Oakleigh Garden District residents are excited about what’s going on at the corner of George and Savanna. This past Tuesday was the opening of a new restaurant in the former Kitchen on George space. What was once fine dining, backed by Virginia College’s Culinard program, is now a seafood-heavy menu in Chef Jim Smith’s The Hummingbird Way Oyster Bar.
Smith comes to the Port City with an impressive resume as the former executive chef for the state of Alabama and as a contestant on the 2016 season of Bravo’s acclaimed “Top Chef.” Top of his class at Johnson & Wales University, Smith served under notable chefs such as Birmingham’s Frank Stitt and Chris Hastings, as well as chef de cuisine at Dyron’s Lowcountry in Mountain Brook prior to his tenure at the state capital.
For upscale, Southern-inspired seafood, there may not be anyone better suited for the job. Smith was crowned winner of the 2011 Great American Seafood Cook-Off, which led him to become the national spokesperson for Alabama Seafood, American Sustainable Seafood, Gulf Seafood and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He was also appointed chairman of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission in 2014.
“In choosing my next venture, I knew I wanted to stay in Alabama and create a seafood-centered restaurant,” Smith said. “The coastal area already felt like home due to my work with Alabama Gulf Seafood, and with so many locals wanting to see another restaurant succeed in this specific location, landing here was an obvious choice.”
With entrees in the $16 to $40 range, expect Gulf oysters, fish, shrimp and crab. Whole grilled snapper and duck fat-poached cobia are on my radar. There are also old-fashioned seafood platters served with fries and coleslaw, lest you think it’s above your raising. Landlubbers will find comfort in roast quail, a ribeye or pork cheeks and grits. There’s even a chicken pot pie.
Dinner is Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday brunch runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Make your reservations at 251-408-9562.
Girl Scout cookie season approaching
Set aside a portion of your allowance. Girl Scout cookie season is Jan. 17 through March 1. This year’s lineup includes Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Shortbread, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Girl Scout S’mores, gluten-free Caramel Chocolate Chip and Thanks-A-Lot (retiring after this year).
King cake 2020
We’ve passed the Twelfth Night. The Wise Men have visited and left their gifts. You are now allowed to eat king cake. Let’s support each other through social media posts, emails, phone calls and good, old-fashioned smoke signals so we can locate the finest Mobile has to offer.
Cammie’s Old Dutch already has her MoonPie ice cream, but announced she may have her award-winning king cake ice cream earlier than the first parade. I need that cinnamon and cream cheese. On Facebook she teased maybe Jan. 10 would be the first day. Hey, Cammie, I went to a parade last Friday. Get with it!
Who else has the king cake? Let me know.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.
It looks like you are opening this page from the Facebook App. This article needs to be opened in the browser.
iOS: Tap the three dots in the top right, then tap on "Open in Safari".
Android: Tap the Settings icon (it looks like three horizontal lines), then tap App Settings, then toggle the "Open links externally" setting to On (it should turn from gray to blue).