Reviews

Somethings Special

Coffee Shoppe at Vino serves coffee, tea, small bites, and Saturday brunch.

By Jan Walsh

It was one year ago this month that Vino and Gallery Bar reopened from the shutdown. And we were here for the reopening on the patio… Today we are here to celebrate the Grand Opening of Coffee Shoppe at Vino! The coffee shop is open Monday through Saturday and offers brunch on Saturday.

J.P. Two Ways

Fig’s chef serves down home Southern and upscale continental.

By Jan Walsh

There are no rules at Fig. But there is a lot of talent. Chef J.P. Holland draws from his Southern heritage, and from his boyhood family’s kitchens, to create some of the best fried chicken and mashed potatoes you can find on a plate. Oh, did I mention the gravy? And on the opposite side of the table, he is a culinary critic of in season seafood, catching what others miss, such as yellow grouper, as well as flavors from other continents.

For the Doughnut

“There’s a food critic in the house!”

By Jan Walsh 

Kev and I ended my birthday week with dinner at Bocca Ristorante. We arrive at Chef Tom Saab’s Italian sister restaurant to his French, Bistro 218, to find a valet and our favorite table waiting. 

Date Night, Done Right

In the mood for romance? Get a table, at Galley and Garden.

By Jan Walsh


Galley and Garden has a reputation for romance. Whether it be drinks at the bar, Champagne brunch on the patio, or popping the question over dinner. But it doesn’t stop here. The restaurant and its private dining rooms are also popular for wedding parties and rehearsal dinners. Thus, it is no surprise that one of Galley and Garden’s most recent accolades is being named “Alabama’s Most Romantic Restaurant,” by Eat This, Not That.

Birthday Bliss

Lunch at Chez Fonfon’s patio lifts my spirits and feeds my soul.

By Jan Walsh

Kev and I arrive for my birthday lunch at Chez Fonfon, coincidentally on the first day the dining room is reopened, April 6. This is a wonderful gift in itself. But not today... Today we have reservations on the patio. And there is not a cloud in the sky, although April 6 is historically rainy. Last April 6, rain was the least of my limitations, as there was not a single restaurant open to celebrate my birthday.

Bottega Al Fresco

Bottega’s patio or my porch?

By Jan Walsh

Nothing beats Bottega’s patio. Yet if you want it to go, Bottega is still offering curb menu, as well as their patio menu, with plans to reopen dining rooms in late spring.

Shared Felicidad
 
Lunch at Sol Y Luna is a fulfilling feast.

By Jan Walsh

Today we lunch at Sol Y Luna, seated at our favorite corner window table. The restaurant’s light-filled, happy ambience makes margaritas a must. Although I aim to try new drinks and dishes each time we come here, the Sol Y Luna Margarita is a memorable cocktail that deserves repeating as are the Guacamole and Queso Flameado.  

Pizza Perfection

Pizzeria GM serves old school comfort food with a cutting edge.

By Jan Walsh

Kev and I made fast friends recently, which is not like us. We met Michelle and David Beasley on their hunt for authentic, period antiques for their antebellum home in Georgia. As fate would have it, we not only share the same taste in and passion for antiques. We all love the South, history, old homes, dogs… and we even agree on politics. Amazing! This week they made a detour, while going home from an antique auction in Mississippi, to meet us for lunch. And Pizzeria GM was the perfect place.

Clairvoyant Chef

J.P. knows our lunch order soon as Fig's phone rings.

By Jan Walsh

Kev and I have made a good habit of ordering lunch from Fig. It is close enough to Liberty Park that it always travels well. And lately, we seem to be stuck on the same order. And for good reason…

Sensational Steaks, Fantastic Fish

Ocean’s steaks are as awesome as the seafood.

By Jan Walsh

Tonight, Kev and I take our regular seats, in the corner of the bar, at one of our favorite restaurants, Ocean. Lucky us, we have gift cards in hand from our son, Ross! Here we watch the action in the open kitchen and hang out with our bartender pal, Robby Greenwood, who is also the bar manager at Ocean. We opt for his recommendation of food friendly Aimery 1531 Cremant De Limoux Brut. As Robby pours our bubbly, owner and executive chef, George Reis takes a break from the kitchen for a visit. It is great to catch up and fun to watch him take on Chef de Cuisine, Ric Trent’s role tonight, who is off this evening. So, we keep our visit short to let the man get back to cooking.

Valentine’s Dinner 2021

Tonight, we fall in love with Blueprint on 3rd all over again.

By Jan Walsh 

Kev and I toast Valentine’s 2021 at home before heading off to Blueprint on 3rd for dinner. We arrive to the Pepper Place area restaurant to a valet in waiting. And we are welcomed inside by restaurant supervisor, Brandon Robb, with glasses of sparkling rose.

Tried, and Truly Terrific  

Lunch at Bistro V brings us back for more of his, and more of hers. 

By Jan Walsh 

Bistro V is one of our favorite restaurants. They know where we want to sit without asking. And our favorite table awaits as we walk in the door. The place is packed, as always. Both ladies who lunch, biz lunches, and solo diners are loyal patrons.

Beautiful Lunch

Kev and I enjoy a date lunch at Bellini’s Ristorante.

By Jan Walsh

Bellini’s Ristorante is the namesake of the classic Italian cocktail, Bellini, which means “little beautiful one.” And lunch here today is a beauty.

Diamond Jubilee

Kev chose GianMarco’s for this milestone birthday.

By Jan Walsh


Five years ago, tonight we were celebrating Kev’s previous milestone birthday with a surprise party in GianMarco’s private dining space. It was filled with friends and family, many of whom still rave about it, saying it was the best birthday party ever. And I can recall every guest who was in attendance and every wonderful bite we ate… Thank you Giani and Marco for the memory.

 

Food Warriors 2021

Birmingham Member Restaurants overcame 2020, surviving into 2021.

By Jan Walsh

A year ago, my only complaint about restaurants in Birmingham was that there were too many new openings. Our “food city” was drawing new restaurants at an unsustainable rate, cutting the pie of Birmingham metro’s restaurant market into too many small pieces. Yet I predicted the strong would survive. Little did I know how strong they would have to become to survive the year.

New Beginnings 

Welcoming 2021 with NYE dinner and Kev’s birthday brunch at Dyron’s Lowcountry 

By Jan Walsh 

We arrive for NYE at Dyron’s Lowcountry early, in time to hang out with executive chef (and beaming new dad) Randall Baldwin and his beautiful wife Laura. And we finally get to meet their baby boy, Bennett. What a doll! Just looking at those big, beautiful eyes, gives me hope… 2021 must be better than 2020, if only for this precious child. 

Holiday Brunch

Fig Tree’s After Christmas Brunch pleases my whole family.

By Jan Walsh

This year was “Big Christmas,” the year when the gang is all here. So, I spent days cooking for Christmas. But for the day after Christmas, I made reservations at Fig Tree. After reading my previous reviews of Chef J.P Holland’s brunch my Florida family has been anxious to try it.

Holiday Menus

Dine out or take out for Christmas Eve and NYE?

By Jan Walsh 

I am ready to see this sorry year end. But meanwhile, let’s celebrate! Birmingham restaurants food warriors are here for the holidays… Dine out or take out your holiday mealincluding wine and cocktails.

Happy Hanukkah Week 

Savor Eli’s Jerusalem Grill potato latkes while they last!

By Jan Walsh 

Eating fried food on Hanukkah is a tradition. It is a commemoration of the oil that burned for eight days, as the Maccabees purified and rededicated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Eli’s Jerusalem Grill is frying organic potato latkes daily during until December 18. 

Holiday Cake

The joy of not baking…

By Jan Walsh

I like to cook. I hate to bake. Cooking can be forgiving. Can taste as I go, adding touches of this and that until my savory dishes taste just right. But not with baking, is too mathematical for me. Precise temps, pre-set baking times, and exact measurements must be followed. Plus, there is a science to baking that most recipes don’t account for, such as humidity, altitude, and atmospheric pressure! Thus, the only cake I bake is a cheesecake. It has no flour, baking soda, etc., so it can’t fall far. And I can get creative with the toppings.

In Memory: Eli Stevens

Lloyd's Restaurant honors Eli Stevens.

Lloyd's Restaurant will be closed Friday, November 27 for his funeral.And the restaurant will close early on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and Sunday at 5:00 p.m. They will reopen Monday, November 30th with normal business hours.

French Kiss

Dinner at Bistro 218 brings us back to life. 

By Jan Walsh 

I miss my life. Many things I took for granted are now missing from my days and nights. Looking forward to has been replaced by fear of what’s next. But not tonight… Tonight, we escape the madness with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants Bistro 218. 

Thanksgiving Menus 

The joy of not cooking Thanksgiving!

Thanksgivings at Galley and Garden are a tradition for many. And in 2020 the legacy lives on. Galley and Garden will be open for Thanksgiving. Chef James Boyce has a special pre fixe price, three course, Thanksgiving Menu.

Champagne Brunch 

The Yard debuts delectable, pre-fixe, weekend brunch! 

By Jan Walsh 

The Yard is now offering brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. This well- conceived meal was planned by Elyton Hotel’s general manager, Chris Townsley and executive chef, Chris Moore. The duo wanted uniqueness in both fare and format. Thus, it is pre-fixe price of $30 per person for three courses per person or $40 for same three course offering plus mimosas for two people.

Champagne Brunch 

The Yard debuts delectable, pre-fixe, weekend brunch! 

By Jan Walsh 

"Champagne" and "brunch" are two of my favorite words. And paired together... I am there. The Yard is now offering brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. This well-conceived meal was planned by Elyton Hotel’s general manager, Chris Townsley and executive chef, Chris Moore. The duo wanted uniqueness in both fare and format. Thus, it is pre-fixe price of $30 per person for three courses per person or $40 for same three course offering plus mimosas for two people. 

En Plein Air 

Chez Fonfon’s patio is a colorful canvas for Frank Stitt’s French palette.  

By Jan Walsh 

Today we are warmly welcomed to lunch at Chez Fonfon, by both Frank and Pardis Stitt. After a brief visit Pardis takes us to our table on the patio where we catch up further. 

Replicating Success 

Bay Leaf’s second location, on Highway 280 is as awesome as the original.  

By Jan Walsh 

Bay Leaf opens a second location at 5426 Highway 280, Suite 14, in Hoover. It is across the highway from the Greystone entrance, on the hill. 

Rivestimento D’argento 



Bocca Ristorante debuts as the silver lining of 2020. 

By Jan Walsh 

Chef and restauranteur, Tom Saab shared his vision for Bocca with me in 2017—before it had a name.  I shared it with my followers—but only as a rumor, at his request, because the idea was still up in the air. And everyone was as excited as I. We all imagined Chef Saab translating his success at Bistro 218, from fluent French to incredible Italian… 

Haven of Hospitality 

The Yard at Elyton Hotel boasts new chef, cuisine, and service. 

By Jan Walsh 

I enjoy three adventures in eating at The Yard before its reopening. First, I meet new executive chef, Chris Moore over a private lunch in the bar. Next, I am treated to a tasting of the entire, new dinner menu20 something dishes!  And two nights before its grand reopening, I dine at its soft launch opening dinner. Synthesizing these three experiences into one, overall realization: The Yard has evolved into a front burner restaurant for foodies. 

Opening the Gates 

Bottega is now serving lunch and dinner in the courtyard!

By Jan Walsh 

For many years, Frank and Pardis Stitt’s Bottega Café has been a favorite, Saturday lunch spot for Kev and me. We have toasted many of life’s good times with Champagne here, at our corner table. And during the bad times, we were comforted and nourished by Frank Stitt’s cuisine. But for the past six months, as we drove past, seeing its proud, tall, iron gates closed saddened me… 

Coming Soon! 

New member restaurants The Yard and Moon Shine at Elyton Hotel

We are always excited to announce new member restaurants. And soon to come will be the Elyton Hotel's eateries: The Yard and Moon Shine. Moon Shine is currently open for dinner and drinks. The Yard will reopen September 18 with an accomplished new executive chef, Chris Moore. 

 

Beta Brunch 

Beautiful new brunch at Watkins Branch Bourbon and Brassiere!

By Jan Walsh 

Today J.P. Holland whips up brunch for his friends. Kev and I are honored to be invited and among the first to taste the new brunch menu at Watkins Branch Bourbon and Brassiere. The weekend brunch officially opens to the public September 12, and will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
 

Perfection, Over Easy 

5 Point pops up the perfect Sunday brunch! 

By Jan Walsh 

Food Warrior, George Reis and his team have been fighting the good fight at Ocean and 5 Point Public House Oyster Bar since March. They continue to pivot with the pandemic, meeting each and every obstacle with new solutions

Surf and Turf, Curbside

Bellini’s claws, beef sliders, burger, and crab salad all travel well.

By Jan Walsh

Bellini’s Ristorante is situated between Jordan’s Shelby County law office and our house. So, when working there, Jordan often treats us to take out from area restaurants. And tonight’s take home dinner comes from Bellini’s Ristorante and Bar, located on Cahaba Valley Road, just off Highway 280.

 

Modern and Upscale 

Chef Z pushes the boundaries of Indian cuisine at Bay Leaf. 

By Jan Walsh 

Tonight, we take a culinary journey to India—via 5 Points South. 

Gracious Hospitality

Village Tavern treats us to a very special lunch paired with craft cocktails. 

By Jan Walsh 

Corporate Executive Chef, Mary Grace Viado Howard’s middle name, “Grace” describes her well. She displays grace in all she does, in good times and in bad, and today is graciously hosting us to a lovely lunch. Although we have picked up at the curb recently, this is our first time back to Village Tavern in the past few months. And it is like a homecoming being here with Mary Grace and team again. 

Foodie Feast 

Eli’s Jerusalem Grill boasts new menu. 

By Jan Walsh 

Today we got lucky to pop in for lunch at Eli's Highway 280 location in Shelby County, just before the statewide mask mandate was enforced. We often rely on Eli’s for organic takeout, even before the curb. I always took it for granted, but no longer. So today having a healthy lunch in their dining room, with no face coverings required, is the joy of the day. 

A Family Favorite

Dinner at Bistro V pleases us all.

By Jan Walsh

Oh, how I have missed dinner at Bistro V. Kev and I had some scrumptious curb meals from here a couple of times lately, but there is nothing like being back to our favorite table tonight—with Jordan.

Culinary Conquest 

Food Warriors at Sol Y Luna conquer whatever comes their way. 

By Jan Walsh 

Jorge and Aimee Castro reopened Sol Y Luna in early 2020. This was six years after the original location closed—and just in time for the pandemic. 

Alabama Mask Mandate Extended

Must wear face covering when entering restaurants. Expires December 11. 

Dads love Frank Stitt’s Father’s Day fare at home.

By Jan Walsh

For Father’s Day weekend we start with Chez Fonfon curbside and finish with Bottega’s Father’s Day dinner to go.

 

Dads love Frank Stitt’s Father’s Day fare at home. 

By Jan Walsh 

For Father’s Day weekend we start with Chez Fonfon curbside and finish with Bottega’s Father’s Day dinner to go. 

All Cylinders 

Pizzeria GM and GianMarco’s are both open for lunch and dinner again. 

By Jan Walsh 

Two of our favorite restaurants are open again! And over the past couple of weeks Kev and I have been to Pizzeria GM twice and GianMarco’s for lunch and dinner. We previously picked up curbside from both restaurants. And GianMarco’s and Pizzeria GM are still offering curb service—with many takers. 

Pizzeria GM's Lobster BLT Special + Lunch Resumes at GianMarco's

By Jan Walsh 

I caught the Lobster BLT special on Friday at Pizzeria GM. Highly recommeended! I will be writing a review of our lunch there and of our recent dinner at GianMarco's next week. That said, Pizzeria GM decided to fly in more lobster, and make the sandwich special go another week! So catch it soon before it is gone. 

Birmingham Restaurants Open. We are there!

Most restaurants are now open on patio, dining room, or both.
 

Life and Loyalty 

Tonight, we are treated to an anniversary dinner by Abhi. 

By Jan Walsh

If nothing else, it is times like these, we all learn who our friends are. The shutdowns and stay at home orders made panic easy—in our echo chambers of worry and fear. Our survival instincts kicked in, asking, “How will we (my family and my business) survive this?” At a time when family, friends, and business buddies have been literally shut out of our lives, we can forget how “we” got where we are in life and who helped get us here… Thus, at times such as these, the focus should not be on ourselves, but on the survival of others. Who needs me now—and how? 

IW&FS honors Chris and Idie Hastings at OvenBird wine dinner.

By Jan Walsh


Little did I know this would be my last dinner in a restaurant for a long time…
 

Better than Ever 

Dinner at Galley and Garden is incredible, from start to finish. 

By Jan Walsh 

This afternoon, we dine at Galley and Garden for dinner. They reopened a few nights ago with dinner service starting at 4:30. They have also started wine events again on the patio. The next event is a Summer Rosé Celebration on June 11 at 5:30.

Vino and Gallery Bar open patio for dinner. And we are there. 

By Jan Walsh 

Oh, how I have missed this place and these people! Vino and Gallery Bar is a happy place. Every memory I have here is a good one. And I have many. Inside and out it is pristine. And the food is incredible and healthy. 

Birmingham Restaurants Open. We are there. 

Blueprint on 3rd reopens. And I am first in the door.

By Jan Walsh

I have not been to a restaurant in more than two months. And it has been 56 years since I have gone this long without dining out… When I was seven years old, after I moved from my Grandparents farm, I started eating at restaurants daily.

Curb it or dine in. Get your BBQ fix and fixings for Memorial Day. 

Both Dreamland Bar-B-Que and Lloyd's are open and offering curb for memorial Day. 

40th Birthday Dinner 

Jordan chose Abhi for his special birthday dinner. 

By Jan Walsh 

lans keep pivoting for my family’s special occasions. We originally planned to take the whole family to the new Abhi in Mountain Brook Village to celebrate Jordan's 40th birthday. But with current status, we decided not to have Ross fly home, just stay safe instead. Jordan is in driving distance. So Abhi treated him to an at home feast!

Two Ways, Two Curbs

It’s Back! Hot and Hot’s Famous Tomato Salad

By Jan Walsh

Hot and Hot Fish Club’s famous Tomato Salad and Tomato Salad with Alabama Royal Red Gulf Shrimp are back! Hot and Hot began curb service of the salads on Friday evening and sold approximately 150! Chef Chris Hastings’ tomato salads are available Tuesday through Saturday for dinner, Saturday for market hours brunch/lunch, and as a part of the special Mother’s Day Menu at OvenBird.

Mother’s Day Weekend

We feasted on Ocean and Ovenbird, family style with Jordan.

By Jan Walsh


We had big big plans for Mother’s Day 2020. Jordan’s 40th birthday is May 23. So, we planned one big celebration for the family. Plan B… I will not allow Ross to fly yet. But Jordan lives a drivable distance. So, thankfully he makes it. On Saturday, we feast on a spread of Ocean Restaurant’s Mother’s Day menu—including by special request, baby lobster tails! As soon as we dip the succulent tails in hot butter, I know all is right with my world this weekend.

Birmingham Restaurants Open. We are there!

Many of our restaurants are now open on patio, dining room or both. 

Feast this week’s curb finds with your eyes.

By Jan Walsh


Alabama restaurants will be allowed to open on May 11 with restrictions. So, this is my last curb review, with the exception of Mother’s Day weekend finds... If only the Governor could have opened one day earlier, we would have celebrated at our favorites. Sigh.

Many restaurants remain open, offering curbside to go and area delivery.

By Jan Walsh 

As long as Birmingham Restaurants member restaurants are open and open for curb, I will be there and will be ordering curb and delivery! 

Starving Here 

What’s for lunch? 

By Jan Walsh 

When the lockdown first started, I had mass quantities of food groceries delivered. But getting food in the house and actually cooking it, soon proved to be too much. Every day there they were—food—just sitting there chilling in the fridge, waiting to be cooked. Fresh farm eggs couldn’t wait to be fried. Potatoes threatened to sprout. And mold married my strawberries overnight. 

Supporting Birmingham Restaurants During Shutdown

Many restaurants, including fine dining, have begun carryout and curbside pick-up. You may order online or call in. Some chefs are creating adjusting menus to create at home meals that travel well. And your take home meal just got better with Alabama Beverage Commission (ABC) authorized emergency powers to allow restaurants and bars to give people the option of ordering alcohol to go, temporarily. 

 

Supporting Birmingham Restaurants’ Servers, During Shutdown

By Jan Walsh

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, Jefferson County restaurants, bars, and breweries cannot allow the consumption of food or beverages on their premises for one week. This shutdown is due to the evolving COVID-19 community spread, in accordance with the Jefferson County Health Department.

 

Lunch & Dinner Delivery

Ordered Billy’s Sports Grill online and delivery to my door.

By Jan Walsh

This week Billy’s Sports Grill added online ordering option. You can pay online and get curbside pickup, of food and alcohol. Or if you live in Liberty Park, you can get your lunch or dinner delivered to your door, with contactless delivery. 

Grilled Goodness 

Lloyd’s Restaurant is much more than a meat and three. 

By Jan Walsh 

Restaurants don’t last 83 years without really good food… I never cease to be amazed at the novices who open a new restaurant and know little about food. They fret over location, often overpaying. And if unsuccessful, they frantically spend mega money marketing “the place” with radio ads. People always ask me, “Was it good? They never ask, “Was it pretty? Do you like its concept? Did you hear their radio ad?...

50 Favorites 2019-2020 & All Time Favorites

Each year Birmingham Restaurants awards the best restaurant dishes found by Birmingham Restaurants' publisher, Jan Walsh.

More than six years after closing its doors, Sol Y Luna rises again. 

By Jan Walsh 

Restaurants come and restaurants go. But most never make a comeback. Sol Y Luna is not most restaurants. The original Sol Y Luna was founded and literally crafted in 1998 by greatly beloved and forever missed, Guillermo Castro. And when it closed the doors in Lakeview in 2013, loyal patrons, such as myself, grieved its loss just as they had its owner, “Guermo.” Tonight, I am also honored to be at the first seating of service at the new Sol Y Luna in Mountain Brook Village’s Lane Parke… I feel his presence in this place. 

Birthday Dinner

Kev’s birthday wish? Dinner at GianMarco’s.

By Jan Walsh

Memories are precious. Four years ago, we enjoyed a big birthday that celebrated seven decades of Kev’s life here at GianMarco’s. It was in their private dining room, filled with family and friends who surprised him with their presence, not presents. They are all gifts in his life, including those who have passed since.

Now Open: Watkins Branch Bourbon and Brasserie

Anant-garde Chef J.P. Holland opens new eatery in Mountain Brook Village. 

Watkins Branch Bourbon and Brasserie is located at 2708 Culver Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223. Known for his careful sourcing of food products and no rules attitude at Fig Tree, and has the same select sourcing and mindset for Watkins Branch Bourbon and Brasserie. 

 

 

A Christmas Tradition 

Bottega Café was this year’s choice for a memorable holiday lunch. 

By Jan Walsh 

Richard Phillips is more like a son to me than a co-worker. I was his first client after earning his graphic design degree at Auburn. He has since designed every logo and website that I have developed. And he is the content manager for my portfolio of commercial restaurant and legal websites—in his spare time of practicing law. Yet we go much further back than adulthood. I was his sixth grade English and writing teacher at Oneonta City Schools. 

After Hours

Forgo the business lunch. Meet up for drinks and apps at Galley Bar instead.

By Jan Walsh

Recently a business lunch meeting got rescheduled twice, before we decided to forgo lunch. We are both just too busy. So, we met instead for Galley Bar 1930 drinks and Vino apps instead. The Galley Bar side of Vino opens at 4:30 p.m. So, it is a perfect spot to meet after work, especially if you can pop out of work a bit early.

 

 

 

fig's jp hollandBuried Treasure 

Chef J.P Holland wows foodies with his earth oven dinner.

By Jan Walsh 

Ross and I were guests of Fig for their Hardcore Foodie Dinner. Upon arrival Chef, J.P. Holland is stoking the coals and unearthing a variety of charred proteins and veggies: lamb, snapper, pumpkins filled with shrimp, and squashes. 


 


dyron's lowcountry country sunday brunch Toasting the Timing 

Sunday Brunch at Dyron’s Lowcountry now serves mimosas before noon.

By Jan Walsh

Dyron’s Lowcountry has one of the best brunches around. And thanks to a new Mountain Brook ordinance, they now serve alcohol on Sundays before noon. The ordinance passed this summer and allows restaurants and grocery stores to begin service at 10:00 a.m.

the fig tree cafe's tomato saladGarden to Table 

The Fig is all about the fabulous food. 

By Jan Walsh 

Chef J.P. Holland makes a job of sourcing his food. From where it comes, how it is raised, and the care and expertise of its preparation, Chef is very involved in the breeding and genetics of the pork and beef served. His seafood comes from Greg Abrams. Local farmers bring their products to the table. And, in Fig’s own garden, he plants, grows, and harvests mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, and wax beans. 

galley and garden wine cellar Three Birmingham Restaurants Member Restaurants won awards: Galley and Garden, Seasons 52 Fresh Grill, and Village Tavern 

 

billy's english village closes Farewell Friend

Billy’s Sports Grill, English Village closes after 40 years. 

By Jan Walsh 


Due to inability to negotiate their lease at the English Village location, Billy’s Sports Grill, is set to close doors on July 14, after 40 years. Although a search was done for an alternate English Village location, it was not successful.
on tap bourbon room My On Tap 

On Tap Sports Café opens at Liberty Park. 

By Jan Walsh 

Today we are among the first in the door as On Tap opens at Liberty Park. The restaurant is situated across the street from the Founder’s Gate. So, we drive out the gate and into their parking lot at 11967 Liberty Parkway. 


blueprint on 3rd strawberry shortcake Blueprint on 3rd celebrates first anniversary. 

 

By Jan Walsh 

 

Tonight, we are honored to be Dean Robb’s guests at Blueprint on 3d, seated at the head table. Time flies. So typically, I say, “seems like yesterday...” Yet it seems longer than one year ago, when we got our first taste of Blueprint—at their preopening family and friends’ dinner. Never seen a preopening dinner go as splendidly. From food to service this restaurant ran like a well-oiled machine from the start. 

blueprint on 3rd calamari Recipe for Success 

First Anniversary Dinner boasts the best of Blueprint of 3rd. 

By Jan Walsh 

Tonight’s first anniversary dinner begins with a prayer. And ends in a toast. And in between we discover new, highly recommended dishes at Blueprint on 3rd. 


 

bottega cafe bar lounge Favorite Table 

Bottega Café adds lounge seating and moved my table.   

By Jan Walsh 

We always arrive before Bottega Café opens in order to get “our table,” in the right corner window. So many memories of lunch right there with Kev. We have romanced, celebrated, and problem solved over lunch and handcrafted cocktails or bubbles. Yet as we valet, I see my table is gone. In its place is a new lounge area with airy, rattan and wicker furniture. I get it. Here guests can wait comfortably for a table, while sipping their choice of beverage, or nibbling on an app. But where’s my table? No worries, I look to the left and there it is in the front window alongside the entrance. Whew! Same good light, nice little corner. We have found a new home here. 

chez fonfon jumbo asparagus salad Power Lunch 

Never underestimate the ladies who lunch at Chez Fonfon. 

By Jan Walsh 


Chez Fonfon is a favorite lunch spot for both business and pleasure. And today I am here for some of both with a biz friend. We catch up, sharing the latest happenings in Birmingham’s restaurant scene and best practices of driving internet traffic to restaurant clients. 

 

farmstand by Stone Hollow Stone Hollow Farmstead opens FarmStand.  

If you liked The Pantry by Stone Hollow Farmstead, you will love FarmStand.


Stone Hollow Farmstead has been a staple of the Farmers Market at Pepper Place for years. With their elegant bouquets, irresistible cheeses, farm-fresh offerings, and dedication to sustainability. And now the style-centric gourmands at Stone Hollow have opened The Farmstand, a brick-and-mortar extension of the farm-fresh goodness they bring every weekend. 


 

Hot and Hot moving to Pepper placeHot and Hot V2

Hot and Hot Fish Club opens at Pepper Place January 23! 


After 24 years in its original location, 2180 11th Court South, Chris and Idie Hastings are moving Hot and Hot Fish Club to Pepper Place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cider, Coconut, and Curry

Discovering new dishes at Abhi Eatery and Bar

By Jan WalshSometimes I get into culinary ruts. I find delicious dishes at a restaurant, and on the next visit, I stick with the tried and true. But today I am not going to order my “go to” favorites at Abhi—well, maybe just the momos. Otherwise I am discovering new options.

 

 

 

 

Valentine Hotline

It's back! 

Birmingham Restaurants annual Valentines newsletter for 2019. 

Each time we add a Valentine's menu to the holiday menus and holiday events, we send Valentine Hotline subscribers an email with a link to it. Valentine Hotline newsletter also includes a link to all Valentine's Day menus. So you can compare and choose the perfect Valentine's dinner for you. 



iron city grill james claborn Ian barkerJames Claborn and Ian Barker takeover Iron City Grill. 

By Jan Walsh 


Iron City Grill has a new executive chef, Ian Barker. The restaurant and the venue of Iron City also have a new general manager, James Claborn. I sat down for lunch with Claborn and Barker this week and got my first taste of the scrumptious new menu that is still evolving. The style is Southern grill with an international twist. Read my upcoming Food Find review next week. 


Abhi Mountain BrookBuilding on Success

Abhi plans second location, in Mountain Brook. 

By Jan Walsh 


Abhishek (Ahbi) Sainju’s Abhi Eatery and Bar is expanding to Mountain Brook. He is currently working with a local architect and contractor to redesign and build out the former Avo location in Mountain Brook Village at 2721 Cahaba Road. Both Avo and its partner restaurant, Dram Whiskey Bar closed in December, after operating in this building for many years.  A spring opening is planned. 


Little Bit Cpountry 

Galley and Garden’s Country Ham Benedict satisfies my soul.

By Jan Walsh

I love farm egg Benedicts. No matter which bread or protein, I am in.

And for those of us who grew up eating country ham, Galley and Garden’s Country Ham Benedict takes us back… Atop a warm, halved buttermilk biscuit, are thick, generous slices of country ham, fresh spinach, poached farm eggs, and house made hollandaise. The yolk runs down, onto the salty slices on first cut. And bite after bite, this comforting dish brings a down home deliciousness to the table. It is served with an arugula salad and potato hash.

dyron's oysters

Captain’s Catch 

Enjoy fresh seafood from Gulf Coast fishermen at Dyron’s Lowcountry.  

By Jan Walsh 

I went fishing once, when I was four-years-old. On my first cast, the line got caught in a tree. I fretted that the worm was afraid of heights. That was my last attempt at catching a fish. 


blueprint on 3rd wine dinner Inaugural Wine Dinner

 

Blueprint on 3rd’s first wine dinner benefits TumTum Tree Foundation.

 

By Jan Walsh

 

This weekend is TumTum Tree Foundation’s Wine Auction Weekend 2018. The Foundation enriches the lives of Alabama’s children who face life-altering and life-threatening illnesses. Over 29 years, TumTum Tree Foundation has donated over $11 million to Alabama children’s charities. And the TumTum Tree Wine Auction is the longest-running charity wine auction in the United States devoted to raising money for children’s charities.

galley and garden salmon burgerFoodie Burgers 

Galley and Garden’s lunch burgers please beef and seafood lovers. 

By Jan Walsh 

Today I am lunching with my dear friend, Laura Calloway to celebrate her upcoming retirement from the Alabama State Bar. And we ladies have saved our appetites for this—and not here to order dainty salads. 

the gardens cafe les dames eventA Feminine Affair  

The Gardens Café host private event for Les Dames d’Escoffier. 

By Jan Walsh 

Les Dames d’Escoffier, Birmingham Chapter welcomed new members this week at The Gardens Café by Kathy G. Located at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the cafe was the perfect place to have this annual event. 

galley and garden wine enthusiast 100 bestGalley and Garden named one of America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants 2018 by Wine Enthusiast.

By Jan Walsh, Photography by Wine Enthusiast and Beau Gustafson 


My favorite table at the Galley and Garden is the chef’s table in the wine room. Here vintage, first class—and first growth—wines are displayed under lock and key, in wine cabinets with antique bronze screens in this 1,500-bottle capacity cellar. Thus, it was no surprise to me to learn that Galley and Garden is now being recognized nationally and internationally for its wine collection.



bluepint on 3rd scallops daily special Scallops Special

I shall never forget the scallops at Blueprint on 3rd.

By Jan Walsh

Kev and I are back at Blueprint on 3rd for the second time. In the meantime, we have raved to friends and family, word of mouth in person about this place, and I have on social media since our first visit.

chocolate taco magic city chocolate challengeChocolate Taco 

And the winner of the Magic City Chocolate Challenge… 

By Jan Walsh 

It was my pleasure to judge the 4th Annual Magic City Chocolate Challenge last night. The event was held at Regions Field in the Diamonds Direct Ballroom and benefits Disabilities Rights and Resources, drradvocates.org. Here local chocolatiers and pastry chefs competed as we tasted and judged which dish would be named Birmingham’s Best Chocolate. The event also included live music, a silent auction, free non-alcoholic beverages, and a cash bar. 



The Turf

Chef Randall Baldwin cooks a mean steak at Dyron’s Lowcountry.

By Jan Walsh

Tonight, we celebrate Jordan’s birthday with a family dinner at his choice of restaurant—Dyron’s Lowcountry. And we have a feast of fish and seafood: crab salad, trigger fish with shrimp, red snapper with crawfish, and fried flounder. But when Kev saw Randall’s ribeye on the menu. He could not order anything else. We had this dish for New Year’s Eve one time, and it was one of those memorable meals that you always hope to relive. And tonight, he did.

 

 

birmingham brunch bill mimosa bloody mary Cheers! Brunch Bill passes. 

Birmingham restaurants now serving alcohol on Sundays starting at 10 a.m. 

The Birmingham City Council voted to allow restaurants to begin selling alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

 

Blueprint on 3rd Dean Robb’s American brasserie will open this spring at The Pepper Place.  

By Jan Walsh

Birmingham Restaurants is proud to announce that Blueprint on 3rd will become our newest member. Restaurant profile is coming soon. But in the meantime, here's the scoop.

abhi deep fried momsMoMo Madness 

Abhi has an expanded menu with six momo dishes, including fried! 

By Jan Walsh 

Years ago, I fell in love with Chef, Abhi Sainju’s momos on first bite. His house-made Nepalese, turkey dumplings are simply and consistently divine. Today he serves them at both of his restaurants: Mo:Mo: at The Pizitz and at his Abhi Eatery and Bar, located at The Summit.  

 

 Outstanding Restaurant and Outstanding Pastry Chef dolester miles outstanding pastry chef highlands bar and grill james beard outstanding restaurant

Congratulations to Frank and Pardis Stitt, and the team at Highlands Bar and Grill named Outstanding Restaurant by James Beard Foundation Awards 2018! And congratulations to Dolester Miles named Outstanding Pastry Chef 2018. 





Marre and Allen dessertsDine and Stay at our restaurant-hotel properties. 

Marre & Allen Bar + Kitchen is located inside the Birmingham Marriott and features chef driven, locally sourced and inspired fare. And The Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa in Birmingham is sure to tempt the most discerning palate with fine dining at Brock's restaurant.

 

pizzeria gm Respinto family opens second Homewood restaurant, Pizzeria GM. 

By Jan Walsh 

Giani, Marco, and their father, Giovanni Respinto are opening their second Homewood restaurant. Pizzeria GM is located at 600 Oak Grove Road. The family is building on its success as it also owns and operates GianMarco’s Restaurant and GianMarco’s Wine on Broadway.