Favorite Hang Outs in Fairhope

Fairhope, Al is utopia. It has the friendliness of a small town with all the big city conveniences, AND it’s on Mobile Bay. However, please keep it quiet or it won’t stay small for long… shhhhhh…

I love this town and it is because of that love, that I am happy to share with you my top five favorite Fairhope hangouts, so that when you visit you can share in the utopian experience.

  • Mr. CoziNest and I love to just walk around downtown on Saturdays and then stop in for a burger at Panini Pete’s. My favorite is the Eastern Shore Burger. Go early or a little late for lunch. Lines form.

Panini Petes

French Quarter Fountain

  • We can’t make a trip downtown with our daughter without a visit to Mr. Gene’s Beans. They have a great selection of Blue Bell Ice Cream, but our favorite is the Fairhope Float. It’s a staple, made with “iced mochaccino poured over french vanilla frozen yogurt, with whipped cream and your choice of chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, or nutmeg sprinkles.” I’m on my way, now.

Mr. Gene's Beans

Fairhope Float

  • You can’t live in Fairhope without being in love with the Fairhope Pier. The rose garden and fountain are pleasing to both the eye and ear, while a walk to the end of the pier during sunset can ignite a desire to paint, or grow an orchard or at the very least capture the fiery glow with your camera.It’s quite a site to watch the sinking of the sun over the skyscrapers of Mobile, with the USS Alabama resting from its’ journeys in the bay. Poetry in motion.

Sunset at Fairhope Pier

  • For special occasions, Mr. CoziNest and I sit down to a gourmet meal at Camellia Cafe. We’ve celebrated anniversaries, birthdays and an occasional Valentine’s Day at this lovely restaurant. The food is delicious, the atmosphere romantic and the staff is alway professional and friendly.

Camellia Cafe

  • Oh no! I’m already to number 5. There’s so much more to love. But, this is the top five, so I can’t close this post without mentioning Scott and Robin Dumas at Pinzones. The staff have all become friends which makes us feel like we are eating at home – only with better food. All the wait staff is absolutely fabulous with humor as an appetizer and friendliness for dessert. I have to give a shout out here though, to one of our favorites. Miss Anna reminds me of my comedian son and lovely daughter all rolled into one. She always makes us laugh and she is beautiful inside and out. Do 20-somethings ever get adopted?

Pinzones

Pinzones Pizza Board

The food, views, flowers, sunsets and shops make Fairhope a very fun place to live, but it’s the people that make it home. We love hanging out in all these places because eventually you get into a fascinating conversation with someone and want to put your feet up. As we’ve said many times, we live in Mayberry – only in color.

Mayberry in Color

TGIFF

TGIFF – Thank goodness it’s first Friday! Fairhope’s First Friday Art-Walk is a permanent event on my calendar. Every art form is given it’s due on this monthly night out. There are culinary artist who have special events in their restaurants, painters, potters, musicians, you name it and you are likely to see it.

We always start at the Eastern Shore Art Center to see this month’s exhibitions.

Bekki Ludlum's "Rust in Peace"
Bekki Ludlum’s “Rust in Peace”

This was my personal favorite piece of the night. Bekki’s colors caught my eye and then the title captured my heart. You may see more of her art on her Facebook Page.

Just inside the door, contemporary artist, Greg Cartmell was painting oil portraits. He will be teaching a 2 day workshop on May 2-3. If you are interested in attending, contact the Eastern Shore Art Center.

Portrait Artist
Portrait Artist
Artist at Work
Artist at Work
Light is Everything
Light is Everything

On our way to see the Modern Eldorados, I had to stop traffic to get this photo of our beautifully lit trees.

The Modern Eldorados
The Modern Eldorados

Just outside my favorite jewelry store, Estate Jewelers of Fairhope, Julie Johnson has the Modern Eldorados booked to entertain the art-walkers. It was all free and a fantastic party.

This very talented and entertaining gentlemen is  “Gretsch” Lyles, the lead singer of the group.  It was as if I was toe-tapping back in the 50’s, with songs from Elvis, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison, to name a few.

Gretch Lyles and The Modern Eldorados
Gretsch Lyles and The Modern Eldorados
Dancing in the Streets
Dancing in the Streets
Cooling Off
Cooling Off

As Gretsch removed his coat, you would have thought he was the real Elvis about to throw a scarf to the crowd. There were high pitched shrills piercing the night.

Fun Friday in Fairhope
Fun Friday in Fairhope
Gretsch Lyles
Gretsch Lyles

And our final treat for the night…. We had the extreme privilege of meeting THE Mrs. Robin Dumas, wife of renowned chef, Scott Dumas of Pinzone’s. She was holding a tasting of the red blend by Lamborghini, Campoleone. It was a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot. Very tasty wine. Very kind and personable lady. Scott is a blessed man.

Robin Dumas
Robin Dumas

You’ll remember Scott, from this post, Just One More Bite. If you haven’t checked out Isabella’s or the Village Deli owned and operated by Scott Dumas, you need to! Locals will know and appreciate this news flash; the Nelson’s of the famous, “MaryAnn’s” will be in collaboration with Scott to develop a delicious menu at the Village Deli beginning today. Stop by for lunch.

There’s always something fun and exciting going on in Fairhope. The shrills were a bonus.

Just One More Bite

Isabella's
Isabella’s

Scott Dumas has done it again.  There are so many good restaurants in Fairhope, but one of the best is bound to be the Italian steakhouse, Isabella’s.  The grand opening was Wednesday, September 11, 2013 and Scott says it went very well.  Jay and I can’t wait to try it out because one of our favorite places for lunch or dinner is Pinzone’s, where Scott is also chef.

Chef, Isabella's and Pinzone's in Fairhope, AL - Scott Dumas
Scott Dumas, Chef at Pinzone’s and the new Isabella’s.

Scott and his business partner and co-chef, Mike Pinzone opened Pinzone’s  to bring authentic Italian food to downtown Fairhope and now they are continuing that tradition with an Italian Steakhouse.

Great cuts.
Great cuts.

The interior of the restaurant has a gorgeous, Mediterranean feel and the decor is warm, natural, and somewhat rustic.  The whole of the area makes you feel like you’re in a small village in Italy.

A vaulted wood ceiling, iron chandeliers and sconces carry you away to the Mediterranean.
A vaulted wood ceiling, iron chandeliers and sconces carry you away to the Mediterranean.

Another thing we love about our dining experiences at Pinzone’s is the personal touch that is felt with every meal.  Scott always comes out and speaks to us and the servers are always fun and attentive.  Laughter is a common ingredient.  My tour of the new restaurant was no exception.

A little fire.
A little fire.
A little salt.
A little salt.
A little lunch.  Shrimp with kelp noodles and few seasonings.
A little lunch. Shrimp with kelp noodles and a few delicious seasonings.

The menu is just as impressive.  When I asked Scott how he determined what to add to the menu, he said his goal was to have diners leave with the same feeling they have when they’ve just seen a fantastic movie or finished a wonderful book.  It occurred to me then, that he has achieved that goal with one pair of diners.  Jay and I often talk about how delicious his Sausage and Polenta al Gorgonzola was or my Eggplant Sicilia.  We always laugh at some quip from our waiter or Scott, himself and it is truly a fun place to spend an hour or two.  I expect the same experience at Isabella’s.

I’m sure we’ll soon be discussing Sir Walter’s Oyster Asparagus Champagne Soup or the Lamb Prime Rib.  I can’t wait to try the Filet Isabella, a garlic stuffed filet with wine reduction.

Scott, Jay and I wish you the very best.  Here’s to you.  May all your diners wish that there was just one more bite.