If you’ve driven by Bridge Street in Northport lately, you’ve likely noticed a new eatery in town. Once home to Wintzell’s Oyster House, the new Levee Bar and Grill provides an updated waterfront dining experience adjacent to Dreamland Barbecue. Patrons will notice a number of updates on the building, including the removal of entrance palm trees, mounted fish, and the old garage doors that previously opened up the restaurant to the Black Warrior River. As a project of well-known restaurateurs Chris Bradshaw and Allen Aldridge, in addition to Gary McGee, formerly with Cypress Inn, The Levee Bar and Grill aims to provide an upscale seafood environment while also providing classic steak, chicken, and pasta entrees.
Seeing the amount of posts on my social media emphasizing the arrival of The Levee, I knew this had to be my next lunch destination. With my husband/number one dining companion in tow, we set out to experience good food despite mixed reviews on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Having never been to Wintzell’s, I relied on my hubby to point out all of the building updates, including a large number of booth seating and an impressive river view bar set up. Sitting down to take the environment in, I mentally noted the large banquet rooms that could easily accommodate private parties in the future.
Our server shared a handful of specials while also inviting us to take a peek into the newly opened oyster bar and fresh seafood market adjacent to the restaurant. Though I wouldn’t call seafood my cuisine of choice, I was on a mission to try something true to the focus of the restaurant. I opted for a seared Ahi tuna salad including apples, grapes, roasted walnuts, and a wasabi vinaigrette. My husband went for the classic fried catfish and fries route at the encouragement of our server. We decided to start our meal with a pimiento cheese ball appetizer accompanied by pita triangles.
It felt like only seconds before our server started bringing food to our table. We were first presented with hushpuppies that accompanied all meals. I had heard various reviews that commented on the extremes of food either being too salty or too bland. Noticing that The Levee acknowledged on their Facebook page that they had taken all of this feedback productively, I was ready to see if these seasoning modifications had come to fruition. Taking a bite of my hushpuppy I was pleased to taste the flavors of the hushpuppy without being overly salty. Our pimiento cheese ball was on the milder side, emphasizing more cheese flavor than pimiento or spice. Our salad and catfish quickly followed. I was impressed with the amount of tuna on my salad, and pleased to see that they had cooked my tuna medium rare as requested. I found the wasabi vinaigrette to be refreshing and appropriate for the flavors of my salad. My husband described his catfish as flavorful, hearty, and obvious that the oils used to cook it were clean. Sneaking a bite of his fries, I too could tell that clean oils were used to prepare his entrée.
Overall, I found The Levee Bar and Grill to be a great dining experience. The colors and lighting of the restaurant suggest that the ambiance of a dinner meal would be just as good or better than my lunch experience. The large banquet rooms have the potential for hosting private parties in Tuscaloosa and the seafood market provides an additional opportunity to bring fresh seafood home to prepare.
The Levee Bar and Grill is located at 1 Bridge Avenue in Northport and open daily at 11:00 a.m. Tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly and let us know where you are eating!
Sheena Gregg, MS, RDN,LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and local “Filipino foodie.” Follow her on Twitter @AFilipinoFoodie

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