Restaurant Review: Pirate’s Bar and Grill

Pirate's Bar and Grill is serving specialty beachside fare at the old Isle Dauphine.

Right Flounder Pontchartrain. Photos by Elizabeth Gelineau

At the top of a winding spiral staircase is a wood-paneled hallway that leads to a window-lined rotunda. There are sweeping panoramas of trees jutting from white sand dunes on one side and the sparkling Gulf of Mexico on the other. Children play and splash in the adjacent pool, as their adult counterparts sunbathe and sway to the music. The ceilings of the dining room are covered with straw — a holdover from its days as a tiki bar in the 50s — and simple wooden tables put the view in prime focus. 

Pirate’s Bar and Grill brings new life to the former Isle Dauphine Club, known for its mid-century modern cylindrical design. Owners Philip Patronas Jr. and his father “Big Phil” turned the languishing club into a lively, bustling restaurant. And while the views at Pirate’s are stunning, they aren’t the only draw. The eclectic menu provides Gulf-fresh favorites and dishes that will please everyone. “You can come in and get a delicious burger that wouldn’t be out of place in any bar and, at the same time, get a plate of scallops that would hold their weight at any fine-dining restaurant,” explains Executive Chef Jeffrey Hudson.

Hudson fosters a collaborative environment to design a menu that he describes as a “kaleidoscope of all the chefs that have put hard work into the restaurant.” Chef Charl Switzer and Hudson are inspired by Asian cuisine, resulting in dishes such as seared ahi tuna with Korean BBQ sauce and Thai chili shrimp. Big Phil contributes fresh from the Gulf specialties, including his recipe for Flounder Pontchartrain, a house favorite. Plump, juicy oysters are plucked from just off the island and shucked fresh. And another local delicacy makes an appearance in Pirate’s take on a shrimp boil, the Creole Royal Red Sautee. Live music every weekend and a cocktail list straight off a tropical island add to the upbeat atmosphere and vacation get-away vibe. 

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The team environment makes for a family feel that extends to the visitor experience. “I want guests to feel welcomed and relaxed,” Hudson says. “I want them to enjoy the beach and have a good meal that takes their mind off everything else that’s going on in their lives.” Pirate’s Bar and Grill makes for a perfect escape.

Left Seared Ahi Tuna, Right Royal Red Sautee

On the Menu

Lump Crab Cakes
A generous portion of fresh lump blue crab is sauteed in white wine sauce and coated with panko breadcrumbs. A drizzle of lemon curry aioli balances the richness of the crab and adds just the right amount of kick.

Flounder Pontchartrain
This house favorite features a lightly breaded and pan-seared Gulf flounder filet topped with a plenty of plump, sauteed shrimp and a decadent Cajun cream sauce. Garlic sauteed green beans round out the dish. 

Creole Royal Red Sautee
Tender and juicy royal reds and conecuh sausage are sauteed in a white wine butter sauce with peppers and onions. Served over a bed of wild rice and topped with corn on the cob, this is tasty take on the classic shrimp boil.

Seared Ahi Tuna 
Perfectly prepared medium rare tuna is crusted with sesame seeds and drizzled with a Korean BBQ sauce, flavored of with garlic and ginger, and served on a bed of sauteed spinach. 

 Pirate’s Bar and Grill • 100 Orleans Ave. Dauphin Island • 861-2969 • Mon – Sun 11 a.m. – 9 p.m

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