Fine Dining in Alabama
Sometime BBQ meets your dining needs, sometimes you just want a burger and fries, but when it's time for a great meal, here are some of Alabama's best choices.
Exterior of Highlands Bar & Grill
Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham
Frank Stitt’s Birmingham showplace came after an early career seeking out fine chefs from Alice Waters to Julia Child and working alongside to learn from the masters. Now he headlines the Birmingham fine dining scene with a personal blend of French-inspired Southern. He has been nominated repeatedly for James Beard awards. (Click here to see the feature on Stitt from the February 2012 issue of Business Alabama).
Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham
Not exactly French, not exactly Southern, not exactly California-style, but a unique blend that highlights Birmingham with local foods. This hotspot is celebrated at the highest levels, capturing a James Beard award this year.
Cotton Row, Huntsville
Chef James Boyce was inspired to create this flagship restaurant by the building that now houses it, and he now enjoys mixing French techniques with Southern flair in its kitchen. Local cheese, meats, eggs and vegetables make the cuisine special. (Click here to see the feature on chef James Boyce from the December 2011 issue of Business Alabama).
True Midtown Kitchen, Mobile
Chef Wesley True created the casually chic Midtown delight and continues to direct the menu, with his brother, Richard, running it day-to-day. Wesley has opened a new True in Montgomery at the site of the former Roux.
Bright Star, Bessemer
Bright Star has been in its current location since 1914, earning state landmark status in 1966. Greek interpretations give the Bright Star a unique flavor. The restaurant was given an American Classics Award by the James Beard Foundation in 2010. Seafood, fresh from the Gulf, is a specialty.
Café Dupont, Birmingham
Chef Chris Dupont, a proponent of the “slow food” movement, serves local ingredients in a variety of dishes from a menu that changes daily, all in a historic north Birmingham building. Cafe Dupont is one of the few in Alabama to hold a four-diamond rating from AAA.
360 Grille, Florence
Atop the Renaissance Tower at Florence’s Marriott, the 360 Grille serves American cuisine and boasts of the unparalleled view from its revolving perch.
Alice’s, Mentone Springs Hotel, Mentone
Alice’s opened just this year at Mentone Springs Hotel with a dinner menu featuring fresh fish and poultry specialties, served up in a unique
Amsterdam Café, Auburn
Fresh and local ingredients are fundamental at the Amsterdam, including produce from the restaurant’s own garden. Fresh Gulf seafood shares the table with specialties like duck and port tenderloin.
Bistro La Luna, Guntersville
Executive Chef Angela Hope offers a varied cuisine in a relaxed setting, just off the lake.
Look for a mix of seafood, local specialties and a breath of Italian at Frank Stitt’s Bottega.
Café Royal, Mobile
Tucked onto the ground floor of Mobile’s oldest skyscraper, the Van Antwerp Building, Café Royal’s menu includes an array of seafood and distinctive offerings, like veal osso bucco, seared duck and moussaka.
Camellia Café, Fairhope
Serving seafood and American cuisine, the Camellia Café is open for dinner only. It uses fresh local produce and seafood, when available, in creative Southern dishes.
Chez Fonfon, Birmingham
Inspired by the corner cafés of Paris, Chez Fonfon is a bistro with specialty French fare from steak tartare to escargot to trout sautéed in brown butter. It’s casual but the fare is definitely fine.
Chez Lulu, Mountain Brook
A restaurant designed to highlight the breads of Continental Bakery next door, Chez Lulu now features a well-chosen few entrees that can be the centerpiece of a four-course dinner.
Classic on Noble, Anniston
Seafood flown in daily highlights the menu options at Classic on Noble. David & Cathy Mashburn’s restaurant began as a catering firm, a service they still provide, but has grown to match the elegance of the 1894 Levy and Clark building it now inhabits.
Daniel George, Mountain Brook
An unpretentious setting serving elegant American food, Daniel George features Gulf seafood, wild and domestic game, meats and poultry, all complimented
with local produce.
Boat accessible fine dining in the Goose Pond Colony, the Docks features fresh and saltwater seafood with specialties like Thai pork medallions and Hawaiian ribeye.
One of the premier locations for fine dining in Tuscaloosa, Evangeline’s offers specialties like Tanglewood Farm Chicken, filet mignon and shrimp and grits under the eye of executive chef Jeff Schrimsher.
Fairhope Inn, Fairhope
From crawfish étoufée to champagne poached salmon, chef Tyler Kean offers a variety of tastes in a beautifully-furnished inn set in historic Fairhope.
Felix’s Fish Camp Grill, Mobile
While Felix’s is open for both lunch and dinner, if you time your visit just right, it offers a spectacular view of the sun setting over Mobile Bay. Visitors enjoy fresh Gulf seafood and steaks in classic Mobile recipes and new creations.
Fox Valley Restaurant, Helena
Atmosphere is casual, but menu features American and Southern foods with fresh seafood. Loyal customers rave about the crab cakes.
Garrett’s Restaurant, Montgomery
Chef Gary Garner has offered elegant dining on Montgomery’s east side since 1995. Duck, chicken and pork share a menu with fresh seafood and filet mignon with Garner’s bordelaise sauce.
Grand at Grand Hotel, Point Clear
Casual, upscale American dining features seafood, fresh produce and ingredients from the chef’s garden just outside the building.
Italian Euro Bistro, Enterprise
Enjoy live jazz weekends as you discover this big-city style restaurant in Enterprise.
Jesse’s Restaurant, Magnolia Springs
Whether you reach Jesse’s via the backroads of Baldwin County or by boat up the Magnolia River, you’ll find an unexpected treasure. Chef Gannon Leary prepares seafood, chops and a whiskey steak that’s earned kudos from diners.
La Jolla, Montgomery
Seafood heads the menu at La Jolla, including their take on San Francisco cioppino, but the varied menu also includes elk steak and lamb shanks. Served in an adults-only setting.
La Pizzeria, Mobile
Sounds like a pizza place, but it’s an elegant dining room with a menu of seafood, steaks, veal and specialty pastas, along with gourmet pizza.
Little Savannah, Birmingham
A Southern bistro, Little Savannah, in Forest Park, offers an array of New American and specialty dishes with a Southern flair, prepared by Clif and
Off the beaten path in Mobile, Osman’s features an extensive menu, with many dishes displaying the signature touches of chef Osman Ademovic, who brings the eclectic European fare of his native Yugoslavia and its neighbors to the table.
Think American at Pauli’s, which features wood fire grilled steaks and chops, fresh seafood and game, served under the direction of executive chef Matthew Martin.
Rawls Restaurant, Enterprise
Southern cuisine served with a contemporary edge highlights the menu at the Rawls Restaurant in Enterprise’s historic Rawls Building. Bill Schleusner guides the menu that features farm-fresh specials daily.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile
Steak is always in season at Ruth’s Chris, with seafood specialties for a change of pace. Diners choose between upscale version of steakhouse fare or subtle specialties like a strawberry, toasted almond and bleu cheese salad.
Saltwater Grill, Point Clear
Tucked into the Marriott Grand Hotel at Point Clear, the Saltwater Grill is a tribute to fresh local seafood. Don’t miss the shrimp crusted in Baldwin County pecans.
Victoria Restaurant, Anniston
Located in the historic Victoria Inn, the restaurant presents contemporary Southern fare, created under the direction of chef Alan Martin. Look for fresh fish, game and other delights on the menu.
Villaggio Grille, Orange Beach
An extensive menu abounding with fresh seafood is featured at Villaggio Grille, a Mediterranian/Italian fusion experience at The Wharf.
Vintage Year, Montgomery
Beginning as a wine shop in 1984, Vintage Year has grown to be a Montgomery landmark with a mix of seafood and beef specialties.
Voyagers, Orange Beach
Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico from the Perdido Beach Resort, Voyagers offers fresh local seafood complimented by local produce and other ingredients, under the supervision of Chef John Hamme.