I have been waiting for an excuse to try Mobile’s latest fine dining craze — Legacy Bar and Grill — for some time now. Well, boys and girls, I finally got my excuse and they did not disappoint.

You see, here in the biz we like to allow a restaurant to get up and running, you know, get their sea legs under them before we go in for a review. They have exceeded that status. It isn’t often that I get to dress up nice and have an evening out, but the boys and I were playing a fancy party recently and we were dressed to the nines (OK, maybe the eights). The time to strike had arrived.

This evening my dinner guest is the often forgotten about Kelley. Kelley doesn’t get nearly as much review time as Bubble, so occasionally we have to throw him a bone. He’s a Baldwin County boy, so he isn’t as readily available as Bubble, but he’s a decent cook, knows a little about wine, and is someone who can appreciate a good meal.

We leave the party dressed way too nicely to be riding in the band van and head out to Legacy Village. The restaurant is located in the former Wine Loft/True building next to Zoes. Hopping out of the vehicle (which may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts) we shake the dust off of our wings and enter the door at the old Wine Loft side.

We were seated at a table in the bar and were treated to a nice helping of warm bread and sweet butter. By sweet butter I mean sweet and heavenly. It was a great starter with our Newcastles as we looked over the menu.

Steaks priced by the ounce, crab cakes, fresh fish options, gazpacho, quail appetizers, everything sounded delicious, and it is a shame we weren’t starving to death. I wanted to get the quail as our appetizer, but when our waitress found out we’d be sharing the dish she steered us in the direction of sautéed crab claws ($13). In a place such as this when a waitress speaks you listen. As a matter of fact, always abide by that rule.

They also offer them fried, but I prefer them marinated. The claws were of decent size and plentiful enough with a less than overbearing marinade. I couldn’t quite place it, maybe ginger/Asian, but it was good. Here’s the kicker. I’ve never dreamed of dipping crab claws of this style in anything, but the dish came with Legacy’s version of tartar and cocktail sauce. While the cocktail was wonderful, the money was in the tartar sauce. Thinned out and bright, I had to ask what it was before I wasted a precious claw on a dip. It had a great citrus flavor of all things. I’d like the recipe.

For the main course Kelley was eyeballing the pan seared snapper ($29). Not a bad choice. I was slightly jealous when I sampled a piece of the filet. The freshness of the fish really came through. A crispy outside housed a tender, juicy inside.

Almost as good as the fish were the vegetables that accompanied it. Asparagus, potatoes, zucchini and these fat little onions that burst with flavor made this dish delightful, and Kelley washed it down with a Pinot Grigio ($9 by the glass).

For me the steak and cake (crab cake, that is) was tempting, but there are too few places in Mobile that serve lamb chops ($29) for me to pass up the opportunity. I am a fan, I assure you. These were not at all disappointing medium rare. I must confess I looked around to make sure nobody saw me gnawing the bones in a caveman-like fashion. Roasted potatoes made it even better, as did the glass of “something Italian red” ($9) I ordered carefree and without looking at the menu.

The only way to get Missy to sit idly by while the boys eat their hearts out was to — you guessed it — bring home dessert.

Chocolate spoon cake ($9)

was enough to not hear a peep about missing out. Sure, it is a $9 slice of cake, but according to her it was worth every cent. The bonus was she got to enjoy it wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt and a big glass of milk. Maybe that is the way to do Legacy dessert. Take off the jacket, lose the tie and get down home dirty with it. I received a quarter teaspoon for being so considerate, but I could still taste the wine. It was lost on me.

It’s good to find that excuse every now and again to dress up a little, splash on a bit of daddy’s aftershave and bust that hundred dollar ceiling. At Legacy it is the next level when it comes to the food. Mobile’s upper crust must agree with me because the place was packed on a Tuesday. Some of you may reserve this one for a special occasion, others may stop in for an appetizer and a drink. Either way I hope Legacy Bar and Grill is here to stay.

Legacy Bar and Grill
9 Du Rhu Drive, Suite 201
(251) 341-3370