As fun (and affordable) as it can be to cook fresh Alabama Gulf Seafood in your own kitchen, sometimes you just have to leave it to the professionals.
Alabama is known across the world for its food, and our restaurateurs are a big part of that reputation. That’s why we love highlighting and supporting our local restaurants that serve Alabama Seafood—especially when they’re just getting started.
We’re delighted to present our 2018 Restaurant Round-Up, a list of our friends in the industry who opened up a new restaurant (or expanded their current operation) last year. Keep in mind, folks, the first year in a restaurant’s life is absolutely crucial, so it’s important to support our friends and neighbors early and often.
Stop by one of these new seafood spots sometime soon (and tell ‘em we sent you!).
In case you haven’t heard, Birmingham’s culinary scene is pretty hot these days. And one of the hottest new neighborhood eateries is the appropriately named Ash.
Chef/owner Mark Driskill, former lead grill cook at Highlands Bar & Grill and head chef at Bottega Café, has created a delicious array of comfort foods perfect for date nights, family gatherings, and everything in between. The revolving menu is constantly changing, but you’ll find Gulf shrimp and other tasty Alabama seafood product on there.
Blueprint On 3rd (Birmingham)
When you grow up in a farm town like Dean Robb did, you learn to appreciate fresh, homemade foods. That’s the sort of passion that Robb brought to his newest restaurant venture, Blueprint on 3rd.
On this menu, you’ll find delicious Gulf seafood fare like fried oysters, voodoo shrimp, blue crab claws, smoked trout—and that’s just the appetizers. And if you opt for the Southern Fried Chef’s Catch or the Fish of the Day, there’s a good chance it’ll come from right here in Alabama.
Whistling Table (Birmingham)
Food trucks have been taking over Birmingham for a few years now. It’s no surprise, then, that one of the Magic City’s most popular food trucks (Shindigs) paved the way for a new brick and mortar spot.
Chef/owner Mac Russell’s new concept, The Whistling Table, features several Shindigs favorites and Gulf seafood like Tuna and Shrimp, plus lots of other fresh and healthy options including farm-to-table ingredients grown on Russell’s own family farms. It doesn’t get much fresher than that, folks!
Fin & Fork (Orange Beach)
The aptly named Matt & Regina Shipp have been staples of the Gulf Coast restaurant scene for years, and their newest concept is already a big hit in Orange Beach.
Sure, you knew that Fin & Fork would be serving the freshest possible fare. But did you know that they’re one of few Orange Beach restaurants to feature a true scratch kitchen where their signature dishes are prepared fresh each day? Throw in a house-made sushi bar and you’ve got an amazing resource for Alabama Seafood.
Playa (Orange Beach)
From the beautiful dockside dining to their Southern Grace chef dinner series, the team behind Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina is a shining star in the coastal seafood community.
Thankfully for us, owner Johnny Fisher and James Beard nominee Chef Bill Briand expanded their map in 2018 with Playa at Sportsman Marina. If you love what you’ve had at Fisher’s, you’ll love the tropical twist they’ve put on their new concept, including fresh Gulf seafood (of course) and tacos on homemade tortillas. We’d recommend following them on Instagram too if you want to treat your taste buds!
Coastal (Gulf Shores)
The name might give it away, but yes, we can confirm that the folks at Coastal (emphasis on the “AL”) serve a bevy of fresh Alabama Seafood options.
From Chargrilled Oysters to Royal Red Shrimp to Blue Crab Claws to the Fresh Catch Sandwich, you can’t go wrong with this menu, folks. They’re closed at the moment for some winter renovations, but make your plans now to join them for the grand reopening in February!
Perch, Foodcraft, & The Woodside Restaurant (Gulf Shores)
Alabama’s Gulf State Park has always been a gorgeous display of natural coastal scenery. And as of late last year, they’ve quickly become a dining destination for locals and comfort for vacationers as well.
Last month, The Woodside Restaurant made its debut at the park, boasting a fresh array of farm-to-table (and sea-to-table) dishes. They also promote park cleanliness as one of their missions—in December, picking up litter in the park would earn you a free coffee or hot cocoa.
And just one month earlier, the newly renovated The Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton hotel, reopened its doors after a 14-year hiatus due to storm damage. Naturally, they’re boasting some excellent dining options in-house, including Perch, focusing on “the highest-quality products from trusted local fishermen and regional farmers and producers,” and Foodcraft, a “fun, filling, family-oriented dining experience showcasing extraordinary cuisine.”
Did you open up a restaurant in 2018 that serves Alabama Gulf Seafood? Let us know and we’d love to add it to our list!