Dauphin’s is an ultra-chic addition to Downtown Mobile’s cuisine scene. It’s also a gem in the culinary crown of renowned restaurateur and former football star Bob Baumhower. For Baumhower’s latest venture, the former Bienville Club location atop the Trustmark Bank building has been reborn as a stunning sky-high dining spot, perfect for a lavish lunch or romantic date night. The restaurant has a posh atmosphere with a retro vibe, incomparable panoramic views, delightful piano music and comfortable seating. The menu offers upscale specialties, such as steak au poivre, roasted duck and flambé dessert prepared tableside. Yet it is not without old local favorites either, as they also include traditional West Indies salad, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade, their gussied up “burger with a view” and a divine gumbo. (Chef and restaurant partner Steve Zucker’s rendition of gumbo z’herb has recently been named one of Alabama’s “100 Things to Eat Before You Die.”)
“We are trying to strike a balance, ” says Baumhower. “Most of all, we want to be approachable. Fine dining is getting more casual. I don’t want folks to feel like they have to wear a suit or a tie.” Dauphin’s treats guests to lagniappe features as well: an amuse-bouche (an unexpected bite-sized appetizer), an “intermezzo” palate cleanser (a petite spoonful of luscious lemon sorbet) and finally, the dramatic “smoking bonbons, ” served in a silver bowl, which sweeten the bill’s arrival. There is a lovely selection of wines by the glass and bottle, craft beers and a host of creative cocktails. Happy hour is on weekdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and brunch on Sundays. Complimentary parking is available in the building’s interior parking lot.
On the Menu
Delicate slices of venison surround a mound of sweet onion confit, capped with fresh microgreens and a savory Parmesan crisp. Scattered shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of annatto seed oil top it off, as well as a tasty compote of port wine and cherries.
Gorgonzola, Pear and Baby Spinach Salad
Fresh spinach is presented in a radicchio bowl perched on a stand of pear and gorgonzola. Sprinkled with candied cayenne pecan pieces and glossed in Conecuh bacon dressing, it is served with a sugary swirl of garnet-hued hibiscus reduction topped with flash-fried beets.
Rack of Lamb
Succulent chops are stuffed with smoky pesto and a slathering of silky goat cheese, then sprinkled with candied cayenne pecans. They’re served over a bed of creamy, whipped Yukon gold potatoes with a lush port wine demi-glace.
An assortment of berries is sautéed and flambéed tableside in a sumptuous sauce of butter, brown sugar, Chambord and Grand Marnier, then ladled over vanilla ice cream.
Dauphin’s • 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. M – Th, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. F / Sa, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Su
107 Saint Francis St., Suite 3400 (34th Floor) • 444-0200
text by Sallye Irvine • photo by Frank Lee Roberts