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Reviews

Billy's Bar and Grill opens second location, Billy's On Overton.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Every neighborhood needs a Billy's. Liberty Park, and nearby Mountain Brook area residents, just got one. Billy's On Overton is the brother restaurant to Billy's Bar and Grill in Mountain Brook, a longtime neighborhood favorite of many who live, work and shop in English Village. Satisfying the need for an upscale sports bar and grill, the new eatery on Overton opened its doors in April 2008. Those of us who live in the area have watched, waited and been looking forward to this for months.

Located off Overton and Highway 459’s Liberty Park exit, the restaurant is the highlight of this small shopping area. Its stacked stone façade with the familiar billy goat logo above the door welcomes diners inside. Unlike the original Billy’s, historic building, this building is brand new.

Yet its ambience emulates the original with exposed brick, a moose head hanging near the bar, warm golden colors, and its friendly laid back furnishings including a banquette that lines one wall. A spiral staircase leads to the upstairs loft above the bar, where one can enjoy a drink in this semi-private space that overlooks the dining room that s divided into two spaces, one being a few steps above the other—similar to the original restaurant. Four flat screen televisions are strategically placed for every diner to have a view no matter where you sit below. The “L” shaped bar has a cedar shake roof, two televisions, and black bar chairs that match those in the dining room. Classic rock tunes of Jimmy Buffett, Bob Dylan and The Allman Brothers fit the upbeat atmosphere.

Outside there is a partially covered private patio. The focal point is a stacked stone fireplace and its two-story chimney rising from the arched brick wall in the back of the space. Wooden tables and chairs dot the center of the space, and bar tops line the wooden paneled fence between stacked stone pillars where black lights illuminate Billy’s logo in red.

Most of the menu items are the same as the original restaurant along with daily soup and entrée specials and of chicken salad, tuna salad, and coleslaw by the pint. The full bar offers a beer and cocktail menu as well as a wine list divided simply between “Reds” and “Whites.” A glass of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is paired with an appetizer of Fried Olives. Billy’s is the kind of place where people want to meet for drinks and appetizers, so the appetizer menu offers hearty selections of familiar bar fare. Small golden, fried black olives arrive hot in a paper-lined basket. Having had these previously at the other restaurant, I ask for their delicious marina sauce as their dip accompaniment. The crisp bright Sauvignon Blanc is delightful with the scrumptious marinara dipped olives.

From the soup and salad offerings are Billy’s Chili and daily soup specials, available by the cup or bowl. The selection of entrée salads includes Chef, Billy’s Chef—with a marinated grilled chicken breast, Our Caesar, Homemade Chicken, Tuna or Shrimp Salads, Greek, Fried Chicken, and my favorite, Santa Fe Salad with marinated grilled chicken, topped with their chunky salsa and jack cheese. Chicken or shrimp may also be added to a Caesar, and chicken may be added to the Greek.

Sandwiches include everything from All Beef Hot Dogs to their tasty, marinated and grilled Rib eye Steak Sandwich. Favorites tasted here are the Billy’s Chicken Club—a tradition since 1979—and the BTL on wheat, boneless grilled Pork Chop, and the Patty Melt of ground chuck with grilled onions and American cheese.

Entrees are found on the Specials Menu. Tonight the offerings include Baked Tilapia with roasted new potatoes, grilled squash, spinach with mushrooms and tomatoes. Mushrooms are also baked atop the fish. Another fish offering is the Swordfish, Halibut and Salmon Medley topped with lemon burre blanc with herbed rice and asparagus. Ordered is the eight-ounce filet topped with artichoke hearts with a side of asparagus and baked potato. The tender steak is cooked to order, and is enhanced by the lovely artichoke hearts and their sauce, sitting atop the meat. And the simple sides of a hot and flaky baked potato and firm stems of steamed asparagus round out the dish.

Another special for the evening is tonight’s dessert—Banana Pudding. But this is not a cold pudding. It arrives piping hot, straight from the oven. Not too sweet, the pudding is the perfect balance of sweetness, and is just right in consistency with its ratio of bananas to wafers. From appetizers to desserts, Billy’s serves comforting fare cooked to perfection. I look forward to eventually trying every item on this menu—as well as the Sunday brunch menu—now that I have my own Billy’s.

Categories: Casual Fare, Reviews
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