With the farm-to-table movement bigger than ever, local product is all the rage.
Alabama’s known for good food, which means there are always lots of new restaurants popping up all over the state. And whenever they’ve got seafood on the menu, there’s a pretty good chance they’re serving the good stuff.
As expected, 2017 saw the opening of several new restaurants serving fresh Alabama Gulf Seafood product. Check out our list, then pay ‘em a visit soon—you might just find your new favorite restaurant.
Ed’s Seafood Shed (Spanish Fort)
Now, we know what you’re thinking; yes, Ed’s Seafood Shed has been a Gulf seafood mainstay on the Mobile Bay Causeway for almost two decades now. But it did just change hands, as the original owners decided to retire and hand the keys over to Pete Blohm, best known for Panini Pete’s Café and Sunset Grille at Fly Creek Marina.
As he said in an interview with AL.com, Blohm won’t be doing a complete overhaul of the menu, keeping the “greatest hits” intact while adding a bit of his own spin. Nevertheless, diners can still expect great Alabama seafood in all shapes and sizes.
The Pizitz Food Hall really changed the game for downtown Birmingham, bringing several new and local eateries to one central location, with lots of menu diversity.
One of the hottest spots at the Pizitz is Fero, a lovely restaurant that touts coastal Italian fare made with Southern ingredients—and you can bet that second part means there’s fresh Alabama seafood on the menu. Stop by and give it a try, and tell Chef Akhtar Nawab we sent you.
The Rougaroux (Birmingham)
The Magic City got a heavy dose of the Crescent City last year thanks to The Rougaroux, a casual Louisiana-inspired restaurant and bar that opened in the fall.
If you love Cajun cuisine, they’ve got it all—po’ boys, gumbo, boudin, you name it. And naturally, they feature fresh Alabama Gulf Seafood on the menu. It’s the next best thing to a trip to New Orleans.
Salt / Beach Street Bistro (Orange Beach)
Chef Chris Sherill made a name for himself on the Gulf Coast as the culinary mastermind of the Flora-Bama Yacht Club, and in 2017, he took the next step in his career by opening not one but two restaurants.
Located at the San Roc Cay Marina, Sherrill’s flagship restaurant, Salt, specializes in Alabama coastal cuisine with fresh, local produce—and you better believe Sherrill’s NUISANCE Group will have an influence on the menu. The accompanying restaurant, Beach Street Bistro, will also feature Alabama seafood in a breakfast/lunch setting. For more on Sherrill’s new restaurants, check out our feature from last summer.
Southern National (Mobile)
Mobile’s historic Wilkins-Higgins Building got a whole lot tastier in 2017 when the team behind Southern National moved in. And they brought a whole lot of prestige with them—Chef Duane Nutter and restaurateur Reggie Washington were behind the food, beverage & operations program at the two-time James Beard nominated One Flew South.
Chef Nutter, a Louisiana native, is unsurprisingly a seafood aficionado, and Alabama Gulf Seafood is as near to his heart as it is his menu. Shrimp, oysters, fish, crab, you name it. You don’t have to take our word for it either; ask Garden & Gun, Southern Foodways Alliance, or Mobile Bay Magazine.
The Yard (Birmingham)
Birmingham’s historic Elyton Hotel reopened last summer, and with it came The Yard, the latest fine dining spot in the downtown area.
Their menu displays a commitment to “Southern progressive cuisine” (we like the sound of that), and Chef Haller Magee, who has been nationally recognized in Best Chefs of America, is committed to serving fresh, local seafood product whenever possible. Sounds like we just figured out your next birthday dinner.
2018 is already shaping up to be quite a year for new Alabama restaurants, including new concepts from our friends Chef David Bancroft, Chef Adam Evans, and Bob Baumhower on the way.
Did we miss anything? If you don’t see your favorite new Alabama Gulf Seafood spot on our list, let us know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages.