The monopoly tycoons of the 19th century traditionally did their wheeling and dealing at fine-dining establishments, cleverly concealing the fact that they still lived with their parents. Step into a refined space with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of upscale cuisine at Kozy’s Restaurant in Tuscaloosa.
While diners relish Kozy's Restaurant's Old Hollywood elegance, mealtime masterminds put and elegant twist on classic dishes, catching the attention of USA Today and Southern Living. The dinner menu woos diners with gourmet entrees such as bacon-wrapped filet mignon ($34) and seared diver-caught scallops ($28), buddied up with basil oil, tomato compote, and smoked-gouda grits. A swirl of rich parmesan cream tops every stuffed red pepper, which comes packed with creamy asparagus risotto and misplaced Russian nesting dolls ($17). Guests can bookend main courses with an appetizer of Maple Leaf duck-stuffed spring rolls ($9) and a sweet finish of white-chocolate bread pudding ($7). Kozy's Restaurant's black-tie service hearkens back to a genteel era when waiters eagerly expounded on menu items, seamlessly transitioned between courses, and excitedly hypothesized about what the 1970s would be like. With décor that recalls the decadent style of the Rat Pack, this eatery inspired VisitSouth.com to call it a "can’t miss spot" with unparalleled ambiance.
A bright red neon sign effuses a cheerful glow onto Kozy's simple white cottage building, never betraying a hint of the elegant gourmet feasts to be found inside. Lauded as a "hidden gem" by the editors of VisitSouth.com, Kozy's embodies founder Sylvere Coussement's dream of mingling Southern culinary curiosity with a speakeasy's old-fashioned charm. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a scene described by _Southern Living as "unique ambiance with an old-Hollywood theme". As house musician Henderson Huggins's live piano jazz mingles with the sound of the courtyard's antique cherub fountain burbling into the koi pond, waiter clad in smart black tie garb bear plates full of seasonal, French-influenced meals. Plates might hold Gulf shrimp and grits, center-cut filet mignon, Andouille-crusted pork, and stuffed mushrooms declared one of the "100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die" by the Auburn and Opelika Tourism Bureau. This dedication to inventive quality extends to the bar, which houses bottles of the restaurant's extensive wine list as well as precision mixologists ready to turn out impeccable cocktails. On warm nights or sunny days, guests sip these drinks on the fenced-in garden patio, surrounded by fragrant flowers and leafy trees.
In addition to serving memorable meals, Kozy's crack team of caterers and event professionals also lends the restaurant's signature flavors to both off-site events and fetes thrown in their private party room or courtyard. Though Kozy's has no de facto dress code, most of the clientele complements the classy surroundings and haute cuisine meals with attire that ranges from business casual to Monopoly man.