Formosa Chinese Cuisine's colorful dishes enliven tables with plates of meat, noodles, and fried-rice dishes, as well as contemporary takes on classic Chinese flavor profiles. The menu lists time-honored dishes such as mongolian chicken ($8.25) and beef lo mein ($7.50) among a cavalcade of entrees that can be written down and given to Santa as next year’s holiday wish list. Seafood entrees, such as a peppery shrimp with ginger scallions ($9.50), ship ocean-fresh cargoes of shellfish to awaiting taste buds, whereas veggie-flecked dishes such as the Triple Green ($7.25) liven sides of fried or steamed rice with verdant landscapes of broccoli, snow peas, and string beans. Like a Yanni album, the chef's specials section offers contemporary original recipes that blend complex flavors, textures, and tastes, as exemplified in dishes such as the nutty sesame shrimp ($10.95).
Chef Jim Sikes culls seasonal ingredients into masterpieces of classic Big Easy cuisine so fresh the menus are rewritten each week. Dinner diners can munch on fresh crab claws ($13.95) and cakes ($9.95) dipped in homemade rémoulade before tasting Jimmy’s bud-kicking jambalaya with fried green tomatoes ($16.95) or fillet of pecan-crusted trout with apple chutney and potatoes ($19.95). For lunch, Jimmy’s serves up soft-shell crab BLTs ($9.95) and a selection of po' boys stuffed with beasts of the land and sea ($6.95–$8.95) alongside a bowl of The Real Thing gumbo ($4.95). Entrees always arrive with a side or two in tow, yet still delight in pairing off with a glass of wine ($5.95–$8.50) from Jimmy’s 200+ bottle wine list, recipient of a Wine Spectator 2010 Award of Excellence (bottles start at $22).
Young Barn Pub & Oyster Bar respectfully contests the notion that the coasts have a monopoly on oysters. They put a southwestern spin on theirs, prepping them Texas-style?baked and covered in cajun seasonings, cheese, bacon, and jalapenos. There are also Wild Bill's oysters, named for the famous gunslinger's ability to hit an oyster from 20 yards away on the shoreline. These up the seafood ante with toppings of shrimp, scallops, and crabmeat, plus bacon and mozzarella.
Purists can still get their hands on oysters Rockefeller or oysters on the half-shell, of course. And aside from shellfish, Young Barn's menu features po'boys, ribeye steaks, shrimp platters, and even pizza and pasta.
It's clear from The Seafood Bistro's name that the chefs specialize in foods from the ocean. It's the casual eatery's sheer range of seafood, though, that is its biggest draw. Served in simple paper baskets, the custom-prepared meals include fried oysters and claws, battered and baked fish, and shrimp po'boys drizzled with spicy remoulade. Eclectic Southern sides such as cheese-smothered fries and cups of seafood gumbo make for a colorful addition to each meal and hot weapons to throw at any pirates trying to steal the last bite.
Oscar's Steak and Seafood silences grumbling stomachs with an expansive menu of juicy steaks, sumptuous seafood dishes, and homemade desserts. Formulate entree-eating strategies over a basket of fried green tomatoes ($4.99), or skip to a sizzling 12-ounce New York strip paired with two classic sides such as onion rings, a baked potato, or a piece of kelp shaped like Robert Frost ($16.50). Oscar's chefs pour parmesan cream sauce on pan-seared tilapia and sautéed shrimp in the tasty Creole Catch ($15.99), and join surf 'n' turf by marrying a 12–14-ounce Rib-eye steak to shrimp, oysters, or scallops, uniting land and sea in their mutual contempt for sky-food such as mashed clouds ($24.99).
Cajun food has always played an important role in Michael and Melissa Lee’s life, from their childhood upbringing in Louisiana to their 15 years spent working at a southern seafood restaurant. The brother and sister teamed up to open Mikey’s Grill, pulling from their combined talents and years of experience to craft a menu filled with contemporary takes on classic Cajun dishes that have been lauded by reporters from Birmingham Weekly. Chef Michael “Mikey” Lee commands the kitchen, slicing steaks and grating cheese himself while ensuring only the finest seafood is used in his innovative pastas and specialties, turning away catches that aren’t fresh enough. Michael’s mother Donna can also be spotted in the kitchen, whipping up the restaurant’s freshly baked desserts from scratch and pinching any exposed cheeks in her visual range. Out in the dining hall, Melissa takes the lead, cheerfully greeting guests and captaining a team of friendly servers, who place plates of gourmet dishes, baskets of rolls, and glasses of colorful cocktails on red-clothed tables.