Reviews

satterfield's cocktails Enjoy handcrafted, specialty cocktails at Satterfield’s Bar. 

By Jan Walsh 

Photography by Beau Gustafson 

I love fine dining restaurant bars. Here I can pop in, eat and drink well without having to reserve a table in the dining room. Or when I do have reservations, a relaxing before dinner drink at the bar extends the evening on the front end. 

highlands wineHighlands Bar and Grill uncorks some lovely new wines.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


I have my favorite seat at the bar of Highlands Bar and Grill. If I shared it here, I might never find it open again. But the bartenders know. And they know that I arrive early in order to snag it.  Today as I slip into my seat at the bar—which opens before the restaurant—there is a staff wine tasting of Grassroots wines beginning in the dining room. Highlands’ Beverage Director, Matt Gilpin and the bar staff invite me to come over and taste with them. So I jump off my stool at the chance to be part of this behind the scenes event.
gallery bar drinksGallery Bar 1930 is upscale by design.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Gallery Bar 1930 recently opened in Gallery 1930 art studio in Mountain Brook’s English Village, along side its sister restaurant, Vino.

Restaurateur, Al Rabiee and son Matthew, Bar Manager of Vino and Gallery Bar 1930 greet us at the front door. Inside original art adorns the walls, not televisions. Nor will you find beers on tap, or folks hoping to hook up at this bar. Gallery Bar 1930 is an upscale cocktail and oyster bar, for sophisticated palates with proper manners. Entering the front doors the bar is to the right and a lounge area is to the left. Designed by Richard Tubb, the space opens to Vino's famous patio with sliding doors in the lounge area. Tubb also designed the wicker furnishings that are manufactured in Mobile, Alabama, which further the indoor-outdoor ambiance. And the back area of the venue can be roped off for private events. The space can seat 60 people for a seated dinner.
Melting Pot cocktailsThe Melting Pot shakes and stirs specialty cocktails.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Did you know The Melting Pot has its own bar? I had not pulled up s stool to their bar before tonight. But the specialty cocktails that I have so enjoyed while dining at The Melting Pot led me here for a cocktail tasting.
the wine loft port Taste 10, 20, 30 and 40-years-old ports at The Wine Loft.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Tonight I taste 100 years of Quinto Do Portal ports with Mike Dunnavant, the proprietor of The Wine Loft of Birmingham. Port is a fortified wine. Fortified wines are made by adding grape spirit or brandy to the winemaking process. In port, brandy is added before the wine has finished fermenting. Port is traditionally served at the end of a meal with dessert especially chocolate or cheese. It can also be enjoyed as an after dinner drink or even as an aperitif or with a cigar in front of the fireplace.

dram cocktails Dram Whiskey Bar pours sui generis cocktails.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


You can get a drink most anywhere. But nowhere else will you find a bar or a cocktail list, like Dram Whiskey Bar’s. Located at the heart of Mountain Brook Village, Dram is named for the traditional Scottish whiskey measure. An ambience of reclaimed wood and exposed brick makes Dram feel like your neighborhood bar—even if you do not live in the neighborhood. And so do their bartenders.  Dram boasts an extensive collection of bourbon, scotches, and other whiskeys. And patrons enjoy them mixed in their own specialty libations, classic cocktails not listed on the list, poured neat or on the rocks.

bottega cafe sip and purr cocktail This Bottega Café cocktail is home grown.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Bottega Café’s cocktail menu boasts local flavors. Topping off the list is “Sprout and Purr,” which includes a cold pressed juice—Quench, by Sprout and Pour. Quench is a nutritious blend of romaine, mint, apples, celery, pineapple, and parsley.


jackson's patio cocktails Pair cool spring cocktails with Jackson’s patio.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


I got my first taste of Spring 2015 with a cocktail tasting at Jackson’s Bar and Bistro’s famous patio. We start with a popular, refreshing warm weather drink, Jackson’s Mojito. This cocktail of rum, turbinado sugar (a sugar cane based sugar that is minimally processed), muddled mint and limes is garnished with fresh mint. Jackson’s Mojito achieves a balance of flavors—not overly minty.

JT's lounge cocktails Handcrafted cocktails at JT’s Lounge include local ingredients.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


I love classic hotel bars. They provide travelers a convenient spot to recover from the trip and catch up over drinks and nibbles and a convenient place to “get away” for locals.
clyde may whiskeyClyde May’s Whiskey is the official State Spirit of Alabama.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

People have been making illegal moonshine in Conecuh Ridge of Bullock County, Alabama for generations. Farmers used excess crops to make illegal whiskey. And apparently they still are. Four illegal stills were shut down in 2014 as this went to press. It was here that Mr. May spent his life in pursuit of perfecting small batch whiskey.
wine loft birmingham lebanese wineUncork an organic wine with a heroic history. 

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson 


Tonight at the Wine Loft, Certified Sommelier, Stella Nystrom shares a beautiful Chateaux Musar Jeune Rough 2011—and its amazing history.
Seasons 52 Birmingham organic cocktails Chill with Seasons 52 organic, summer spirits.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Seasons 52’s summer cocktails boast organic vodka and summer fruit and vegetables.  

Seasons 52 Fresh Grill—located at The Summit—is known for its wine bar and an award winning wine list. But don’t overlook their seasonal cocktails. Today we take a mid afternoon break away from the summer sun in their cool, dimly lit bar and look over the cocktails and seasonal cocktails menus. And we select the Cucumber Basil Smash and Strawberry Basil Infusion. Both include Prairie Organic Vodkas.
on tap craft brews On Tap Sports Café’s Beer Wall has it all.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


On Tap Sports Café has been a favorite neighborhood pub since 1996. Now with four Birmingham metro locations—Galleria, Inverness, Lakeview, and Fultondale—On Tap draws regulars from all around.
Billy’s Sports Grill brings home New Belgium brews!

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


The wildly popular Fat Tire is here in Birmingham! Both Billy’s Sports Grill locations, English Village and Overton, have these brews on tap and by the bottle. And at Billy’s English Village you can take it—or any other of their home draft beers—home in 32, 64, or 128 ounce bottles.
GianMarco’s wine bar and retail shop draw wine savvy patrons.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


GianMarco’s Restaurant has long had one of the finest and most flexible wine programs in Alabama. Brothers Giani and Marco Respinto own and operate the restaurant, and offer more than 300 select restaurant quality wines on the wine list. Wines are offered in servings of three ounces, six ounces, quantino, and by the bottle. And the price point for each and every wine is very competitive.
Ocean’s new wine cellar houses fine, old ports.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Port has a history of being the wine that men drank while smoking a cigar—after the women had left the room. That was then. Now women drink wine alongside the men at the bar. And I recently had the pleasure of tasting Warre Vintage Ports with George Reis, executive chef and owner of Ocean and 26. These ports are a recent addition to the wine list at Ocean and 26. And another recent addition to Ocean—its wine cellar—provides a space for the restaurant to lay down some older bottles, such as the Warre Vintage Ports.
Explore Zinfandel with three Ravenswood Zins: Sonoma, Napa and Lodi.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


I had dinner with Joel Peterson when he was in Birmingham a few… (gulp) years ago. Where does time go? Recently when his Ravenswood County Series arrived at my door—for tasting and consideration—I was reminded of the evening with the Godfather of Zin.
Chill on Bottega’s patio with handcrafted martinis.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Bottega Restaurant and Bottega Café each boast their own private, hedge-lined patio. Massive iron gates serve as entry to both. And in the spring yellow Lady Banks roses burst with color and aroma—draping the water fountain on the restaurant side. But no matter the season, when weather permits Bottega’s patio is the place to be.

Avo and Dram host Innis & Gunn Beer Dinner.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Avo & Dram’s recent Innis and Gunn Highland 18 Year Old Beer Dinner included four courses paired with Innis and Gunn Beer poured in their signature glassware. Here I learned the Innis and Gunn’s Oak Aged Beers story, which is almost as incredible as their beers.

Root Beer Float at Jackson’s Bar and Bistro will make you smile.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


A favorite, spring meeting place is the spacious patio of Jackson’s Bar and Bistro. The black iron umbrella tables that dot the space invite you to pull up a chair. And the menu entices with a variety of tempting cocktails. Hmm, what will it be? Misery and Gin sounds tempting—hasn’t been a good day. The Root Beer Float sounds happy. I opt for happy.