George Reis opens 5 Point Public House and Oyster Bar.
By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
5 Point Public House Oyster Bar is a casual, beer centric, chef driven menu, oyster house. It boasts a raw bar of fresh, Gulf Coast and Chesapeake Bay area oysters alongside local pub fare and a wide selection of craft beers, including local brews and keg-style wines on tap. The Place
Chef and owner George Reis opened 5 Point Public House Oyster Bar next door to his
restaurant, Ocean, at 1210 20th Street South. The new eatery is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday, dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and late night on Friday and Saturday. A towering, white “5 Point” signage above sidewalk seating and the black, French entry doors leads diners inside from the valet. Reclaimed wood, exposed brick, and Edison lighting envelop this comfortable, roughhewn space. The eatery features a full bar complete with copper tubing taps reminiscent of an old fashioned still. Taps are marked with numbers in chalk, correlating to the numbered brews on the chalkboard. Large wooden booths line the outer walls with tables dotting the center space, behind metal, garage style doors that open to the street when weather permits. Oysters served in tin pans, beer in pints and growlers, and wine (on tap) served in beakers also lends to the eclectic ambience. The People
Executive chef and owner, George Reis was born in the Midwest and raised in upstate New York. After living in New York, Dallas, the Gulf Coast and Atlanta, Reis moved to Birmingham and opened Ocean in March 2002. And since that time Reis and Ocean have reeled in numerous accolades, and Ocean has become known as one of Birmingham’s best restaurants—drawing foodies to catch his fresh seafood for dinner. Reis’ team at 5 Point Public house Oyster Bar includes some familiar faces from Ocean and his former restaurant in this location, 26. Chef de cuisine is Jason Daniel, and Ian Barker serves as sous chef. And in the front of the house is floor manager, James Mathews and bar manager, Jim Stout. Favorite Fare
We pair Stone Points Unknown Double IPA Tripel with Olde Salt oysters on the half shell
from Chincoteague, Virginia. They arrive with house made cocktail sauce, cumin remoulade, and house made crackers. The oysters are just lovely, plump and glossy
with a buttery mouth feel and bold flavors. From the oven bread options we select The Heirloom Tomato, but sadly leave off the local shiitake due to a mushroom allergy. The colorful bread arrives cut into seven, pizza style slices loaded with luscious red heirloom tomatoes, yellow banana pepper, Kalamata olives, and bubbly feta. It is awesome, with an addictive bite to it. The Beer Battered Cheese Curds with a side of Jalapeno Aioli for dipping are the best fried cheese ever! These melt in my mouth, creamy on the inside and light, crisp and golden on the outside curds are enhanced by the touch of heat from the aioli. Next we pair a beaker of Pinto Gris with Oyster Rock n’ Roll sushi. Fried oyster, bacon, spinach, cream cheese, asparagus, jalapeno, and cilantro sambal aioli round out this delicious crunchy roll.
And from the small plates menu, we can’t resist today’s Daily Mac and Cheese of Shrimp Orecchiette and PEI Mussels Fries. The gorgeous pasta arrives piping hot, crusty, and golden on top in its own crock along side a salad of local micro greens. Smoked gouda and white cheddar coats each tiny piece of pasta, which intermingles with generous bites of Gulf Shrimp. The lovely mussels arrive in a tasty white wine garlic broth with lemon aioli, great for dipping the fries. And we split a main plate of Alligator Tail Tacos. Each of the three, tasty tacos includes lager beer, grilled gator tail, topped with caramelized onion, grilled pineapple, salsa verde, queso fresco, cabbage, and crema on a soft shell.
If you have never tasted alligator this is the dish. Reis keeps his beer focused menu down to the dessert. His Beerimisu is an interesting jar of layered chocolaty, crunchy goodness.
Published, B-Metro magazine, August, 2015