Sunlight glitters through Chappy's in Point Clear's wide-paned windows, illuminating chefs as they lightly fry trout fillets and drape shrimp hollandaise sauce over pork chops and tender milk-fed veal. From the kitchen, they'll hand over their gourmet surf 'n' turf entrees to a wait staff who then arranges them atop crisp white tablecloths where flower vases, napkins folded into fleur-de-lis, and life-size replicas of the Lusitania adorn place settings.
Tucked behind Leinkauf Elementary School, La Pizzeria has been lauded by Press-Register food editor David Holloway as "one of the best-kept secrets" in town. He praises owner Todd Henson's balance between Italian classics—pastas with housemade sauces and calzones among them—and creative menu contributions. A list of character-inspired gourmet pizzas includes the garlic-infused Bela Lugosi and the Sherlock Holmes, a mystery order whose toppings are chosen by the chef and cooked beneath a carefully aimed magnifying glass. Strewn with white tablecloths and still-life paintings, the low-lit interior features one private table, where Henson wagers "we've had a hundred proposals of marriage … over the years."
As first-time visitors to Fiddlefish Seafood Cafe swallow forkfuls of deftly prepared seafood, they might detect the taste of déjà vu. That's because the eatery's cooks recreate recipes from Nan Seas, a former Mobile restaurant known for its oceanic cuisine. Since opening for business in December 2012, Fiddlefish Seafood Cafe has gained loyal fans with celebrated dishes such as gumbo, chargrilled oysters on the half-shell, and shrimp-stuffed baked potatoes. Diners can round out meals with sides such as cornbread salad or cheese grits or sweeten palates with a bowl of bread pudding or wedge of Key lime pie.
Thomas Auld began his career as a fisherman in 1952, and since then, his family has been in the seafood business, specializing in shrimp. At Fisherman's Legacy, patrons may peruse lobster tails and fish fillets behind the glass counters of the marketplace or sit down for a meal of fried shrimp, crab cakes, and hush puppies in the dining area.
The scent of hand-battered pickles and catfish fillets frying in oil wafts along the river to lure boaters cruising under the Dog River Bridge straight to the docks of The River Shack Restaurant and Oyster Bar. The restaurant's outdoor deck opens to views of sailboat races and fishermen, while diners split raw oysters and shrimp po' boy sandwiches—highlighted as signature items in a sparkling 2010 al.com review from the Well-Fed Reporter. Fresh from the kitchen, servers tote dry-aged prime steaks and juicy cheeseburgers with sides of fried okra through rows of wooden tables. Large windows flood the dining room with light on sunny days and allow cool breezes to blow in off of the water. The interior takes the name "River Shack" to heart with plain wooden walls and sturdy rafters decorated with a variety of nautical objects. Fishing rods hang above doorways, nets and cages dangle from columns, and an old fishing boat can be found nestled in the rafters for weekly reenactments of The Old Man and the Sea. Guests can complement their meal with glasses of beer from the bar and live music scheduled every Sunday.