Monday, September 28, 2015

Hook a Great Meal at Shipp's Harbour Grill

If you have been coming to Alabama's coast for years like we have, you may remember the old Bayside Grill in Orange Beach at Sportsman's Marina. We had no idea it had closed, but we kept reading snippets about a place called Shipp's Harbour Grill and, when we investigated further, we realized it was located where Bayside used to be.      
As our readers know, Three Friends and a Fork is dedicated to searching for and informing folks about great restaurants, wherever we can find them. We are NOT interested in exposing bad restaurants or visiting restaurants for the purpose of nitpicking and complaining. We don't want to spend our hard-earned money on bad food or poor service just to report back to you all. When we go out to eat, we check and double check to make sure the restaurant is a good one we would like to share with you, and that is just what we did when we set sail for Shipp's Harbour Grill. First we checked out as many reviews as we could find. But that wasn't enough for us. The first thing we did when we arrived at the Marina, was to stop people coming out of the restaurant and ask them about their experience. Seriously, who better to ask than the diners who just ate there.

As we were climbing the ramp leading up to the restaurant, a large group of folks were leaving, so we asked them if the food was good and what they thought about the restaurant. Turns out, these folks were locals and they had nothing but good things to say about their dining experience. They told us they eat there all the time and they had never had a bad dish at Shipp's Harbour. They also told us the owners were locals themselves and they were dedicated to serving the freshest seafood and produce. That is just what we wanted to hear, so we thanked our helpful friends and went on in.  

We were greeted by this sign telling us where our seafood would be coming from...fresh from the Gulf of Mexico. This was a good indication that we should scurry on in!

The restaurant is just beautiful, with a large deck, enclosed sunroom and spacious indoor dining areas. The color scheme is white and bright, with bright sky blue accents. Dark polished wood floors, ceiling fans and colorful Adirondack chairs give the whole place an upscale seaside ambience. 


We were seated in the enclosed sunroom, right next to a window with a view of the outside deck and harbor. Our server left us with menus and drinks and we settled in to discuss our options. Immediately we decided to start with oyster crostinis and Love Potions made with peach schnapps, Malibu Bacardi, cranberry and pineapple juices. There was definitely a lot to love!

 Lu and I often don't agree when it comes to food choices. I mean, I normally use food as a way of getting condiments to my mouth, not as a little something extra on the side. If I can dip a food into some kind of sauce, dressing or dip, I am really happy. Luanne, on the other hand, is opposed to pretty much any kind of condiment, sauce or dressing. She hates mayonnaise, mustard and catsup and anything made with those ingredients. I don't even pretend to understand. We love her, even if she is quirky!

One thing we do agree on, sort of, is our love of oysters. I say, sort of, because Miss Picky may not like condiments, but she can slurp down a tray of raw oysters without blinking. I cannot do that, but I do love oysters cooked in almost any way. So, while Lu is on her own with the raw oysters, we can happily share them baked, broiled, grilled, roasted or fried. The oyster crostinis were right up our alley. The crispy fried oysters were plump and sweet, sitting on top of a crunchy crostini, topped with creamy brie and roasted poblanos and drizzled with a sweet three pepper glaze. Divine!

 The mixed green house salad with onions, mushrooms and tomatoes was fresh and the house made tomato vinaigrette was delicious. Even Luanne liked this dressing!

I had my heart set on the fresh sushi It sounded so delicious.  Here are just a few of the selections I was debating: 

  • Surf & Turf Roll - 10.95 (Tempura Fried) Shrimp, Filet Mignon, Chipotle Cream Cheese, Red Pepper, Tomato Salsa, Onion, Horsey Sauce

  • Yum-Yum Roll - 11.95 Blackened Filet Mignon - lightly seared, Tempura Shrimp, Cream Cheese, White Truffle Oil, Spicy Mayo, Micro greens 

  • BIG Shipp Roll - 11.95 Tempura Shrimp, Filet Mignon, Cream Cheese, Avocado, Tuna, Blue Cheese, Wasabi Mayo, Sweet Soy Glaze, Micro greens

  • Tuna & Mango Roll - 10.95 Ahi Tuna , Tempura Shrimp, Cream Cheese, Avocado, Mango Salsa, Micro greens

They all sounded so wonderful, but when I asked the server which one she recommended, she told me they only serve sushi after 5:00 pm. I was bummed, but determined to come back sometime to sample the sushi. If you want sushi, be sure to visit after 5:00 pm.

With my first choice gone, I opted for the grilled snapper with basil cream sauce. I love snapper and the snapper at Shipp's Harbour is delicious, fresh and perfectly cooked. The basil cream sauce was also fresh and wonderful. 

But what I really loved, and was a little jealous of, was Luanne's Coconut Grouper. Oh, y'all! It was pane├ęd grouper topped with jumbo lump crab, drizzled with spicy coconut butter and sprinkled with fresh toasted coconut. It literally was one of the best things I have ever tasted. If you are a coconut lover, like me, you should definitely go check this out. The only reason I didn't order this to begin with was because I love snapper so much, but I am telling you, this grouper was goo-oood! If and when I go back, the coconut grouper is on my plate! I thought I might get more than one bite of Luanne's, but she greedily ate everything on the plate and mopped up the sauce. Hateful!

See that golden sauce on the plate? It is golden! And I can't tell you how divine it is!

We shared a piece of key lime pie for dessert. It was sitting in a puddle of raspberry sauce and topped with homemade whipping cream and fresh mint. A perfect ending to a perfect meal.

 If you have not tried Shipp's Harbour Grill, what are you waiting for? It is fabulous! Try the coconut grouper!

Three Friends and a Fork give Shipp's Harbour Grill 3 Shipp Shaped Yums UP!

Three Friends and a Fork
Three Friends and a Fork

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