Lucy Buffett is following her dream. The successful restaurateur, owner of LuLu’s Restaurant in Gulf Shores, Alabama, chef, and cookbook author known as “Crazy Sista” has opened her second restaurant called Lucy B Goode. This new concept restaurant located next door to her tremendously popular LuLu’s Restaurant fulfills Lucy’s goal to offer a more upscale dining option for her loyal LuLu’s fans. “This new restaurant has been a true labor of love for me, my family and all my staff,” Buffett says. “I’m so excited to see Lucy B Goode come to fruition – it truly is a dream come true. We’re serving upscale casual Southern fare and Gulf Coast cuisine in a small plates format.”
While Lucy B Goode is “fancier” than LuLu’s, Lucy has made sure it’s not too fancy. The restaurant’s interior walls are made of wood siding salvaged from an old World War II military barracks in Rotterdam, New York. The floor is scored and stained concrete and the water glasses are blue canning jars. There’s even an old attic fan perched high above the kitchen. “Lucy B Goode is the grown up aspect of me showcasing the lady my mother always wanted me to be,” Lucy says. “LuLu’s is sort of my young playful wild child on vacation self, and the food is classic beach fare from my grandmother’s recipes. Both of my restaurants are expressions of different facets of my personality.”
The food at Lucy B Goode is simple and fresh, yet upscale Southern Gulf Coast cuisine – served on “real china with real linen napkins”, but as Lucy points out the ambience is definitely beach casual. The Small Plates format means that all dishes will be served in smaller portions so that diners are able to share and taste a variety of items on the menu. Items are delivered to the tables as they become ready in the kitchen, expect of course the Sweet Plates which are dessert fare – and usually come after the main course.
The interior of Lucy B Goode is fancier than LuLu’s – yet still simple – just like the new menu. “We’re serving small plates with big flavor,” Lucy says. “I’m taking classic Southern and Gulf Coast recipes and reinventing them by using the freshest and finest seasonal ingredients from local farmers and purveyors when possible.”
One of Lucy’s all time favorites is the Mac & Cheese, made with all natural Gouda cheese produced just next door in Elberta, Alabama. “It’s beautiful, but not fancy.” Another favorite is the West Indies Salad made with fresh jumbo lump crab.
Many other Lucy B Good menu items also feature home grown items like Lucy’s own home canned sweet pickles in a Buttermilk Fried Chicken Slider served in a biscuit, instead of a bun. Raw honey comes from Fairhope, okra, squash, and beans come straight from farms in Baldwin County, and seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. Buffett says because Lucy B Goode is focused on using fresh ingredients, the menu will change with the seasons. Lucy B Goode Crab Cakes with Citrus Beurre Blanc, Grilled Cheese with Basil Mayor, Tomato and Applewood Smoked Bacon, and Sticky Sweet Black Bean Pork Ribs are other “Warm Plates” available on the menu.
Lucy B Goode’s chef is Randall Baldwin, an Alabama native from Saraland who studied at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York City. Chef Baldwin comes to Lucy B Goode following his work in well-known restaurants including Birmingham’s Bottega Café, Chez Fonfon, and Highlands Bar and Grill. Growing up in Mobile County, Baldwin says he is very familiar with coastal cuisine and when he thinks of “Low Country”, he thinks of south Alabama, of catching fish as a little boy and cooking them the same day, using fresh ingredients. “With fresh ingredients, you don’t need complicated dishes,” says Baldwin.
The opening day menu has so much to choose from including the Cool Plates West Indies Salad and Watermelon Salad with Sweet Home Farm Feta and Arugula, to the Warm Plates Baldwin County Peanut Soup, Chargrilled Black Grouper and Grilled Beef Tenderloins to the Side Plates of Mac & Cheese, Corn Fritters, Fried Okra and Kale Slaw with Local Asian Pears, that picking any one or two items is going to be very difficult.
“That’s what makes it so much fun,” Lucy says. “Everyone can order something different and share.” Lucy B Goode is coastal dining re-invented, a place for simple dishes with big flavor inspired by recipes from long ago.
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