Four years ago, Grace was just a dream and a drawing on a napkin. Co-owners Noell Broughton and David Shipman long envisioned opening Dauphin Street’s first rooftop dining establishment — it was just a matter of finding the perfect location. So, when the former Catholic Social Services building became available, Broughton immediately went to investigate. Though it needed a lot of work, he knew he had found the right place. His vision was a welcoming, unfussy environment that served elevated cuisine but without pretension. “We’re the kind of place that has rolled silverware, but no tablecloths,” he explains.
That atmosphere begins downstairs with warm wood, custom whiskey barrel light fixtures, areas of exposed brick and striking red booths. Large TVs line the walls and the bar is backlit in a flourish of red. Upstairs, the outdoor rooftop is flanked by an inviting bar and large couches with red pillows. All are accentuated by magnificent views of the downtown Mobile skyline. Heat lamps and firepit tables make it possible to settle in on chilly nights.
Executive Chef Mark Strickland developed a cocktail list that is a nod to the history of the building. Inventive, artfully-crafted creations are categorized as “Holy Spirits” or “Seven Deadly Sins,” with playful elements that complement the theme. All ingredients are prepared in-house.
This level of commitment also extends to the food. The fish comes straight from the Gulf. The meats are sourced from local farmers whenever possible. All sauces and stocks are made in Grace’s kitchen. A pastry chef makes the bread using a 50-year-old starter and prepares desserts daily.
Strickland’s menu reflects his training in French classical cooking with a Gulf Coast flare, such as fresh catch pecan menuiere. He also revived beloved entrees from past restaurants. One favorite: the duck spinach salad. “It’s exciting to bring these dishes back for people who miss them and, at the same time, to introduce them to a whole new audience,” he says. Meanwhile, handmade pasta, fresh seafood and dazzling tomahawk steaks whirl out of the kitchen. The latter garners diners’ awe as they go by. The result is a devilishly good time on Dauphin Street, with gourmet food served in a come-one, come-all spirit — just don’t forget to say grace.
Left to right, Bananas Foster Tres Leche Cake and Braised Beef Shortrib Ragout.
On the Menu
Lump Crabmeat with Fried Green Tomato Napoleon
Thick-cut fried green tomatoes are topped with buttery lump crabmeat and finished off with a champagne cream sauce.
Braised Beef Shortrib Ragout
Beef shortrib, braised for 15 – 20 hours, is served in a vibrant, savory sauce of San Marzano tomatoes, fresh spinach, shitake mushrooms and fresh roasted garlic atop a bed of homemade pappardelle pasta.
Bananas Foster Tres Leches Cake
A match made in heaven! Bananas are coated in a rich, buttery cinnamon sauce and then flambeed for that perfect sugary crunch. It is served over light, airy, tres leches cake that balances the bananas. You might lick the plate if no one is looking.