50 Favorite Entrees 2012-2013
At the end o
f each year, we announce the annual "50 Favorites," best restaurant dishes found by B-Metro
magazine and BirminghamRestaurants.com's food writer, Jan Walsh. Categories include 50 Favorite Appetizers; Sandwiches, Soups & Salads, Entrees, Desserts, and All Time Favorites, which are tried and true, memorable dishes that are repeat favorites for many years. The winners of the 50 Favorite Entrees for 2012-2013 are as follows.
26: Citrus Braised Short Ribs Smoked Red Skin Mashed Potatoes Haricot Verts,
Cipollini Onions Natural Jus is a complex dish with integrated layers of flavor. Watch chef George Reis prepare these short ribs.
Another Broken Egg: If you like crawfish you will love this dish. Not only does Another Broken Egg’s grit cake have crawfish atop, crawfish are also baked inside the cake!
Watch chef Justin Smith prepare this grit cake.
Chiang Mai Scallops. These large scallops are seared to a golden brown outside. Their delicate texture and Chiang Mai flavor are enhanced with their accompaniment of crisp, colorful, tangy mango slaw with crunchy Macadamia Nuts.
Avo Dram: Bluegrass Breakfast is made of two farm eggs, the golden yolk drizzles onto the salty country ham, dark red-eye gravy atop two small, hot and heavenly biscuits. A generous amount of butter melts into the creamy Weisenberger Mills Grits, ground in Kentucky.
Paella de Pesce with Artichoke Risotto is for seafood lovers with hearty appetites.
Watch Video of chef Matt Lagace prepare this dish.
Bistro V: As native of Bayou La Batre, Alabama, Bistro V’s owner and chef, Jeremy Downey knows seafood. The black refers to theblack spots on the skin of the fish. Like Red Snapper, Black Snapper filets easily. Yet whole fish has more flavor and nutrients than filets because it is cooked with bones inside with skin on. The dish is not labor intensive yet it arrives to the table with a definite “Wow factor” presentation and flavors. Watch chef Downey prepare this fish.
Chef Frank Stitt achieves perfection in his Gulf Shrimp Risotto with Snow’s Bend rutabaga with escarole and lemon. Al dente goodness of the risotto is made local with the fresh rutabaga and is made whole with the proteins of succulent shrimp and escarole.
Café Dupont: Vegetable Plate is an artful presentation of one slice of crisp, golden fried green tomato and several tiny whole pods of fried baby okra provide the downhome, fried crunch—a must for every Southern vegetable plate. Halved, sautéed Brussel sprouts sing freshness and flavor with every bite. The tasty, ramekin-shaped serving of cauliflower gratin lends creaminess and upscale attitude. Bites of herb roasted potatoes, marinated tomatoes and charred onions add nice acidity and color to the plate.
Café de Paris: For brunch the Cinnamon French toast, served with a small fruit salad and syrup gets the day off to a tasty start.
Chez Fonfon: Today’s Chaque jour is black grouper. The portion is sizable. Several succulent, moist and milky pieces of grilled grouper—lightly coated in beurre blanc—crown the tender Brabant potatoes and fresh, tasty, crisp and squeaky haricot verts. Bite after bite the quality of the food products shine though in this simply prepared lovely lunch.
Dreamland: Dreamland’s spareribs are good to the bone. Their pit master watches over each slab of pork ribs and bastes them withtheir legendary sauce. These scrumptious meaty ribs make a meal in themselves. As they say at Dreamland, "Ain’t nothing like 'em nowhere!"
Highlands Bar and Grill: Stitt’s Southern table is at its best with Grilled Fudge Farm Pork Loin. Henry Fudge’s grilled, tender and juicy pork loins presented with a comfortingly delicious potato hash, caramelized onions, lardons and the best mustard greens ever—deep, layers of goodness—in a flavorful Bourbon-peppercorn gastrique.
GianMarco’: Everybody loves fresh, homemade pasta. GianMarco’s Giani Respinto teaches us how to make fresh fettuccine, plus asimple sauce. Try this at home. View Video
La Dolce Vita: More than a pizza, this dish is a meal. Meatball & Ricotta Pizza of meatballs, ricotta cheese, Sunday sauce, fresh mozzarella. You can now find this pizza at La Dolce Vita's new partner restaurant, The Villaggio Restaurant at Ross Bridge, which opened in 2013.
Nabeel's Cafe: As a daily special Nabeel’s offers several Greek delights. One of my favorites is the “Sautéed Shrimp from the Greek Islands.”The steamy, succulent shrimp arrive smothered in a velvety white feta sauce. The shrimp were sautéed in white wine, and folded into a tasty sauce—of authentic Greek Feta Dodonis, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, chopped parsley, and chopped basil. In each bite the texture and flavor of the shrimp shine through the sauce, rather than being overpowered by it.
Ocean: Aromas of our wood fire grilled Whole Maine Lobster drift through the air arriving just before this spectacular presentation. Wesqueeze lemon from claw to tail and then dip each pink, succulent bite into melted butter for one tender taste of decadence after another.
Satterfield’s: The Italian term, osso buco, means “hole bone.” It refers to the hole in the bone, as the bone marrow is part of the flavor appeal of the dish. Satterfield’s executive chef, Haller Magee spends three hours preparing this three-part dish. But it is well worth the wait. Watch chef Magee prepare osso buco.
Shula's Steak House: From the meat cart, along with all of The SHULA CUT ® steaks (certified Angus beef steaks, served exclusively at Shula’s restaurants), I learn of a new filet mignon. This 15 Ounce Bone In Filet Mignon is the tenderloin, medallion part of a porterhouse steak, with the strip steak cut away but bone left in tact. This Bone In Filet Mignon is the perfect steak if you want the tenderness of a filet mignon plus the additional rich flavors derived by cooking the meat on the bone. And who doesn’t want that? Ryan holds a penlight over The SHULA CUT ® filet and asks us to cut it to ensure it is cooked as ordered. Perfect on first cut, this filet is my new favorite on first bite—tender, juicy, and flavorful.
The Silvertron Cafe: Risotto is a versatile and nutritious Italian dish that can be served as a first course or main dish. A key component of making risotto is the selection of the flavoring ingredient, which can be veggies, seafood, mushrooms, or any ingredient you choose. The chosen ingredient’s flavor characteristics become synthesized into the risotto as it is cooked. Make this dish your own by substituting the green peas with your favorite food. Then make another variation by experimenting with a different flavoring ingredient. Watch chef Marco Morosini make risotto.
Slice Stone Pizza and Brew: The old saying, “as easy as pie” does not apply to the making of Slice Stone Pizza and Brew’s signature pie—The Lakeview Pizza. The Lake View Pizza’s depth of flavors come from its layers of ingredients: braised short ribs, caramelized onion, roasted cherry tomatoes, Asiago, finished with arugula, red onion and horseradish sauce. Chef Terrell Brazelton shares the first step to making this pizza—braised short ribs. View Video.
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe: Whole Roasted Lemon Herb Chicken can be ordered in half or in one-fourth sizes, with white meat only as an option. The top quality, and deep flavors of this moist, slow roasted, beautiful bird made it love at first bite. It is served with a tasty deep, dark reduction of onions, white wine, and fresh oregano. The fragrant, long grained and free flowing basmati rice makes a perfect side to both the chicken and its reduction. This dish comes with a Classic Greek side salad and thin, crisp—so good they are addictive—pita chips.
The Pita Stop: The daily lunch special of boneless grilled chicken with salad, rice, pita bread and their wonderful homos dip makes a hearty, delicious lunch. Dine in or take it out from their Southside and Cahaba Heights locations.. It travels well.
Veranda on Highlands: My entree of P.E.I. Mussels arrives topped with a mound of the best crispy potatoes, which make another reason I will order this dish again next time. Below the potatoes rise lovely aromas of spring garlic, thyme, and their delicious white wine broth. These top quality mussels prepared by chef Jeffrey Hansell are an absolute must—highly recommended.