Reviews

Face Covering Ordinance for all Jefferson County Restaurants 

Effeective Date: June 29, 2020 5:00 p.m. 

End Date: Undetermined, whenever Jefferson County Health Officer ends it

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!

Many 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. 

Hot and Hotter 

Hot and Hot Fish Club V2 opens at Pepper Place.  

By Jan Walsh 

Photography by Beau Gustafson 

I built my home twice. The first one taught me what else I needed, and what I did not. It took living in it and then building the second version of it to get it perfect. So, I relate to Chris and Idie Hastings’ opportunity to keep what worked from the original Hot and Hot and expand on it. And tonight, at the pre-opening party, we celebrate Hot and Hot’s past, present, and future.

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 

 

On Tap Liberty Park Bar Neighborhood Gathering 

On Tap Sports Café is overnight success at Liberty Park.  

By Jan Walsh 

Our son, Jordan is home this week and anxious to try our new On Tap. When he was in college and law school in Birmingham, one of his favorite spots was the On Tap Sports Café at Lakeview. He has fond memories of wings, burgers, and beer with his fellow students. On Tap Liberty Park is located just across the street from the Founder’s Gate at 11967 Liberty Parkway.

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. 


iron city grill bbq tacosTuning Fork 

Iron City Grill tunes up with new menu and exec chef.

By Jan Walsh 

Ian Barker is the new executive chef of the restaurant, Iron City Grill. 

 

 

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. 

slice kale harvest salad Harvest Kale Salad 

Slice rolls out new fall salad along with new restaurant. 

By Jan Walsh 

I have been a regular at Slice Pizza and Brew since it opened in Lakeview. And now I have a new Slice, closer to home, located in Vestavia Hills. 


 

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.
marre and allen shrimp and grits Magic Grits

The Gulf Shrimp and Grits at Marre and Allen are phenomenal.

By Jan Walsh 

I am not easy to please when it comes to grits. Like Mr. Tipton in the movie, My Cousin Vinny, I believe, “No self-respecting southerner uses instant grits. I take pride in my grits.”
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. 

lobster roll at Bistro VOn A Roll

Another lobster “Food Find,” Bistro V’s new Lobster Roll! 

By Jan Walsh 

I have been craving lobster lately. I do love it anytime. But this time of the year, when winter is waning, and hints of spring are wooing, my palate is ready for lighter fare. And just in time, Bistro V rolls out their new Lobster Roll. We have ordered it twice already for takeout—carried out well—and look forward to having it in house as well. 

 

pizzeria gm owners Pizzeria GM Now Hiring! 

 

GianMarco’s owners now hiring for new restaurant in Homewood. 

Apply at 600 Oak Grove Rd, Homewood, AL 35209. 

 

 

hot and hot fish club scallops

Pan Seared, Hearth Roasted 

Hot and Hot Fish Club's pan seared scallops are topped off with hearth roasted ice cream. 

By Jan Walsh 

Tonight, Kev and I pull up a bar stool at Hot and Hot Fish Club. Our favorite seats are waiting at the chef's table/counter for our 5:00 p.m. reservations. Here we watch the "cooking show" as the restaurant fills around us. From singles at the bar to couples and groups in the dining room, the restaurant bustles with foodies looking forward to a memorable meal at Chris and Idie 

Hastings' original restaurant.

50 Favorites

More than 600 dishes in 12 delicious Years!

By Jan Walsh, Photography by Beau Gustafson and Jan Walsh 

It is difficult to believe that this is the 12th year I have shared my 50 favorite dishes in Birmingham. Back when print was king in November 2006, I published the first list “50 Great Food Finds” as a cover story in a local magazine. The following March I launched Birmingham Restaurants website, which began publishing “50 Favorites” as annual awards. And 600 delectable dishes later, here we are! 

Ocean’s celebrates 15th Anniversary and a new culinary quest. 

By Jan Walsh 

Photography by Beau Gustafson
 

Ocean Restaurant celebrated its 15th anniversary in March 2017. Executive chef and owner, George Reis paid tribute to former chefs and bartenders by featuring them as guest chefs and bartenders during the week-long celebration. But after the celebration and shared memories, there was no looking back for Ocean Restaurant. Reis immediately rolled out an exciting new menu. And this is only the beginning for this restaurant, as it aspires to elevate its cuisine, creating cutting-edge seafood dishes you won’t find anywhere else in town.

Hot and Hot Chefs Bronze Medal Hot and Hot Chefs awarded Bronze Medal at The ment'or BKB Foundation Bocuse d'Or​ Young Chef Competition! 

Congrats to Chris Hastings’ Hot and Hot Fish Club Chefs: John Somerall and Lucas Webb, who earned the Bronze Medal at The ment'or BKB Foundation Bocuse d'Or​ Young Chef Competition! A FIRST for Alabama chefs!

iron city grill chefThe Grill at Iron City Executive Chef Opening

Executive Chef: 
Reports to the General Manager. Responsible for the consistent preparation of innovative and creative cuisine of the highest quality, presentation and farm to table flavor for The Grill at Iron City, weddings, and other private events, resulting in outstanding guest satisfaction.

Marre and Allen lemon pieBirmingham Restaurants is excited to announce our new weekly features!

Each week our publisher, Jan Walsh dines and discovers. Then she shares her fave food and wine finds of the week. These are often fresh and new to restaurants' menus, or sometimes it is a dish or wine that has been previously overlooked. Our foodie following is already loving to discover new dishes and wines, and learn what makes them so special. Bookmark this page and watch it grow. Here are Walsh's fresh finds so far... 
The Bar at Bistro 218 pairs a casual menu with lush libations. 

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson 


One of my favorite restaurants is Bistro 218. Here chef Tom Saab sources the freshest, highest quality, local and regional Non-GMO products and prepares each one to its fullest potential. It is also a favorite of many who live and work in the neighborhood and beyond. So, when he expanded next door and opened Bistro 218’s Bar, he doubled our pleasure. We enjoy The Bar at Bistro 218’s more casual ambiance and menu offerings. 

The Market at Pepper Place’s farmers offer CSA delivery year-round. 

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson


I spend most Saturday mornings at The Market at Pepper Place. I know whose products are Non-GMO and chemical free, even if they are not certified organic, which I much prefer. And among them, I also know who has the best heirloom tomatoes, blueberries, watermelons, lettuces, etc. Having talked with these farmers for 17 years, and having researched and written about them and their products in this column for three years, I have gotten to know some of them well. When I ask how it is going, they answer me truthfully. 
the grill at iron city dessertsDon’t resist dessert at The Grill at Iron City.

By Jan Walsh 

Photography by Beau Gustafson

It is common for fine dining restaurants to have their own pastry chef. But rarely do I find a pastry chef in a grill—exception, The Grill at Iron City. Not having much of a sweet tooth, I also find it easy to resist dessert at most restaurants, but not here. 


Seasons 52 eggs benedictSeasons 52 debuts Sunday brunch featuring pasture raised eggs. 

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Seasons 52 Fresh Grill has been a favorite of mine since they opened at The Summit. As an organic food activist, I find them to be a leader in offering organic menu options, including organic cocktails. Understanding, finding, and sourcing organic and Non-GMO food for all its locations cannot be easy. Yet they deliciously met the challenge and now have added a Sunday brunch featuring pasture raised eggs to their menu offerings.

Dine Daily Dine Daily evolves from daily e-newsletter to social sharing service!

Ten years ago Dine Daily was first imagined. It was the idea of local Birmingham attorney, Charlie Waldrep. He called our publisher Jan Walsh saying how much he enjoyed Wine & Dine Weekly, our e-newsletter and wanted a daily version of it. 

Walsh and our Richard Phillips partnered to create the e-newsletter with a tagline of “Today’s Menus Delivered To Your Inbox,” with its own website.

OvenBird fried chickenOrder OvenBird’s popular fried chicken before its gone.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

OvenBird now offers Fried Chicken for dinner Monday through Saturday. This Chris Hastings’ dish was originally offered only one night each week. But due to its deliciousness, and thus its popularity, it quickly became a menu item.

Order wild caught, pasture raised, and from organic purveyors. 

By Jan Walsh  

I don’t do fast food or eat out at places that are laden with GMOs. But even in locally owned, chef-driven restaurants, I have found GMOs in the most unexpected places. And much like food packages that do not label GMOs, restaurants are not going to brag about them on their menus either.

Lloyd’s Restaurant celebrates 80 years of comfort food.

By Jan Walsh

 Photography by Beau Gustafson

Lloyd Chesser opened Lloyd’s Restaurant in Chelsea, Alabama in 1937.

Its current owner, Eli Stevens previously worked with his father in their family business, Home Baking Company. He delivered bread to the restaurant three times weekly.

bamboo on 2nd sakeBamboo On 2nd pours sparkling, rosé, and sake cocktails. 

By Jan Walsh 

Photography by Beau Gustafson 


I want to learn more about sake. And I believe in learning by doing. So tonight Bamboo On 2nd’s Bernie Smith meets me, to taste through a rosé sake, a sparkling sake, and a sake cocktail. He also introduces me to a Japanese whiskey. And we start the Bamboo beverage tasting with a wine that I need no introduction to, Champagne. 

America’s most popular beverage is unexpectedly complex.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

I grew up drinking water from the tap. I also drank from the water hose on a hot, summer day. But I no longer drink tap water because I do not know what is in it.

marre and Allen under construction Coming soon to Birmingham Marriott! 

By Ross McCay 

Jan Walsh tours Birmingham Marriott's rejuvenation.

The restaurant is under construction with expected completion in early Summer 2017. 

Pair Cantina Tortilla Grills’ enchiladas with local brews.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Cantina Tortilla Grill has been serving fresh Mexican fare for more than 10 years. The recipes were created by its founder Guillermo Castro. And his brother, Jorge Castro carries on his tradition today whipping up chicken and cheese enchiladas for us.

Zagat's #1 Hot Food CityZagat rated Birmingham #1 in America’s Next Hot Food Cities list!

By Ross McCay 


Birmingham has received positive marks this year nationally from CNBC to the New York Times. Zagat continues that trend by naming Birmingham #1 in America’s Next Hot Food Cities list. It was ranked ahead of cities such as Oakland/Berkeley, Detroit, Asheville, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, Louisville, Durham, Phoenix/Scottsdale, and San Antonio. 



chez tonton shrimpBirmingham honors its most influential women in food. 

By Ross McCay 


Birmingham’s most influential women chefs, restaurateurs, caterers and food writers were honored on March 22, 2017 at Highlands Bar and Grill during Women's History Month. 

ocean cocktails Chef George Reis's Ocean Restaurant celebrates 15th Anniversary! 

By Ross McCay

Birmingham Restaurants isn't the only one celebrating a big anniversary this month. Ocean had a celebration for the ages with former chefs and bartenders from the past coming back for this special event to serve historic faves from the past and new dishes and drinks.

 

Frank Stitt recipeCongratulations to James Beard Foundation Awards Finalists: Highlands Bar and Grill and Pastry Chef Dolester Miles! 

By Ross McCay 

Highlands has been a Finalist for the Outstanding Restaurant Award for nine consecutive years. Miles has been a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Outstanding Pastry Chef two consecutive years. And she has been a Semi-Finalist the past four years.

Papa Vince brings organic, Sicilian foods to my table.

 

By Jan Walsh

 

Photography by Beau Gustafson

 

Papa Vince learned the art of making Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) when he worked as an apprentice for the Knight of De Stefani at the Medieval Castello of Rampinzeri, Santa Ninfa, Italy. Under the knight's guidance, Papa learned that the secret of a great EVOO is in the moody, but extremely generous olive trees. If cared for properly through their lifetime, they would consistently deliver the sweetest harvest, which yields extraordinary EVOO.

Eli's kabobsEli’s Jerusalem Grill serves healthy and heavenly kabobs.

 

By Jan Walsh

 

Photography by Beau Gustafson

 

Eli’s Jerusalem Grill is an organic restaurant located at 4673 Highway 280 and Pizitz Food Hall. Chef Eli Markshtien serves grass fed beef, organic chicken, lamb along with falafel, homemade pita, soups, salads, desserts, organic wine, and organic beer. Eli's also uses Non-GMO oils. 

 

hot and hot cocktails Hot and Hot shakes in season, farm to bar cocktails.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson 

Since Hot and Hot Fish Club opened in 1995 it has constantly developed an extensive network of food purveyors, foragers, and artisans who supply the restaurant with their local products. A leader in the Non-GMO and organic food movement, the restaurant boasts an Alabamians for GMO Labeling’s Facebook Group on its menu and door.

 

abhi seared tunaAbhi Sainju dreams of Kathmandu at Abhi Eatery and Bar.

 

By Jan Walsh

 

Photography by Beau Gustafson

 

Abhi Eatery and Bar’s owner and chef, Abhi Sainju fulfills his dream of opening his own restaurant and shares his passion for Asian cuisine in every dish.


 

Birmingham Restaurants 10th anniversary Birmingham Restaurants celebrates 10th Anniversary!

By Jan Walsh

On March 1, 2007, I launched BirminghamRestaurants.com. I was an unintentional pioneer back in the early (www) wild, wild, web days. In 2007 most businesses did not have a website, including restaurants. Twitter was less than a year old. And Facebook had become a public site less than six months prior.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan dined at OvenBird on Monday.
Congratulations to Highlands Bar and Grill and pastry chef, Dolester Miles, named semifinalists for the 2017 James Beard Foundation’s culinary awards!

Eli’s Jerusalem Grill is now open at The Pizitz Food Hall!

Does your wine offer hints of glyphosate? 


By Jan Walsh 

Photography by Beau Gustafson 


Think buying organic food was a challenge? Try buying organic wine, but not until you read this article—because it will help. 

chef abhi new restaurant

Abhi Eatery and Bar is officially open!

 

Bistro 218 builds on its success, expanding next door.  

By Jan Walsh 

Photography by Beau Gustafson 

Birmingham’s downtown restaurant scene just got a little bigger. In December 2016 chef and owner of Bistro 218, Tom Saab expanded by adding an adjoining bar into the space next door—doubling the seating capacity. Saab originally opened Bistro 218 in November 2012. 

bistro 218 bar sommelier

Bistro 218 completes expansion. 

In December 2016 Chef Tom Saab expanded Bistro 218 by adding an adjoining bar into the space next door—doubling the seating capacity.

Highlands Bar and Grill oystersEnjoy oysters three ways at Highlands Bar and Grill.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

The dinner menu at Highland’s Bar and Grill leads with oysters. Frank Stitt’s Oyster Bar line up boasts in season oysters, from Alabama, New England, and Prince Edward Island. They are served raw by the half dozen, on the half shell and cooked—three ways.