knit as a family, Macky’s keeps loyal customers returning year after year. My mom, Nancy, and I eat dinner at Macky’s several times each summer, and she always orders the Tuscan Chicken Pasta, which is a healthy concoction of grilled chicken breast, asparagus, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, smoked bacon, parmesan, and penne pasta.
    This week, I dined at Macky’s Bayside with my wonderful boyfriend, Joey Steward, and his adorable daughter, Nevaeh, who turns 10 years old today. (Happy Birthday, Nevaeh!) Arriving just in time for a glorious sunset over the bay, we chose to sit at a four-top table in the breezy indoor dining area, which opens to the outdoor beach dining section. Our server was a cheerful lady named Joie, who recited the daily dinner specials. The first entrée special was Sautéed Chicken & Shrimp Fettuccini with fresh herb in a clam chowder sauce. The second entrée special was Seared Mahi Mahi topped with Jumbo Lump Crabmeat in a lobster cream sauce. Roasted Salmon was the fish of the day, prepared with tiger shrimp in a pineapple sesame sauce.
    Longtime Macky’s manager, Brian Acquavella, stopped by our table and pointed out a new addition to the entrées menu—Ahi Tuna. One of my favorite dinners, the Ahi Tuna at Macky’s Bayside is served medium rare and sesame crusted with citrus teriyaki and a honey-sriracha sauce. Like many of Macky’s entrées, it’s served with rice pilaf and a seasonal vegetable mix. Brian also recommends Macky’s signature item—Andouille Encrusted Grouper. “You won’t find this dish anywhere else,” says Brian when he describes the pan-seared grouper filet encrusted with andouille sausage and topped with gulf shrimp and cream Cajun tomato sauce. Lastly, Brian suggests the Crab Alfredo, a recently revamped recipe including jumbo lump crabmeat, tomatoes, and fettuccini in a rich basil flavored crab cream sauce.
    Another unique entrée at Macky’s Bayside is the Crab Augratin—jumbo lump crabmeat in a sherry cream sauce and a toasty cheddar crust. Classic seafood dishes—like Chicken Chesapeake and Maryland Style Crab Cakes—are available at Macky’s too. Texas Kick Ass Ribs, a 10-ounce Sirloin Steak, and a 12-ounce NY Strip are sure to please meat lovers. I recommend the BBQ Caribbean Shrimp—two skewers of fresh shrimp grilled and glazed with a citrus-Chile BBQ sauce and served with mango salsa.
    We started our feast with an order of Coconut Shrimp and Dotsy’s Delight Crab Dip. For Nevaeh, we ordered the Cold Cookie Monster frozen treat. Five golden fried shrimp encrusted in coconut and served with a Pan-Asian and mango dipping sauce with pineapple salsa, the Coconut Shrimp appetizer is Nevaeh’s favorite starter dish. Served with stone-wheat crackers in an edible sourdough bread bowl, the Crab Dip is definitely a crowd pleaser. My favorite appetizer at Macky’s Bayside is the Market Tomato Salad—thick sliced, fresh, local tomatoes with mozzarella cheese in a lemon vinaigrette, balsamic reduction, and basil oil. Steamed Shrimp is a staple on the happy hour menu, while Steamed Clams, Jerk Chicken, Super Chicken Nachos, and Fiesta Chicken Quesadilla top off the appetizers menu at Macky’s Bayside.
    For our main course, we shared the Ahi Tuna, Andouille Encrusted Grouper, and Three Way Sauté—jumbo lump crabmeat, gulf shrimp, sea scallops, vine ripe tomatoes, and mushrooms in a white wine herb-butter broth. Although it was a very close contest between the Grouper and Ahi Tuna, my top-ranked dish is the Ahi Tuna. Nevaeh loved the Three Way Sauté, as she used her fork to fish through the broth to find each and every last bite of lump crabmeat. “These plates are monstrous,” she remarked.
    Macky’s also offers an extensive selection of soups, salads, and lunch sandwiches. Try the Coconut Shrimp salad for a mix of coconut fried shrimp, pineapple, strawberries, toasted almonds, onion, tomato, and mixed greens in a citrus-sesame dressing. Or, select the Boaters Choice salad for fresh catch of the day atop mixed greens, Romaine lettuce, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, cucumbers, tomatoes, and sweet red onions. Pizza, burgers, and—of course—desserts top off the menu.
    The nightlife at Macky’s Bayside is always a guaranteed good time. Live bands on Sunday nights and deejays throughout the week pack the dance floor on the deck. Each Tuesday night is a theme party, followed by a photo contest on Facebook at Previous theme parties have been uniforms, superheroes, and redneck ball. Each Thursday night is a Little Black Dress party. Ladies, wear your favorite little black number and receive half-priced drinks all night long.
    Mark your calendar for Macky’s 5th Annual Beer Fest on August 3rd. Coed teams of four can sign up for free at 10 a.m. to compete for prizes. Call Macky’s at 410-723-5565 and ask for Brian Acquavella for details. Also, remember to bring your whole family for a day of fun during the White Clam Open at Macky’s Bayside on August 14.
    Located on the bayfront on 54th Street, Macky’s Bayside provides free car, bike, boat, and jet ski parking. Check out its website at . Visit the bar and restaurant today to find out why everyone agrees, “Macky’s … where life is good.”
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