Tucked onto the 34th floor of the Trustmark Building, this elegant eatery offers sweeping views of Mobile bay and the city’s skyline, earning it a nod from Open Table as one of the country’s most scenic dining spots. The menu reflects a blend of local, Creole and Caribbean influences with dishes such as tuna from Ono Island on the Gulf, chops topped with crab meat and shrimp and grits with sausage from nearby Conecuh County.
107 St. Francis St., Mobile. 251-444-0200, godauphins.com.
2/ Cotton Row Restaurant
Housed in what was once a cotton exchange from the 1820s, Cotton Row and its kitchen are under the expert direction of chef and Culinary Institute of America grad James Boyce, whose resume lists Le Cirque in New York and Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Here, he’s put his talents to seafood specialties of Gulf shrimp, Apalachicola oysters, salmon, sea scallops and snapper. Kobe beef, rack of lamb and fois gras are also featured. Brunch and lunch are also served.
100 Southside Square, Huntsville. 256-382-9500, cottonrowrestaurant.com.
3/ Big Bob Gibson
For more than 90 years, barbecue has been the star at this award-winning joint. The accolades have honored the beef brisket, chicken, turkey and ribs that are paired with salads, potatoes, Brunswick stew, beans, greens and homemade desserts. Like the flavors? Take home bottles of Big Bob’s dry rubs, seasonings and red, white, mustard and habanero sauces.
1715 6th Ave., Decatur. 256-350-6969, bigbobgibson.com.
Veal Parmesan, fettuccine Alfredo, lasagna and a flavorful penne topped with duck and sausage are among the Italian specialties featured in this Florence trattoria, but the handmade pizzas fresh from the wood-burning ovens have their fair share of fans.
107 N. Court St., Florence. 256-718-1002, ricatonis.com.
5/ Cypress Inn
Overlooking the Black Warrior River, this rustic restaurant serves dishes designed from decades-old family recipes. One of the most popular is the chicken salad with poppy seed dressing and a side of cheese toast. Locally raised seafood, pastas and steaks round out the menu. After a meal, stroll down the lawn to the waterfront or relax in a rocking chair on the porch.
501 Rice Mine Rd., Tuscaloosa. 205-345-6963, cypressinnrestaurant.com.