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Reviews

Dram serves comfort fare in a welcoming ambience.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Dram Whiskey Bar is located in the heart of Mountain Brook Village. It is named for the traditional Scottish whiskey measure—dram.

The Place
Reclaimed wood paneled walls from a tobacco barn serve up a warm welcome to all who enter Dram Whiskey Bar. The whisky-lined bar that wraps the center of the space is rightfully the focal point of the restaurant. Tables line the exposed brick walls that lead to the back of the Dram with a view of the patio, which is also accessible from street.

Best Table
The best seat in the house depends on your purpose—and the weather. If you are here for a drink, just pull up a leather-topped stool to the bar and name your pleasure. The patio is a lovely place to dine al fresco if weather permits. But when the weather is too cool or too wet, any leather seat in this roughhewn house comforts the soul including a seating area with a leather sofa and chairs.

The People
The eatery is one of three restaurants owned by Tom Sheffer’s Green Apple Group in the Birmingham metro area, each of which have their own unique identity and cuisine. Other Green Apple restaurants include Jackson’s Bar and Bistro in Homewood’s SoHo development and the more upscale, California inspired Avo, located upstairs from Dram.  Executive chef, Ben Kirk is the chef at both Dram and Avo. Here at Dram, Kirk’s Tennessee culinary heritage is combined with Sheffer’s Kentucky heritage—resulting in the ultimate Southern comfort food. The food is served with an extra helping of Southern hospitality by the friendly and efficient staff.
Comforting Cocktails Blackberry Winter is a deep, dark blackish purple cocktail on the rocks—garnished with a fresh blackberry. This mix of Knob Creek, blackberries puree and house sours is a perfectly balanced—not too fruity or sweet—delectable, on the rocks cocktail. And the Tennessee Stud is a manly mix of Georgia Moonshine, fresh-squeezed lemonade and a Coca-Cola splash. The acidity and touch of sweetness offset the alcohol for smooth sipping.

Favorite Fare

Don’t miss the homemade Pimento Cheese and Crackers from the Bar Bites menu. A large mound of this thick, cheesy mix is paired with crisp, baked crackers—divine.

The Country Ham Sliders from the “Victuals” list are four small and light buttermilk biscuits, filled with layers of thinly sliced Benton Farms (Tennessee) country ham, and served with apple butter. The flavors of the ham bring childhood memories of country ham and red eye gravy.

Better than your mom’s Breakfast for Supper is this bed of Weisenberger Mills grits surrounding a thick, bone in, grilled Duroc pork chop with a fried farm egg atop. One slice of the egg sends the yolk running over the chop and down into the white, thick and creamy, Kentucky grits that are flavor filled—butter, cheddar cheese, salt pepper and cream. And from first bite to last of the pork proves tender, tasty and cooked to perfection. Kirk achieves such perfection by brining, searing and finishing off these Duroc chops in the oven. Shaker Lemon Pie is the dish for lemon lovers, and I am one! This pie is not made of bottled lemon juice. It has whole, baked lemon curd and lemon slices. To offset the tartness the dish is not only topped with meringue but also served with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. Be sure to get a bite of ice cream on each forkful of pie. And the Church Social Chocolate Pie is tall wedge of delicious chocolate pie—just like grandmother used to make.

Published, B-Metro magazine, December 2009

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