Joe and Misty Rider are originally from Birmingham, Alabama. Before arriving on the Eastern Shore nine years ago, they lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While in Tulsa, Misty owned and operated several small restaurants and has been catering as long as she can remember. She was helping a friend with catering when an opportunity presented itself to open another restaurant – this time in Downtown Fairhope. Before Misty and Joe’s relocation to Fairhope, they had always vacationed in the area. Gulf Coast flavor with an emphasis on New Orleans and French creole cuisine is something that enticed the couple. They took this inspiration and created a quaint version of a New Orleans Bistro with all the warmth and hospitality that you would expect to find in South Alabama. This past September, the Riders purchased the building that they have been located in since they opened the Bistro. They have recently added a 10 seat bar and and renovating other areas to provide their customers with the ultimate dining experience. Joe’s crawfish gravy has made a name for itself. When the couple were operating a restaurant in Tulsa, Joe would come in and make breakfast for his buddies. One morning he whipped up a batch of crawfish gravy and served it over biscuits and that was all it took. It wasn’t long before their customers were requesting it more than over biscuits. Some were eating it as a soup, over French bread, on top of steaks, fish and more! Now the crawfish gravy is a signature offering at R Bistro. Misty’s passion is baking and pastries. This passion has become one that she now shares with her daughter, Maddie. Maddie recently graduated from the French Pastry School in Chicago where she trained under world renowned pastry chefs from all over the world. Maddie has recently become a permanent fixture at R Bistro and will be showcasing her talents in the pastry case and on the menu with house made croissants and French baguettes. The Riders recognize that Southern folks love traditional foods and desserts. The tourists, well, they want to enjoy Gulf Coast cuisine during their visit. So, the menu at R Bistro was designed with that in mind. Appetizers include barbecue shrimp, spinach and artichoke gratin, bacon wrapped scallops, Downtown oysters, crabcakes, mushroom stuffed mushrooms and crawfish mac and cheese. R Bistro offers beautiful salads that boast of flavorful ingredients in which chicken, shrimp or salmon can be added. There is also a Salade Nicoise that features a seared ahi tuna, a Poulet Salade that showcases a zesty chicken salad and a Walnut Pimento Cheese that is served with a croissant and fruit. The Shrimp and Slaw featuring a four cabbage blend with fried shrimp topped with a smoked tomato glaze is also becoming a customer favorite. Under the classification of Sandwiches, a must try is the Croque Monsieur. It is a croissant layered with dijon mustard, smoked ham and gruyere cheese smothered with a bechamel sauce and broiled to perfection. Po Boys are available with your choice of shrimp or oyster or you can choose from Tenderloin sliders, a Salmon burger or a Creole Chicken BLT. R Bistro Specialties include their Crawfish Gravy – served by the cup or the bowl, gumbo, freshly baked quiche, Dixie Shrimp or Oysters, Shrimp and Gouda Grits and Beef Tenderloin Stroganoff. R Bistro serves dinner every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings with their menu focusing on fresh and local. You typically will find a steak, catch of the day and a chicken that can complemented by a selection from their new bar. R Bistro offers a Sunday Brunch that features both sweet and savory. Crawfish Gravy and Biscuits, Crabcake with Egg and Crawfish gravy, Stuffed French Toast Croissant, Omelettes in which you can add crab, conecuh or spinach, Eggs Benedict and other brunch style selections can only be enhanced with one of Misty’s Absolut Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas or champagne. The desserts, pastries and pies that are available will simply delight you. The taste, presentation and quality are incredible. There is always an assortment which typically includes caramel cake, pecan pie, peanut putter pie, lemon tarts, carrot cake, whoopie pies, cheesecakes, creme brulee and other sweet desserts. Look for more incredible French pastries to come from Maddie. You can now purchase some of the dressings and sauces that are used in creating the R Bistro recipes. Their Smoked Tomato Glaze, the Aupoivre Steak Sauce and Honey Mustard are bottled and available for purchase along with their creole seasoning spice. R Bistro is open every day. They serve lunch Monday through Saturday, Sunday Brunch and dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings (dinner reservations are highly recommended). R Bistro and Pastry , 334 Fairhope Avenue, Downtown Fairhope (251) 928-2399 • Facebook “R Bistro & Pastry”
Rosie’s Grill is now heading into their sixth year of operation as one of Daphne’s locally owned and operated eateries. An inviting family atmosphere makes Rosie’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy lunch, dinner, drinks and their ever popular Sunday Brunch.
Chef Mike Sullivan is the most recent addition to the Rosie’s team. Sullivan is a Daphne native who attended culinary school in Birmingham. He has traveled all over the United States and has cheffed in casinos, country clubs, private schools and even off shores. He landed back in the area to be closer to family and was introduced to Alissa Johnson who hired him to focus on nightly dinner specials. The response to dinners was inspiring and Sullivan has added several items to their brunch menu. “His talents run so deep that he (Sullivan) will be ramping up the entire Rosie’s menu” says Johnson, “We will keep the favorites but work towards a new Fall menu.” The stars aligned for both parties and now Mike is a full time employee and also serves as the Kitchen Manager.
The current menu includes appetizers such as salsa and housemade chips, queso, guacamole, crab claws, chicken fingers, gumbo, nachos and firecracker shrimp. Meal sized salads can be topped with a protein of your choice. Boar’s Head meats are part of their popular sandwiches such as the T-Bird and Rosie’s Club and they also feature local breads on the burgers, po-boys and sandwiches. Wraps, fish sandwiches, quesadillas and a variety of different tacos are available as well. Entrees are available after 4pm and include fajitas, grilled fish, ribeye, shrimp stuffed baked potato and Chef Mike’s nightly feature.
Sunday Brunch is notably their busiest meal of the week. From 11am until 2pm they serve a limited brunch menu that includes Huevos Fajitas, French Toast, Shrimp & Grits, Breakfast Bowl, Eggs Benedict, Shrimp Benedict, Steak Benedict, Quiche of the Day, Country Fried Chicken Biscuit and Chef Mike’s Daily Brunch Special. Each brunch menu item is served with breakfast potatoes, gouda cheese grits and complimentary beignets.
Rosie’s Grill has an incredible courtyard area in the rear of the restaurant that is perfect for larger parties and/or group functions. They are in the process of enclosing it so it will be climate controlled and comfortable year round. Rosie’s offers a children’s menu for ages 12 and under and decadent homemade desserts. The bar at Rosie’s Grill is full service with Happy Hour daily from 2pm until 7pm with $2.50 Margaritas. Rosie’s Grill is open Sunday through Thursday 11am until 9pm and Friday and Saturday 11am until 10pm. Rosie’s Grill, 1203 Highway 98, Suite 3D Daphne (251) 626-2440 • http://www.rosiesgrill.com • Facebook “Rosie’s Grill”