Bar Hop
Before dinner drinks at 5 Point, dinner at Ocean’s Bar
By Jan Walsh 

Back in the pre-Uber days, designated drivers or cab were necessary to bar hop. What fun to pop in and out, having one course at each restaurant bar, starting with apps and ending with dessert. My preference remains dining at the bar of restaurants, to a table. But these days, rather than hopping from place to place, I make reservations at one spot and stay put for the evening. In fact, I loiter there. 

Tasting Magic 
Chefs, Tyler and Jennifer Lyne synthesize magical flavors into culinary art at Tasting TBL. 
By Jan Walsh 

I first shared the magic of Tasting TBL with a review of the Saturday 10-Course Dinner months ago. And since then, our sons, Jordan and Ross have wanted to attend. With both “boys” home for Mother’s Day weekend, Kev and I treat them to Friday Night Five Course, Tasting TBL’s Supper Club, to celebrate Jordan’s May birthday. 

Trusted Taste 

Let’s gather around the table, again, at Bistro V.  
By Jan Walsh 

Bistro V is one of our favorite restaurants. Chef Jeremy Downey and partner, Emily Tuttle Shell keep the stove hot and the doors open Tuesday through Saturday for both lunch and dinner. And when it opens at 11:00, there are always people lined up. Today, as the clock ticks towards opening time, a large, family reunion begins outside in the parking lot, a proud graduate and her family taking photos in front of the restaurant, and two couples meet for lunch. These people trust they will make sweet memories here because they know Bistro V’s kitchen is a lot like their grandmother’s. The veggies were not picked far from the table. The seafood is Gulf. And all products are a curation of the best, in season. Tried and true, time after time. 

My Friend, Fonfon
Chez Fonfon is like a good friend, who always cheers me up. 
By Jan Walsh 

Chez Fonfon makes good times better, and makes bad times briefly fade away. 
Whether I come to celebrate my birthday or to share a final meal with a dying friend, which I have done here twice, Fonfon is always here for me. 

Holiday Brunch 
Galley and Garden is the place to celebrate. 
By Jan Walsh 

My family and I have a tradition of celebrating holidays at Galley and Garden. From Easter to Thanksgiving with Mother’s Day and more in between, this is the place to be for the holidays. Galley and Garden is one of the most beautiful restaurants in town, and Chef Jessica Lindeen always has special dishes on the holiday, prix fixe menus, which have a history of being well priced. And today Kev and I arrive to a valet in waiting for Easter Brunch. General Manager, Virgil Morris and Maître D’ Stan Reynolds greet us at the door, and Stan escorts us to our favorite dining room table in front of the fireplace. 

Time Honored 

Celebrating my Birthday at Chef George McMillian’s FoodBar  

By Jan Walsh 

FoodBar is the newest member of Birmingham Restaurants. But it is not a new restaurant. Renowned Chef George McMillian opened his farm-to-table, Cahaba Heights restaurant in September 2013. So, tonight is a two-toast celebration: my birthday and FoodBar’s upcoming 10th Anniversary in September. 

Time Honored 

Celebrating my Birthday at Chef George McMillian’s FoodBar  

By Jan Walsh 

FoodBar is the newest member of Birmingham Restaurants. But it is not a new restaurant. Renowned Chef George McMillian opened his farm-to-table, Cahaba Heights restaurant in September 2013. So, tonight is a two-toast celebration: my birthday and FoodBar’s upcoming 10th Anniversary in September. 

Inside or Out 
The umbrellas are open at Bottega Café!
By Jan Walsh 

Today we are first in line for lunch at Bottega Café. We look over the menu outside the towering, black iron gates, which open precisely at 11:00. The patio is dotted with black and white stripped umbrellas inviting us to sit underneath here at Birmingham’s most famous patio. Yet inside our window table is also in view, waiting patiently. We opt for our table. From our table it is a delightful scene to watch as most of those behind us quickly fill the patio for an al fresco lunch.

Irish Eats 

5 Point Public House Oyster Bar’s Annual St. Patrick’s Celebration 

By Jan Walsh 

Today we celebrate St. Paddy’s at 5 Point Public House and Oyster Bar. This year the fifth annual party is the day after St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 18, to view the Birmingham St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Located in the heart of 5 Points, at 1210 20th Street South, the restaurant is also at the heart of the parade route, passing in front of the sidewalk tables, window tables, and 5 Point’s sidewalk bar. 

NCAA Best Eats

Best seats for the NCAA Tournament are at our restaurants.

By Jan Walsh

Birmingham Restaurants welcomes visitors to NCAA Tournament. Get a taste of the best restaurants in the Birmingham metro area. No matter which team you cheer, we have restaurants nearby and delivery too. And we have destination restaurants, which lure many out of towners, who come to Birmingham just to dine.

Collaboration Dinner Series
Tasting TBL reservations now available through April 2023. 
By Jan Walsh 

If you attended a Tasting TBL Supper Club dinner in the home of Chefs, Tyler and Jennifer Lyne, you will likely never forget the experience. Currently Tasting TBL’s Friday and Saturday night dinners are held at various venues, in their Collaboration Dinner Series, most recently at Dread River Distilling. March is almost sold out with only two tickets remaining, as this is published. 

Restaurants News 

Jan Walsh shares news at Annual UBS Birmingham Valentine’s Day Women’s Luncheon. 

On February 14, 2023, our founder and publisher, Jan Walsh was the special guest speaker at the annual UBS luncheon. The luncheon was held at The Club. 

Coming Summer 2023

Cantina Tortilla Grill finds new home in Homewood. 

Cantina Tortilla Grill will reopen Summer 2023 in Homewood! Owners, Jorge and Aimee Castro have been waiting for the right place and the right time. And now they have found it. Just like its sister restaurant, Sol Y Luna, Cantina Tortilla Grill is making a comeback

Valentine’s Dinner 2023

Bistro 218 woos with a special 4-course Valentine menu.

By Jan Walsh

Pulling up to Bistro 218 we are impressed by the new awning. Wow! Newcomers will not have any issues finding Bistro 218 among the other historic, downtown storefronts. With the color of an aged Cabernet Merlot blend, signage in white, and the bistro’s gold logo atop, the awning spans the width of the bar and dining room. The awning is also deep enough to cover several, new four top tables, which are decked with matching wicker chairs. Voilà, a covered sidewalk café!

Foretaste of Frenchie 
Private Tour of Future Frenchie with Chef, Co-Owner Tyler Lyne 
By Jan Walsh

Today, renovation of this three-story, historic property is well underway. She has stood the test of time, and the pages of her next chapter as a French restaurant, bistro, patisserie, catering service, and private club are being written.  The future Frenchie’s “good bones” are now exposed as she stands half undressed. And her (6,500 square feet) footprint is being expanded with decks, balconies, and enclosures. Outside the former home blends into the mature landscape. “Time gives you this,” Tyler describes. “You can’t fake time.” You can’t fake views, either.  Hugging the ground, on this hilltop, her flow of porches, balconies, and large windows connect the outside and inside.

Remembering Robey

With Love, From Birmingham

Dear Robey,
From the kitchen at Veranda on Highland you made so many memories that will forever be a part of Birmingham and Alabama’s culinary history, as one of our best chefs. 

Valentine's Hotline 2023

Subscribers to our Valentine's Menu newsletter, Valentine's Hotline need to download Birmingham Restaurants App! 

For many years Birmingham Restaurants sent email updates everytime a new Valentine Menu was published. This Valentine's Day we have added the Hotline to our Birmingham Restaurants App. And we are sending the menus out as pushed announcements. 

Ageless and Elegant

Newly renovated Bottega Dining Room is a beauty.

By Jan Walsh

After closing for renovations in March 2022, the formal Dining Room at Bottega recently reopened. Her paneling and trim are painted dark, showing off her architecture like a black, cocktail dress. Her slender sconces resemble drop earrings that catch the light. In this same classic style, her chandeliers, drape from above, like opera style necklaces. Crisp, white linens smile across her, wide open space. And Bottega Dining Room is well heeled with a newly tiled floor, which is a replica of the vintage flooring in its owners, Frank and Pardis Stitt’s Birmingham home. Make a reservation. The formal side of Bottega is back!

Aging Well

A Husband’s Birthday and a 40 Year Port, at Blueprint on 3rd

By Jan Walsh 

Kev chose Blueprint on 3rd for his birthday dinner. We arrive early, valet the car, and enjoy a glass of wine at Blueprint’s Bar before dinner. Here we catch up with restaurateurs, Dean and Brandon Robb at this family-owned, local restaurant. Dean shares his excitement about the restaurant’s upcoming 5th Anniversary this year. Wow! Seems like yesterday, we were sitting at the front round table for the opening dinner. The restaurant has also aged well, over these five years, as one of Birmingham’s best, although we knew it from the start. 

El Banquete 
First brunch of 2023 is el banquete served at Sol Y Luna’s banquette.  
By Jan Walsh 

No boring brunch here! Saturday brunch at Sol Y Luna is like none other. The fried eggs come with Huevos Rancheros, and if you are looking for French toast, order Torrejas. There is so much more to explore… 

Auld Lang Syne 
Toasting farewell to 2022 at Café Dupont, on New Year’s Eve 
By Jan Walsh

Every New Year’s Eve we plan dinner at a favorite restaurant, reserving our favorite table. Typically, the choice is not an easy one. Yet this year, with Café Dupont back as a Member of Birmingham Restaurants (under the leadership of Owners, Chris and Angela Evans), the choice is apparent. 

Bottega 100%

The Bottega Dining Room has reopened for dinner!

After being closed for renovations since March 2022, the formal Dining Room at Bottega has reopened. Dinner is now served Wednesday- Saturday, from 5:00 until 9:30 p.m. The menu features a nice mix of Bottega classics: beef carpaccio and parmesan soufflé, for example, as well as new dishes. Bottega's menu continues to be inspired by the trattorias and wine bars of Italy. Aperitivi, wines, cocktails, savory bites and desserts are offered in an elegant, intimate atmosphere. 

50 Favorites 2022- 2023

Birmingham Restaurants Annual Best of the Best Awards Coming in December!

Coastal Roots 
Dyron’s Lowcountry is tried and true, yet Chef Brantley always has something new. 
By Jan Walsh 

Dyron’s has been one of my favorite restaurants since it opened in 2009 in Mountain Brook’s Crestline Village. There is really nothing else like it. Here, owners, Dyron Powell and wife, Sonya, hit the spot with their niche of South Carolina and Georgia’s Lowcountry cuisine. Southern coastal estuary shrimp, fish, crab, and oysters are abundant here, as are local fruits, veggies, grits, and grains. Dyron’s is also famous for their seafood gumbo, fried chicken, fried crab claws, and “Old Mobile Style” West Indies Crab Salad, not to mention the Beignets and Buttermilk Biscuits. 

Soup, Seriously
One Chez Fonfon’s soup du jour leads to another…
By Jan Walsh 

Not many restaurants take soup seriously. If on the menu at all, most places only offer the one they have mastered, no matter the season. Not Chez Fonfon. There is always a soup du jour on the menu, waiting for you. Be it thin or thick, cold or intercontinental, it will be the highlight of your day. 

Chef Driven
Bellini’s Ristorante’s Chef Andrew Hatcher’s fab fare is scratch made. 

By Jan Walsh 
Executive Chef, Andrew Hatcher’s earliest memories of food are of his great grandmother’s chicken and dumplings. And no matter how gourmet he gets, you will still find comfort in his fare. 

The Big Reveal
Tonight, we get a taste of FOOD+Culture’s plans, including its annual festival. 
By Jan Walsh 

Food is what we all have in common. And at tonight’s launch of FOOD+Culture we learn more about upcoming supporting events and FOOD+Culture’s Festival planned for October 2023. Afterwards the food and cultural festival will be held annually. Here Birmingham chefs, restaurants, food media, makers, growers, distillers, and brewers will have the opportunity to share their cultures, talents, and stories with the world. 

Farm to Sea
Ocean serves local fruit and veggies with seafood from coast to coast. 
By Jan Walsh 

We came to Ocean tonight craving seafood. Yet we find so much more. From heirloom tomato salad, sweet pea pasta, fried okra, to blueberry cobbler, owner chef, George Reis brings an abundance of local fruit and veggies from start to finish. And he sources fish and seafood from the finest purveyors from the Atlantic to the Pacific, in addition to our Gulf Coast. 

Southern Coastal Cuisine 
Where to take a Napa CIA grad to lunch? Bistro V
By Jan Walsh 

I recently partnered with Ada Ruth Huntley in my upcoming and Auburn Restaurants App venture. When making plans to meet for our first business lunch, I considered that she is not only a former Auburn SAG President and graduate, but also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, California. I have visited this wonderful place years ago for a wine lecture and understand its rich history and prestigious reputation. So, I could not take her just anywhere for lunch. It had to be a chef driven restaurant. Bistro V’s chef, Jeremy Downey played on the 1992 University of Alabama championship football team and proudly wears his ring while cooking. Yet his co-owner, Emily Tuttle Shell is orange and blue all the way. And she greets us and seats us today at my favorite, corner bar table, in this house divided. 

Bar Night 

Bistro 218 brings back Burger and Crab Cake Sliders at The Bar.

By Jan Walsh 

Tonight, Kev and I have reservations in The Bar at Bistro 218. This French bistro boasts two dining options for dinner to suit your mood and your appetite: fine dining with French classics in the main dining room and casually upscale bar with its own bar menu. And no matter which room or menu you choose, owners and restaurateurs, Tom and Christina Saab offer ever changing, seasonal fare sourced from the best meat and Gulf Coast seafood purveyors, local foragers and farmers, and every ingred

Sunday Funday
Abhi Eatery and Bar is now open for Sunday lunch and dinner.  
By Jan Walsh 

Sunday lunch at Abhi Eatery & Bar is back by popular demand! When the Abhi at The Summit location closed, taking down its Sunday lunch, many of us were disappointed. So Abhi came to our rescue… opening Mountain Brook Village for lunch to satisfy our Sunday appetites! 

Petite Phenom 
Corporate Exec Chef, Mary Grace Viado celebrates 20 years at Village Tavern.  
By Jan Walsh 

If Chef Mary Grace Viado were a dish… What would she be? Her petite appearance and gracious hospitality are much like a canape, perhaps a caviar scallop. Yet her pretty smile and sweet personality are more like a dessert, such as her own warm butter cake with fruit and ice cream. Yet underlying this dainty demeanor, there is a CIA education, a world of experience, a passion for research and development, and a boss lady. Thus, Viado is not a dish, she is the talent who develops them all. 

Ladies Who Lunch 

Likeminded businesswomen meet for lunch at Bottega Café. 

By Jan Walsh 

Today I am meeting with another local businesswoman for lunch. She is new to the city. So, I arrive and secure the table needed at Bottega Café for a private business chat, which will also lend natural light for food photos. My guest arrives just as I am settled in with glasses and camera unpacked.  


BR App V2

Birmingham Restaurants App upgraded with content rich tabs! 
Download or Update 





Special of the Day 

Catching Chez Fonfon’s Lobster and Shrimp BLT for Lunch

By Jan Walsh 

Kev and I love lobster, and can never find enough of it, especially for lunch. So, we look forward to the annual roll out of Chez Fonfon lobster rolls! Today we show up as the doors open to continue our annual tradition of catching Wednesday’s Specialite du Jour: Lobster and Shrimp BLT. Both Frank and Pardis Stitt are here today. Frank waves as a media photographer is setting him up for a photo with food. We are seated at our favorite corner, window table, and settle in with seasonal cocktails of Peach Bellini and Watermelon Margarita. As we sip our drinks, Pardis stops by for a visit, and we chat about the latest local food scene happenings. The bellini is a beauty, made of hand squeezed peach juice and sparkling wine, thus voluptuous in body, peachy in flavor, balanced and not sweet. And the margarita is a lovely mix of watermelon, tequila, and lime, in which the juice of the melon dominates, as it should. 

A Time, And Place 
Savoring the pleasures of dinner at Tasting TBL
By Jan Walsh 

I must admit that Chefs, Tyler and Jennifer Lyne exploded onto the Birmingham culinary scene under my radar. The couple moved to Hoover in 2020 during the pandemic, after 16 years in New York City. And NYC’s loss is Birmingham’s gain. Both chefs are graduates of the CIA and have impressive culinary educations and experience, including stints at the top restaurants in NYC as well as Japan and Paris. Just like many of us, Chef Tyler is a born and bred Southerner. Having been born and raised in Texas, he did not plan to raise his son without a yard. Thus, a move away from NYC was likely inevitable.  

Looming Large 

Tasting TBL is our newest member. And Frenchies is up next!

In 2020, NYC’s celebrated chefs, Tyler and Jennifer Lyne made Hoover their home. And their supper club, Tasting TBL is the newest Member of Birmingham Restaurants + App (profile under development). Meanwhile the Lynes are also underway with a new French restaurant, Frenchies, in the former Rucker House location in Southside. Frenchies will have service from breakfast until late night, as well as boasting a patisserie, delivery, catering, private events. The couple also has plans for an upscale steakhouse, like none other. It will be located downtown Birmingham, in the previous location of a meat processing facility, Armour and Company, on 1st Avenue North. Both future restaurants will also become Member Restaurants of Birmingham Restaurants. We have so much to look forward to! And Auburn fans will be delighted to learn that Chef Tyler will be the inaugural chef-in-residence at 1856. This is the new teaching restaurant in the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center at Auburn University, which we have all been eagerly anticipating for too long. 

Dupont’s Duet
Café Dupont is in chefs’ hands with new owners, Chris and Angela Evans. 
By Jan Walsh 

Entering Café Dupont’s stately Bar conjures up a Déjà vu experience. I go way back with this café¾all the way to its origins in Springville. Thus, it is natural to recall my long and storied relationship with the restaurant. Yet I am not here for a trip down memory lane, but instead for a fresh start with its new owners and chefs, Chris and Angela Evans. Chris was sous chef at the original location in Springville from 1997 until 2000, and back at Café Dupont since it opened in Birmingham in 2003. Angela was his pastry chef for several years before taking the position of Culinary Instructor at Clay Chalkville High School in 2021. Yet she still makes time to help with the desserts when needed. 

Farm to Pizza
Pizzeria GM slices, dices, and squeezes summertime. 
By Jan Walsh

Before you order at Pizzeria GM, check out the specials on the tabletop menu. Today’s specials include Strawberry and Smoke Bruschetta, Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad, Shrimp Bisque, Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad, Chilton County Peach Pizza, and Italian Nachos. See what I mean?

In Full Bloom 
Lunch at The Gardens Café features our favorites and in season fare. 
By Jan Walsh 

So much more than a bridal and garden club destination, lunch at The Gardens Cafe, by Kathy G. is always pristine, plentiful, and pleases all. 

Birmingham Restaurants App 


Download at App Store or Google Play. 

In The News 

WVTM 13 Features Birmingham Restaurants App! 



Chef’s Pizzeria 

Troup’s Pizza has made a real name for itself. 

By Jan Walsh 

Troup’s Pizza is locally owned and operated by Chef Terrill Brazelton and wife, Ashley. The pizzeria is the namesake of previous generations of Brazeltons, his dad and two grandfathers, all named, "Troup." 

World's Best Eats 
Best seats for The World Games are at our restaurants. 
By Jan Walsh 

Birmingham Restaurants welcomes visitors to The World Games 2022. Get a taste of the best restaurants in the Birmingham metro area. No matter which venue you attend, we have restaurants nearby. And we have destination restaurants, which lure many out of towners, who come to Birmingham just to dine. 


Birmingham Restaurants App 

Get sneak peek. Launch this week!

How To Order Online? 

Visit Restaurant Profle.  

Click Order Online Link.  

Where Everybody Eats 
Billy’s Sports Grill keeps bringing them back for more. 
By Jan Walsh 

Billy’s Sports Grill is our favorite Liberty Park eatery. And we are in good company. Whenever Kev asks his lunch groups¾YLDP team and his old friends¾where they want to eat, “Let’s eat at Billy’s” is always the answer. 

Enchanting Evening 
Kev and I celebrate our 26th Anniversary at Bocca Ristorante.  
By Jan Walsh 

Tom and Christina Saab have gotten fine dining right—twice. Bistro 218 and Bocca Ristorante are two of the best restaurants in Birmingham. We dined at Bistro 218 for Valentine’s Day 2022. And tonight, for our anniversary, we choose Bocca Ristorante. 

Weekly News & Events 

Wine & Dine Weekly is our newsletter, which has been published since 2006 in partnership with Originally it was Wine Weekly until we launched Birmingham Restaurants in 2007. You many sign up on our Homepage to receive Wine & Dine Weekly via email. 


Under the Umbrella 
Bellini’s Ristorante and Bar’s patio is a date night favorite. 
By Jan Walsh 

We arrive at Bellini’s for our 5:30 p.m. reservation. All sidewalk and brick walled patio’s tables are taken by other couples, except our corner table displaying a “reserved” sign. We nestle into umbrellaed table where large rectangular flowerpots line the top of the walls above us, heightening our privacy with vibrant colors and sweet aromas. 

First String 
Bistro V holds the line on excellence, from lunch through dinner. 
By Jan Walsh 

Bistro V partners are divided only when it comes to football. Executive Chef, Jeremy Downey played on the University of Alabama’s 1992 National Championship Football Team¾and wears his national championship ring in the kitchen with pride. Partner, Emily Tuttle-Shell, who runs just about everything but the kitchen, is an Auburn alumnus. But Bistro V is their gridiron where they team together in pursuit of excellence. 

Mom’s Day Eve
I treat my guys to Bottega Café for Saturday lunch.
By Jan Walsh

I am blessed to have both sons home for Mother’s Day week. Jordan brought Gulf seafood up from Gulf Breeze to cook for us on Mother’s Day. And I take my guys to lunch on Saturday at Bottega Café. And joining us is Ross’ childhood friend Banks Nelson, who is like family too. I had told them all we must be there before 11:00 a.m. because Bottega Café is not taking reservations any longer. So, we arrive 15 minutes before the doors open, and there is already a short line at the gate, which quickly grows down the sidewalk by 11:00. Fortunately, being near the front of the line pays off as we are seated at the round window table, which can accommodate five or six people. And within ten minutes, just as I predicted, the entire restaurant, bar, and patio are packed.

Birmingham Restaurants App
Coming soon to Apple App Store and Google Play!

By Jan Walsh 
To celebrate our 15th Anniversary, we are developing and launching Birmingham Restaurants App! Soon you will be able to download it from the Apple App Store and Google Play. 

Comforting Classics 
Saturday Brunch at Ted’s Restaurant is a fulfilling, family feast. 
By Jan Walsh

Entering Ted’s is like going back home. Blue and white dishes are displayed above the sideboard adorned with Touloupis’ family photos. Owners, Tasos and Beba Touloupis spot us and warmly greet and seat us... A feeling of deja vu falls over me… Ted’s Restaurant always takes me back to my grandmother’s farmhouse, where she would keep the gas stove on and biscuits warm until I woke. Then I would warm up to the open stove in my pajamas while eating a buttered biscuit with her homemade blackberry preserves. Next Oneonta Mayor, and dear friend, Richard Phillips walks in the door. He is here to meet Kev and me at Ted’s Restaurant for early brunch. 

Fridays at Fonfon
Lingering over lunch at a place we love…
By Jan Walsh 

Chez Fonfon has long been one of my favorite restaurants. I just love the country French cuisine, authentic antiques, and bistro bustle—all of which speak to me saying, “This is where I belong.” And through the years Kev has also grown to love this place as much as I do. “It’s great to here today, at someplace we love,” he says, just after we are seated. And there is much to love… Chez Fonfon’s servers proudly don the traditional French uniform—black vest, black pants, white shirt and apron—posturing the importance of their role. The authentic, French antique, frosted windows and back door, inscribed with “Café” and “Restaurant,” envelop Fonfon in soft, warm, natural light. Creamy and chocolaty French pastries tempt guests as they walk in the door. And the open bar, decorated with seasonal fruits for hand crafting cocktails, welcomes those without reservations. 

CEO Recommends

Tonight, we taste favorites of Betsy McAtee, CEO of Dreamland Bar-B-Que.  

By Jan Walsh

Dreamland Bar-B-Que started in 1958 with a dream. John “Big Daddy” Bishop dreamed that God told him to open a restaurant. Today Dreamland Bar-B-Que is known throughout the South for its legendary ribs and sauce. It is served in eight stadium venues throughout the Southeast. And Dreamland Holding Company operates 10 restaurants in the Southeast and ships its BBQ nationwide.

Blueprint’s Trinity 
Steaming plates, chilly wine, and happy people are Blueprint on 3rd’s recipe for success. 
By Jan Walsh 

Tonight, we dine at one of our favorites, Blueprint on 3rd for our last restaurant meal of Winter 2022. We are greeted and enjoy catching up with both Dean and Brandon Robb. 

Ocean’s 20th Anniversary 
Tonight, we celebrate 20 years of food memories at Ocean Restaurant. 
By Beau Gustafson & Jan Walsh

Kev and I have been dining at Ocean Restaurant since it opened in March 2002. I have reviewed dinners here more times than I can count. Yet we can never get enough of one of our favorite restaurants in the world. 

Crispy Comfort 

Dyron’s Sunday Brunch boasts fried and true favorites.

By Jan Walsh

You won’t find a better brunch than Dyron’s Lowcountry. The menu changes frequently, typically each Sunday. But its style never does. There is usually a farm egg omelet, Southern style big breakfast, French toast or pancakes, gumbo, steak or short rib, biscuits, beignets, and their fried dishes: oysters, chicken, crab claws, and fish.

Staying Power

Bottega Café reopens on 15th Anniversary of Birmingham Restaurants.

By Jan Walsh

As Bottega Café reopens for today, March 1, 2022, I am the first person in the door. With hugs from Pardis and The Staple Singers playing overhead, I hum along, “I know a place, ya’ll… I’ll take you there…” Just being back here is a memorable, instantly uplifting experience.

15 Fulfilling Years
Birmingham Restaurants celebrates 15th Anniversary!

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson and Jan Walsh 

On March 1, 2007, I launched An unintentional pioneer of the local internet, I became back in the early (www) wild, wild, web days, when most businesses did not have a website—including restaurants. When we launched, Twitter was less than a year old. And Facebook had become a public site less than six months prior.

Lunch and a Movie

Today we pair Sunday lunch at Abhi Eatery and Bar with the movie, Dog.

By Jan Walsh

Just when I have not been to the movies in years, along comes, Dog. Sunday lunch at Abhi at The Summit, however, is a regular thing, as is dinner at Abhi, both here and at Mountain Brook Village location. 

Coming Soon!

Bottega Cafe reopens March 1, 2022. 

Just like old times, Bottega Cafe will not take reservations after it reopens. New hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. 

The Feel 
Taco Mama’s success happened by design. And we taste it in every bite. 
By Jan Walsh 

In 2011, Founder, Will Haver wanted to open “a laid back, funky, fun taqueria
 with great tasting, fresh food, and simple approach,” in Mountain Brook, near his other restaurant, Otey’s. And from day one at Taco Mama, they were lined up out the door. Eleven years later Taco Mama has 22 locations. 

Rosé Wine and Roses

Valentine’s Dinner at Bistro 218 boasts aromatic bouquets.

By Jan Walsh 

I made reservations well in advance at Bistro 218 for the Saturday before Valentine’s Day. Afterwards, owner and executive chef, Tom Saab decided to open the restaurant on Monday night for Valentine’s dinner with a special, four courses with options, Valentine’s Menu. Oh, my! He had me at “Butter Poached Lobster Risotto.” Fortunately, by popular demand, this special menu is served this Saturday evening too. 

Sharing the Celebration
Tonight, we celebrate Sol Y Luna’s 2nd Anniversary.
By Jan Walsh  

As Sol Y Luna approaches its 2nd Anniversary, we celebrate it. Opening just two months before the pandemic, restaurant warriors, Jorge and Aimee Castro have made this restaurant a success in the most difficult of times. Seeing Guermo’s portrait on the wall, I expect that he is looking down from Heaven, smiling at their reincarnation of his beloved, original Sol Y Luna. 

It's Back!

Everybody loves Valentine Hotline

Valentine Hotline is an subscription newsletter that sends new Valentine's menus and specials to your inbox as they are published. 


Chef Partner 

Blueprint on 3rd names new partner. 

Owner, operator of Blueprint on 3rd announces new business partnership with Executive Chef, James Huckaby. Chef Huckaby has served as executive chef since it opened and has contributed much to the success of the restaurant.

Tales and Tails 
Tonight, we celebrate Kev’s birthday at Ocean’s bar. 
By Jan Walsh 

I offer Kev dinner at any Birmingham area restaurant for his birthday. And he responds, “Let’s go to Ocean’s bar and eat baby lobster tails!” I am not surprised. He often suggests Ocean for dinner, although he claims I am the seafood lover, and he is the meat guy. 

First Dibs 
First meal of the year is a fabulous, French lunch at Fonfon. 
By Jan Walsh 

Kev and I venture into 2022 at one of our favorite restaurants, Chez Fonfon. It is literally freezing outside. But as the door and curtain open, we find it warm and welcoming inside the café, where we are greeted by the Stitts. 

New Year’s Eve, Eve 
Toasting Loyalty: To the Respinto Family and Schramsberg friends! 
By Jan Walsh 

What to do when your hubby has to watch football on NYE? You reserve New Year’s Eve, Eve. I am obviously not the only one who had to change NYE reservations to the night before. GianMarco’s is booked at 5:00 p.m. Yet our table is waiting. 

50 Favorites 2021-2022

Awards will be announced January 1, 2022!

Our Neighborhood Grill 
Billy’s Sports Grill is our Liberty Park favorite. 
By Jan Walsh 

Billy’s has been a neighborhood favorite since 1979 when it opened in its original, former location in English Village. “Our Billy’s” is located on Overton Road at the 459 Exit to Liberty Park. It is a convenient spot for lunch, dinner, happy hour, and live music on the covered patio for residents of Liberty Park and surrounding Mountain Brook. 

Day After Party 

My family forgoes leftovers and gathers round the window table at Bottega. 

By Jan Walsh 

Beyond blessed to have my family here for Thanksgiving. But how can you top the perfect turkey day? Mid-afternoon meal the day after at Bottega. 

Here’s The Beef

Friday is prime rib night at 5 Point Public House Oyster Bar. 

By Jan Walsh 

5 Point Public House Oyster Bar is famous for their oysters on half shell, baked, and fried. After all, it is the sister restaurant to Ocean Restaurant, situated next door in 5 Points. Restauranteur, George Reis is the owner and executive chef of both. In addition to fish and seafood from across the globe, you can also get one of the best steaks anywhere at Ocean. And I expect that 5 Point will be known for its Friday night prime rib soon. This month Reis started the prime rib as a Friday night early special. It has sold out each week. So, we made reservations for 5:00 tonight. 

With Honors and With Reservations 

Our Heroes’ Sunday Brunch is well planned for Dyron’s Lowcountry. 

By Jan Walsh  

Veteran’s Day week is special for Kev and me. His Youth Leadership Development Program’s annual patriotism events kick off on tonight and last through Monday evening. Congressional Medal of Honor recipients and their families come to town for and are honored at the events. Prior to these events, we bring some of the early arrivals to Dyron’s for Sunday brunch. Like everything about this week, our brunch was well planned weeks ago… with reservations. 

Second to Naan

Bay Leaf Indian cuisine is tried and truer. 

By Jan Walsh 

On our first visits to Bay Leaf Modern Indian Cuisine and Bar, we were experimenting. Now we are discovering. Each new experience of Chef Z’s modern Indian fare (at both this Highway 280 location and the Southside location) outdoes the last. And it is always difficult not to order dishes we have previously had because we now have favorites: Naans, Biriyani, Drums of Heaven, Crab Lollypops, Tandoori Shrimp, Beef Short Ribs, and the any and every soup. 

Common Ground 

Sunday brunch at Galley and Garden pleases carnivores and vegans. 

By Jan Walsh 

The patio at Galley and Garden is common ground for both meat loving foodies and those who prefer plants. There is also live music for all to enjoy and a garden view. 

Our Happy Place 

Pizzeria GM is more than a pizza place. They serve happiness here. 

By Jan Walsh 

There is no place like Pizzeria GM. The kitchen here is Giani Respinto’s playground. The pizzas are hard to resist. But so is everything else… The daily specials delightful. The in-season salads and pizzas are sensational. And the sandwiches tower over their hand cut fries. 

Sharing Sushi

Abhi Eatery and Bar in Mountain Brook is where we roll.

By Jan Walsh 

Abhi Eatery and Bar has two locations, The Summit and Mountain Brook Village. The menus vary by location. And we love both! The Summit location is open on Sundays for lunch, which gives us a weekly option to dine in or carry out. And both restaurants are open nightly for dinner. 

Table for Two

Lunch at Bistro V pleases him and her.

By Jan Walsh

Kev and I have different palates. He likes sweet, pork, and beer. I like spicy, seafood, and wine. But neither of us have to give in about where to have lunch because Bistro V pleases us both…

Lost Time 

Lunch with Mayor Phillips at Fonfon is a time to remember. 

By Jan Walsh 

The past 18 months have stolen much from me. And I feel the need to make up for lost time. Oneonta Mayor, Richard Phillips is like a son to me. He was in the first class I taught as a teacher at Oneonta City Schools. Teachers do have “favorites,” and he was one of mine. And once we found each other, we never let go… always been there for me: baby-sitting, dog sitting, helping start up my two businesses and working with me in both ever since. The two of us always found a way to keep our lives woven tightly together, even throughout the pandemic, when we could not be together as often. 

Southern Hospitality 

Family friendliness is the icing on the fabulous food at Blueprint on 3rd. 

By Jan Walsh 

Blueprint on 3rd is a Robb family, owned and run restaurant. And you feel it as you walk in the door. The Robb family is a loyal bunch who genuinely cares for their patrons, and treats us all like family. Tonight, as we step away from the valet and inside the restaurant, Brandon Robb greets us at the door. He later treats us to an amazing app and checks on us during each course. Meanwhile his father, Dean Robb is in the kitchen cooking due to Blueprint’s chef de cuisine being away on vacation. Even still, he dashes out to greet us at our table with glasses of French sparkling rosé, and he checks back in on us after our entrees arrive. And Dean's wife, Jenny focuses on the front of the house.

Farm Finds

Farmer Noah brings his bounty to my door weekly. 

By Jan Walsh 

Living an organic life is not easy. But having my own farmer helps. I am a patron of Rora Valley Farms and its Farmship program. 

One Curb, Two Meals 

Eli keeps us well fed with organic, Israeli fare. 

By Jan Walsh 

We dine in on occasion and pick up at the curb often at Eli’s Jerusalem Grill. And over the years, I have enjoyed everything on the menu. I have also been in the kitchen filming cooking videos with Chef Eli Markshtien, where I was impressed by his due diligence to keeping it organic. Everywhere I looked the products were marked with USDA Organic label. 

Al Fresco Escape 

Bellini’s patio is our private, mid-day getaway. 

By Jan Walsh 

Bellini’s Ristorante and Bar is a short, scenic drive from Liberty Park. We go “the back way” down Sicard Hollow, onto Grants Mill Road and over Lake Purdy, to hit Highway 119. And in ten minutes we are there. 

Always In Season 

Dyron’s Lowcountry always serves a bounty of in season fare.  

By Jan Walsh  

Owners Dyron and Sonya Powell are passionate about fresh, local produce as well as Gulf fish and seafood. And it shows. Each of the four seasons, Dyron’s serves farm fresh products, as soon as they come into season: strawberries, blueberries, heirloom tomatoes, truffles, ruby red grapefruit, peaches, okra, root vegetables, farm eggs, soft shell crab, red snapper, royal reds shrimp, yellowfin tuna, Louisiana crawfish, Florida stone crab claws…

Gone Fishing 

I know a great spot to catch fish: Ocean Restaurant. 

By Jan Walsh 

Ocean’s seafood is unsurpassed. From day boat Gulf fish to cold water crustaceans, owner and executive chef, George Reis serves it all. 

Oh, Mama! 

We pair surf and turf burrito bowls with melon margaritas. 

By Jan Walsh 

I am not much of a planner. But when I go to Taco Mama, I have my order ready… because I want everything listed on their colorful boards. 

Beyond Words 

I need a new thesaurus to describe dinner at Bistro 218. 

By Jan Walsh 

If you look up “delicious” in a thesaurus, there are hundreds of synonyms. And you can check off each-and-every one of them to describe dinner at Bistro 218. It has always been so. I have reviewed this restaurant many times over the years, since Tom Saab opened his dream. Each bite of every night has been praiseworthy. And tonight, he continues to wow me!

Craving Wednesday’s Special 

I came for Bottega’s veggie plate. 

By Jan Walsh

Summer brings Bottega’s Vegetable Plate each Wednesday. 

As I make reservations for Wednesday, I can taste the vegetable plates of my childhood. I spent most of the first eight years of my life on my grandparents’ farm, a self-sustaining farm with a cash crop of cotton. My grandfather grew enough food to feed this household all year, as my grandmother canned and froze vegetables, and made jams and jellies from the fruit of the trees. There were Pink Eye Purple Hull Peas, Big Boy and Better Boy Tomatoes, Silver Queen Corn, watermelons, cantaloupes, okra, squash, collards, turnips, cucumber, figs, apples, peaches, and strawberries. Lunch was called dinner. Dinner was called supper. And both meals boasted a table filled with bowls of fruits and vegetables. There was no meat or poultry served except for special occasions when my grandmother would fry a chicken or the annual pig roast. And I never outgrew my craving for a Southern vegetable plate. 

Father’s Day Feast 

Village Tavern is a dad pleaser. 

By Jan Walsh 

One of Daddy Joe’s favorite restaurants is Village Tavern. So, we make Father’s Day reservations for four: Kev, Jordan, Joe and me.  

Silver Anniversary Brunch 

At Birmingham’s romantic restaurant, Galley and Garden

By Jan Walsh 

 Our 25th Anniversary fell on a Sunday. So, the obvious choice is a restaurant known for romance, Galley and Garden. Here they serve a prix fixe menu of two or three courses for Sunday brunch. 

Silver Anniversary Brunch At Birmingham’s romantic restaurant, Galley and GardenBy Jan Walsh Our 25th Anniversary fell on a Sunday. So, the obvious choice is a restaurant known for romance, Galley and Garden. Here they serve a prix fixe menu of two or three courses for Sunday brunch. Maître D’, Stan Reynolds seats us at our favorite table and treats us to glasses of Tribaut Brut Origine Champagne and has our favorite sparkling water chilled tableside. Thank you! We toast our special day with Champagne and cornbread. Be still my heart. As starters we select Heirloom Tomato Turnover and Summer Corn Bisque. The savory turnover is a warm, golden pastry filled with heirloom tomatoes, parmesan, and feta, topped with pesto and balsamic glaze. And the bisque is also incredible, briming with fresh, roasted yellow corn and a pop of poblano peppers. Don’t let summer slip away without enjoying these in season apps. Stan introduces us to the new General Manager, Jessica Lindell. And afterwards Chef Vicky Rutledge stops by...

Anniversaries Dinner 

We celebrate our 25th anniversary on Bistro V’s 11th anniversary. 

By Jan Walsh 

Timing is everything. After much consideration and conversation, of where to dine for our 25th Silver Anniversary, we choose Bistro V. Upon arrival we learn it is Bistro V’s 11th Anniversary. Partner and Executive Chef, Jeremy Downley comes out of the kitchen for greetings, anniversary wishes, and hugs. It is so wonderful to see his face again!

Pushing Boundaries

Discover amazing new eats at Abhi’s Eatery and Bar.

By Jan Walsh

Abhi at The Summit is one of our favorite take outs for Sunday lunch. Kev and I both have our favorite dishes here that we know travel well. Yet the favorites list evolves because once we try a different dish, it then becomes the new favorite. Today we are dining in for Sunday lunch. So today I rule out ordering a dish that we have ever had before.

Pushing Boundaries

Discover amazing new eats at Abhi’s Eatery and Bar.

By Jan Walsh

Abhi at The Summit is one of our favorite take outs for Sunday lunch. Kev and I both have our favorite dishes here that we know travel well. Yet the favorites list evolves because once we try a different dish, it then becomes the new favorite. Today we are dining in for Sunday lunch. So today I rule out ordering a dish that we have ever had before.


Bottega with the Boys

We celebrate Mother’s Day weekend with dinner at Bottega.

By Jan Walsh

I am very blessed to have both my sons, Jordan and Ross, home from Florida, for Mother’s Day weekend. And we choose Bottega for our celebratory dinner.

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.