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Reviews - Casually Upscale

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Iron City Grill fried green tomatoesIron City Grill mixes music with local food products.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Iron City Birmingham will entertain you and sustain you. It boasts a large entertainment venue, bars, and a full service grill. There are two entrances. The main entertainment entrance is 513 22nd Street South—landmarked by its massive marquee. And the entrance to the Grill is located at 2208 6th Avenue South. Iron City Grill serves lunch and dinner Mondays through Fridays, dinner on Saturdays, and is open only on concert Sundays at 4:00 p.m. Iron City Grill also has live music on Thursday through Saturday evenings and on Friday during lunch.  
Chez Fonfon lamb daubeChez Fonfon calls me for lunch, dinner and late night. 

By Jan Walsh 

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Chez Fonfon is more than a bustling, French bistro to me. Having a love affair with all things French, it is my familiar way of escaping to the country that I most love to visit without ever leaving town. Chez Fonfon’s French Provencal food, French wines, and French ambience embrace me, and I them. 

Jackson’s achieves cutting edge, comfort food.  


By Jan Walsh 


Photography by Beau Gustafson

 

Sometimes dining is an adventure. I discover new foods, new preparations, and new restaurants. But it is always nice to have places to “come home to,” such as Jackson’s Bar and Bistro. Slipping into a big, black booth, near the wood burning oven on this late Saturday morning, I take a look at the menu and am comforted—not bored—by my choices. Stuffed jalapenos, a pizza with an egg on top, a seasonal side of squash casserole, even fried ice cream—and 70 dishes to choose among.

Warm up with Seasons 52’s cold weather cuisine.


By Jan Walsh 


Every season brings something new to Seasons 52. And this winter’s menu offers a comforting selection of cocktails and cuisine. 




Bistro V has a swank new bar and specialty cocktails.  

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Where better to celebrate Valentine's Day than in a brand new bar?

Jeremy Downey recently expanded Bistro V with a new bar. The bar space doubled the size of this chef driven restaurant with both bar seating and table seating. This stylish bar space has bamboo flooring and ceiling, comfy love seats, leather chairs, soft Edison lighting and tables of rough hewn wood.
Season 52 Fresh Grill debuts rustic fall dishes. 

By Jan Walsh 


Seasons change, and so does the menu at Seasons 52 Fresh Grill. But one thing that never changes is that none of their dishes are more than 475 calories.  “Autumn is the season of harvest and rustic cooking,” explains Chef Cliff Pleau, Executive Chef at Seasons 52. “Roasting and caramelizing vegetables and poultry, in our brick oven, really bring out the flavors that are the essence of the season.” 
Dyron’s fried oysters and crab claws make perfect appetizers.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


The fried crab claws at Dyron’s are an addiction of mine. I attempt to order them even when they are not listed on the menu. And so far I have always succeeded in having chef—Randall Baldwin—fry up an order as requested. Accommodating such requests is fitting of the low-key attitude that Dyron and Sonya Powell have achieved at Dyron’s Lowcountry.
Pair Zin with Steak Au Poivre at Village Tavern.

 
By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Tender steak, creamy potatoes and a big, red wine make a classic meal. At Village Tavern, this classic is fulfilled in a pairing of Steak Au Poivre and St. Francis Zinfandel, 2009.
Savor fresh fare in a swank ambiance at Seasons 52 Fresh Grill.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Seasons 52 Fresh Grill recently opened to a packed house at 245 Summit Boulevard at The Summit. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, boasting live music nightly and a wine bar. The menu is seasonal and weekly, with 52 menus of chef’s dinner specials, thus the name “Seasons 52.” All dishes are planned for calorie count—with nothing on our menu more than 475 calories.
Discover awesome new pours at The Wine Loft.  

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Mike Dunnavant keeps the wine and his passion for it flowing at The Wine Loft. Every time I stop in, he has new and interesting wines on his glass list. And tonight is no exception. Seated on the leather sofa in the private tasting room, we have a nice view of the red wine cellar. This room can be reserved and is no extra charge.
I ate every dessert on Bellini’s menu.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Bellini’s has a talented, new pastry chef, Amber Croom. She has a new dessert menu. And today I met her and tasted them ALL during lunch: Affogato, Bananas Foster, Bread Pudding, Gelato Flight, Key Lime Panna Cotta, Malt Chocolate Cake with Adult Milkshake, Red Velvet Cheesecake, and Tiramisu.
I am craving seafood and find a feast at Dodiyos.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Like the antiques lining the walls of the restaurant, Dodiyos Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare has only gotten better with time. Tonight we are excited to see that in addition to their expansive dinner menu, they also have a Happy Hour Menu and a Dinner Specialties menu. So we order from those, which save us on cocktails and wine and introduce us to some tasty new seafood dishes.
Have shrimp and grits two ways at Jackson’s Bar and Bistro.
 
By Jan Walsh
 
Photography by Beau Gustafson

 
Jackson’s Bar and Bistro offers Shrimp and Grits, New Orleans style—or not.  The dish includes Andouille sausage atop three cheese grits. But if you prefer less New Orleans flavors, the same dish is offered without the sausage.
 
Asian Rim delights serious sushi lovers and those who aren’t.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Asian Rim Sushi Company opened to rave reviews in November 2012. The restaurant fuses an array of delectable dishes—from raw ahi tuna to a cooked to order rib eye over wasabi-mashed potatoes—for lunch, dinner and late night.
Pair flambéed chocolate with chilled bubbly at The Melting Pot.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


The Melting Pot is a restaurant like no other in the Birmingham area. It brought fondue back into my life—and expanded my palate for fondue fare. After dining here the first time, I even asked for a fondue pot for Christmas. And I got two. But my own pots do not compare to my experiences at The Melting Pot. Here I can relax and “cook” my fondue without shopping for fondue fuel and food. 
Match Dram’s Bluegrass Breakfast with Schramsberg Brut Rosé.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Whatever happened to country ham and red eye gravy? Restaurant brunch menus rarely offer this dish. Yet I often crave a plateful of country ham, biscuits, red eye gravy, eggs over medium, and white grits—my favorite breakfast as a child.
But I have found it now. And it is even better as an adult—paired with sparkling wine or Champagne.
Vino is an intimate and artistic spot for a Mediterranean dinner and wine.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Vino is an intimate dining spot, which celebrates its first anniversary this month. This dinner restaurant boasts a global wine list and handcrafted cocktails paired with fresh and healthy Mediterranean fare.

Local and regional foods shine in Dyron’s cuisine.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Dyron’s Lowcountry you can’t miss the chalkboard that is front and center. It boasts the local food purveyors with their products served on the menu. This tribute provides both well-deserved recognition and speaks to the authenticity of Dyron’s lowcountry cuisine.

Nabeel’s sautéed shrimp, peasant salad, and wine bring back Greek memories.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

As a daily special Nabeel’s offers several Greek delights. One of my favorites is the “Sautéed Shrimp from the Greek Islands.” It brings a bit of déjà vu of my trips to the Greek Islands. Actually the shrimp is from the Gulf Coast, but the recipe is from the Greek Islands. And this delicious dish, its accompanying tangy salad and a cold glass of crisp, white Greek wine tease my palate as to my real location—Nabeel’s in Homewood.

MetroPrime is a swank new steakhouse on Southside.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


MetroPrime is a locally owned steakhouse that recently opened in a prime location on Southside. Located at 1035 20th Street South, the steakhouse is situated on the curve in Five Points South and is open for dinner Mondays through Saturdays and serves Sunday Brunch.

Chez Fonfon’s simple grilled fish is simply delicious.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

When lunching at Chez Fonfon, I arrive early. Today I open the place at 11:00 a.m. because I know that by 11:30 there is typically not a table left. And by noon the bar will likely also be full.

The Bright Star’s ambience, cuisine and service achieve excellence.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


New concept restaurants come and go. Restaurants that consistently achieve excellence—in what they bring to the table—remain. And as the oldest continuously family owned restaurant in Alabama, The Bright Star has won the test of time.

Another Broken Egg serves soup, salad and sandwiches.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Another Broken Egg is a popular breakfast and brunch spot in Mountain Brook Village. Breaking eggs may be their specialty, but they also serve a tasty lunch fare——entrée portion salads, hearty sandwiches and the soup of the day.

Catch this daily lunch special at the Tavern on the Summit.

By Jan Walsh
Chef Marco Morosini spices things up at The Silvertron Cafe.  

By Jan Walsh

The Pita Stop opens in Cahaba Heights, pleasing long time and new patrons.

By Jan Walsh

Brunch at Bistro V scores big. 

By Jan Walsh

My favorite beef tenderloin tacos just got bigger! 

By Jan Walsh

Bottega Cafe is an institution among locals.

By Jan Walsh 

Nabeel’s Café and Market is one of a kind.

By Jan Walsh 

 

Dyron’s serves lowcountry cuisine in a low-key ambience.

By Jan Walsh

Dodiyós serves an array of tasty Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare.

By Jan Walsh

 

Another Broken Egg cracks open in Mountain Brook Village.

By Jan Walsh

 

Dram serves comfort fare in a welcoming ambience.

By Jan Walsh

 

Nabeel’s is a synthesis of a family’s heritage—Greek and Italian.

By Jan Walsh

 

Chez Fonfon's Chocolate Pot De Creme is a pure pleasure.

By Jan Walsh

 

Dip into a decadent dark chocolate fondue at The Melting Pot.

By Jan Walsh
Remember this number, 26.

By Jan Walsh

 

Tavern on the Summit's Traditional Onion Soup satisfies my soul.

By Jan Walsh

 

Chez Fonfon is classically French and absolutely excellent.

By Jan Walsh

 

Village Tavern's Birmingham location is home to the company's corporate executive chef.

By Jan Walsh

The Melting Pot offers fondue for intimate, business and social dining.

By Jan Walsh 

The Bright Star celebrates 100th Anniversary.

By Jan Walsh

Start with an upbeat ambience, add an eclectic mix of menus, and the sum is George Reis' new restaurant, 26.

By Jan Walsh

 
 
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