Reviews

Celebrating Dads
 
Father’s Day Brunch at Galley and Garden is an annual tradition. 
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
As we valet the car, the garden welcomes us. Friendly flowers, such as Black-eyed Susans and Echinaceas pop with vibrant gold and purple tones. Complimenting Maître D’ Stan Reynolds on the garden, he shares that he also has plums out back… This man’s talents never cease! He came to Galley and Garden in 2014, from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Today not only does he have a green thumb, he has the hands of an artist. Drawing on his art degree from Auburn, he adorns Galley and Garden’s walls with his framed watercolor paintings. We catch up as he pours sparkling water from a glass bottle that we did not order. But he knows to serve. 

Cheers to 28 Years! 
 
Anniversary dinner at a restaurant we love, Dyron’s Lowcountry. 
 
By Jan Walsh 
 

Together Kev and I have lived life to the fullest for 28 years. And tonight, we chose Dyron’s Lowcountry for our special celebration. Dyron and Sonya Powell’s Mountain Brook restaurant has always been a favorite. And most recently we have a new reason to love Dyron’s...

 Lunch at Troup’s Pizza is handmade for everyone. 
 
By Jan Walsh 
 

Today is a blessed day. The daughter I never had, Rachel Duncan, is home from England with her family. Like me, Rachel and her husband, Richard Duncan have two sons. And Richard Phillips, who is like a son to me, drove her from their hometown of Oneonta for a day trip. We start with an early lunch at Troup’s Pizza in Cahaba Heights before going back to my house for the afternoon. 

Sloan’s 

Owners of Bistro 218 and Bocca Ristorante, Birmingham native and professionally trained chef Tom Saab and wife, Christina Saab are opening their third Birmingham location. Coming to 2308 2nd Avenue North, scheduled to open in August. 

Le Patio 
 
Lunch with my sons on Chez Fonfon’s patio is delicious and delightful. 
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
Today we “travel” to the South of France for lunch, at Chez Fonfon’s patio. This oasis of blooming hydrangeas and lush layers of green, surrounding the bubbling water fountain, soothes the eye and the soul. “The Boys” are home for Mother’s Day week, and we are the first ones on the patio. I am seated across from them so that I can see both in one view. Neither have been on the patio before and they are captivated. 

Last Chance 
 
We landed at Ocean’s bar for the final Tuesday Takeover. 
 
By Jan Walsh 
 

Ocean Restaurant reopened on Tuesday nights last fall. And to get the party started they launched Tuesday Takeover, featuring half priced sushi, buy one get one raw oyster specials, and brought back their famous Lobster Pot Pie! 

Spring Freshness 

The Red Cat welcomes spring with seasonal beverages and fare. 

By Jan Walsh 

Today we are lunching at The Red Cat at Pepper Place, one of its three locations. Spring 2024 Specials are now in season. So, we order the whole menu!

Counting Candles 

From birthday bubbles to blowing out the candle, dinner at Bocca is extraordinary. 

By Jan Walsh 

This year we celebrated my birthday at Bocca Ristorante. They start dinner service at 4:30, which we take advantage of because we like to eat dinner early, and natural light is best for my food photos. A valet is waiting as we arrive. And we are not the only ones who have early reservations. Gathering on the sidewalk are four young couples dressed in evening gowns and tuxedoes. Must be prom night. Glad I dressed up. 

The Grand Buffet
 
Easter Brunch at Grand Bohemian is a feast for the eyes and all appetites. 
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
I am not easily impressed. Yet The Grand Buffet at Habitat Feed and Social is the best I have ever experienced. Fine cruise lines are the closest, comparable buffets. On this Easter Sunday, we are seated at the table of our preference on the patio, which is also reminiscent of the deck of a luxury cruise ship. It is 75 degrees with a light breeze. Everyone is wearing sunglasses, and ladies are in sundresses. And over and above the rails are views of Mountain Brook’s Lane Parke rooftops.  

Sandwich Season
 
I love Birmingham Breadworks in the springtime. 
 
By Jan Walsh 
 

Birmingham Breadworks has the best sandwiches! Each is made to order with their freshly baked breads made of flour, water, and salt. And the lunch menu has nine tried and true sandwiches plus a seasonal sandwich. 

Bay Leaf Buffet
 
Never had Indian food? This buffet is for you. 
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
Bay Leaf Modern Indian Cuisine and Bar's buffet is back! The self-serve, open buffet offers everything from salad to desserts, and many dishes in between from mild to spicy. The buffet is served from 11:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and available for dine in or takeout, for only $15 per person. Regulars line up for Bay Leaf’s buffet. But I find it is also a great opportunity for those who have never tried Indian cuisine or who want to try more Indian dishes without committing to a full plate of a single dish. Kev prefers mild. I want the heat. So, it is also perfect for us. 

The Whole Quesadilla 
 
From queso to cookies Taco Mama feeds us well.
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
Our Taco Mama is The Summit location. But with nine locations in the Birmingham metro area, you can easily find your own Taco Mama for dining in, pick up, delivery, and catering. You may also order online where Happy Family Take Out Meal, Taco and Nacho Bar, and Margarita Mix by the gallons are popular. And for patrons with allergies, Taco Mama also has an Allergen Menu with symbols for fish, shellfish, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, and eggs, alongside each menu item that contains these common allergens. Mama has thought of everything!

Bless My Heart

Ted’s Restaurant serves Southern fare with a Greek accent.

By Jan Walsh

Entering Ted’s I see smiling faces holding pitchers of iced tea. I look forward to being called pet names, such as “dear” and “honey.” And if I am a real sweetie I might be “darling” today.

Bistro Valentine 
 
Everybody loves Bistro V!  
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
Bistro V is packed as we enter for our 5:00 p.m. Valentine’s reservation. Not a table open other than ours. Ahh, with 300+ requesting reservations, they opened early. although none of us knew what would be on the menu, we regulars knew it would be special. Locally owned by Executive Chef, Jeremy Downey and Pastry Chef, Emily Tuttle Shell. And their Valentine menus is not price fixe but expanded with many special offerings. 

Our Ocean 
 
For fresh seafood, all roads lead south… to Southside. 
 
By Jan Walsh 
 

Our favorite seafood restaurant, in the world, is located at 20th Street South. Chef George Reis’ Ocean Restaurant has it all. Fresh fish, shrimp, oysters, scallops, and more from the Gulf of Mexico, lobster from Maine, and an array of sushi. But you don’t have to be a seafood lover. Ocean is also a destination restaurant for carnivores, with the finest cuts of beef grilled to order over hickory wood. 

French Fortress
 
From hot soup to warm dessert, Chez Fonfon wards off winter. 
 
By Jan Walsh  
 

Dashing up the sidewalk towards Chez Fonfon, a cold blast whips our umbrella. From the antique globes within, the arched frosted windows illuminate a welcoming glow. And as we arrive at 11:00 a.m. sharp, the doors open to toasty temps and friendly smiles inside, including from its owners Chef Frank and Pardis Stitt.

Clean Eats
 
Eli’s Jerusalem Grill pleases all with organic fare. 
 
By Jan Walsh 
 

Eli Markshtien originally opened Eli’s Jerusalem Grill to make Israeli food, from his grandmother’s recipes. Locally, family owned by he and wife, Laurel, this one-of-a-kind eatery has since become a destination restaurant.

New Year's News

Life is a gift. Each moment is precious. And I try to remain in the present. Yet it is fun to look back, including at 50 Favorites 2023 and my first culinary cartoon series, “That Guy!” And as the old year fades and the new one gets underway, it is time to start something(s) new. 

Do Tell

MARO’s secret specials are now offered six days a week.  

By Jan Walsh 
 
Chef Abhi Sainju’s new restaurant, MARO is a fast casual, Asian Fusion eatery. It is located at 361 Rele Street, in Lane Parke, in the same Mountain Brook Village neighborhood as Abhi Eatery and Bar, and open Monday through Saturday. 

Food for Thought 
 
Dyron’s executive chef, Chris Melville weeds out all seed oils.
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
Since 2009 Dyron’s Lowcountry Restaurant has shared restaurateurs Dyron and Sonya Powell’s love of Lowcountry cuisine. Their focus has always been on fresh, local and regional food made with whole ingredients. And Executive Chef, Chris Melville just stirred and sweetened the pot. 

Champagne Brunch 
 
Galley and Garden’s Sunday brunch is a time-honored classic. 
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
Growing up, my hometown had no Sunday brunch offerings. Few restaurants were open on Sunday other than the Dairy Queen. So, my first restaurant brunch experience was as a teen, at a little hole in the wall, in Birmingham. Here cheap sparkling wine was promoted as “Champagne Brunch.” And although it was not impressive, the idea of bubbles with brunch became hardwired in my brain that day. 
Today’s champagne brunch is at Galley and Garden, one of the most beautiful restaurants in the city and state with an award-winning wine list. We are warmly welcomed, as always, by Maître D' Stan Reynolds, who is a fixture here. His delightful personality and attention to the smallest detail is the cherry on top of every dining experience at Galley and Garden. 

Holiday Market 2023

Shop online for local food and beverage. 

From gift certificates to local restaurants to local products and services, shop Birmingham Restaurants Holiday Market. The market helps local food and beverage vendors to share their products and services. And it helps foodies find the perfect gift online. Birmingham Restaurants Holiday Market will be open online annually from Black Friday until December 31, for those who procrastinate. 

 

Birmingham Restaurants Holiday Market 2023

Calling local vendors for our first annual market! 

Sign Up now and lock in founders rates forever. 

Limited Spaces. 

Nuts for Butternuts 
 
Autumn brings a bounty of butternut squash to Bottega Café. 
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
I love everything about butternut. It is the color of fall boasting sweet, butterscotch, nutty flavors.  Plus, butternut squash is touted by health experts as a cold weather superfood, rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber… Even the name sounds good, butter + nut! 


Chef Saab, Two Ways



If he is not in the kitchen, he might be the guy in a suit, sitting at the bar. 
 
By Jan Walsh

 
Chef Tom Saab’s restaurant philosophy is that the focus should be on the food—not the chef. And when Saab and wife, Christina opened Bistro 218 in 2012, this perfectionist put the lid on some amazing dishes from the start, many of which remain on the menu tonight... There are crab cakes, pommes frites, house cured pork belly, BLT salad, duck confit, shrimp risotto, prime New York strip, and “Hellefied” file gumbo… Wait, I recall file gumbo. What is hellefied? 

Autumn Perspective 

Chef Evans hones heartwarming, fall dishes at Café Dupont. 

By Jan Walsh 

Executive Chef, Chris Evans’ tenure at Café Dupont started at Springville in 1997. There he was the sous chef at the restaurant’s original location until 2000, returning later when Café Dupont moved to Birmingham in 2003. Fast forward to 2022, he and wife, Angela, who had also had her own stint here as pastry chef, became the owners of the restaurant. 

Paired Dinner 
 
Abhi’s cocktails and sakes enhance with his Asian fusion fare. 
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
Food and beverage pairings can be complex. So many flavors and so many rules! Considering similar weights, flavors, and intensity is not that easy. Then add acidity, tannins, plus sauces. Simplify by pairing beverages from the same region as the food. Sancerre with French food, Cianti with Italian, etc. Or better yet leaving the pairings to the pros. Here at Abhi Eatery and Bar, we are in good hands with Bartender Mona’s handcrafted cocktail list. We have her pair our dinner with drinks. 

Heart and Soul
 
Dean Robb is happily in the house at Blueprint on 3rd. 
 
By Jan Walsh 
 

I have never been to Blueprint on 3rd when restaurateur, Dean Robb was not here. Tonight, he is behind the bar, serving tables, visiting with guests, and simply enjoying the heck out of himself. Five years ago, Dean and his family opened Blueprint on 3rd. Kev and I were guests for the family and friends’ night and attended opening night. And at the time I wrote that I had never seen an opening as smooth. Blueprint ran like a well-oiled machine from the start. But there is nothing mechanical about this place. It started and succeeded from the heart and soul of Dean. His big, generous smile makes all feel welcome. His blue eyes see every table, at once. His generous hands are often full as he helps staff serve guests. And his personality plus is the cherry on top! 

Monday Merriment 
 
Case of the Mondays? Vino has the cure. 
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
I always have a case of the Mondays. Even as a young child, heading back to the classroom, after a weekend of free play with my friends and dogs, made me sad. Nowadays I “work” most weekends (dining out, reviewing restaurants). And this lends itself to working as little as possible on Monday. 

 
Oodles of Joy

Chef Frank Stitt’s secret ingredient is unmeasured joy.

By Jan Walsh

Years ago, a local chef asked me privately, “Frank’s restaurants are always filled… How does he do it?” I paused and replied, “Joy.” He looked puzzled and changed the subject. But it is still true today. I have seen the joy in his kitchen for cooking demos and as he stops by for table visits… Whenever Chef Stitt talks about food, his eyes light up and a smile comes across his face. From his delight in a simple, spring asparagus to the pleasure of making fresh pasta, he is immersed in food and finds joy in his life’s work. 

Captivating Cuisine 
 
Bay Leaf’s intriguing Indian fare and cocktails spice up our lives. 
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
Today Kev and I lunch at Bay Leaf Modern Indian Cuisine and Bar. In the heart of 5 Points South, Bay Leaf is located at 1024 20th Street South, Suite 101. Its colorful big neon sign proudly welcomes us inside where we are warmly greeted and seated in a large and lovely window banquet, by General Manager, Pintu Sarmah. 

Coffee Cultures 

Wakey up or wind down at The Red Cat’s three locations. 

By Jan Walsh 

Need a morning caffeine fix, a bite of breakfast, or a leisurely lunch paired with cocktails? Head over to The Red Cat. The Red Cat has three locations: Pepper Place, Railroad Park, and UAB Highlands. 

Shared Happiness 
 
Gather the family for a farm to table feast at FoodBar.  
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
Tonight, we bring our son Jordan here for the famous (off menu) burgers. But we bite off much more… 

Birmingham Restaurants Insider

Calling Birmingham foodies and gastronomes!

Become an insider and be privy to Insider Giggles, Insider Giggles, Gabs, and Gourmets each month. Coming September 2023!

Primo Brunch 
 
Bocca Ristorante breaks some eggs in sell out Italian Sparkling Wine Brunch. 
 
By Jan Walsh 
 

Ever wonder what Chef Tom Saab would do with brunch? You are not alone. Bocca Ristorante took a crack at Sunday brunch and sold-out all reservations in less than an hour, without even sharing the menu! And I was the first reservation. 

Colossal Crustacean Catch

Lobster and Shrimp BLT at Chez Fonfon just got bigger!
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
Every summer one of our favorite lunches is the Lobster and Shrimp BLT at Chez Fonfon. Yet this summer, Chef Frank Stitt and team offer their biggest catch ever, with more pink protein and less bread.

Sweet Home, Bottega

We have yet another reason to pop into Bottega Café. 

By Jan Walsh 

Today at Bottega, we are welcomed by two old friends. This vintage pair of concrete pillars are new to Bottega’s courtyard. But they are old friends to us. Just as they proudly flank the courtyard here, they formerly escorted guests into our dining room, for two decades. Recently, as we began to downsize our oversized antique collection, my friend, Bottega’s artistically gifted, Chad Miller adopted them for the restaurant’s courtyard. And his artichokes atop are the classic, finishing touch, and spot on. What a talent!  

Wine Spectator's Restaurant Awards 2023

Congrats to Galley and Garden and Bellini's Ristorante!

Restaurants with great wine lists, which pair appropriately with their cuisines and appeal to a wide audience, are recognized by Wine Spectator in their annual Restaurant Awards. Seems straightforward yet to qualify a wine list must be complete with accurate information on vintages, appellations, producers names, and well designed for overall presentation for Wine Spectator's Restaurant Awards. There are three levels of awards: Award of Excellence, Best of Award of Excellence, and Grand Award. 

Hot and Not

Jalapa Jar is now available locally and found in Jan's pantry. 

By Jan Walsh 

I have been waiting for this day for some time. Tasting TBL and Frenchie's Chef Tyler Lyne's Jalapa Jar, his fresh line of salsas are now available at local Whole Foods Market! 

Daily Bread
 
Birmingham Breadworks sustains us with breakfast, lunch, and batards to go. 
 
By Jan Walsh 
 

I love bread. Give me a slice of sourdough and a farm egg for breakfast, and I am sustained until dinner time. Here at Birmingham Breadworks I can get both and so much more… 

Po Boys, 5 Ways 
 
Bistro V serves the best Bayou La Batre Po Boys! 
 
By Jan Walsh 
 

Bistro V is one of my favorite restaurants. From Chef Jeremy Downey’s seafood to his restaurant partner, Emily Tuttle Shell’s desserts, everything here is excellent. When dining in for lunch, I typically order the fish of the day or the Farmer’s Market Salad. But for curbside takeout I often opt for the po boys, from this chef, native of Bayou La Batre. 
 

Birmingham Breadworks 

Birmingham Breadworks joining Birmingham Restaurants!

Located at 2408 7th Avenue South, in the heart of historic Southside, Birmingham Breadworks is Birmingham’s choice for finely crafted bread

The Red Cat 

Three locations of The Red Cat joining Birmingham Restaurants!

The Red Cat offers the Birmingham community a gathering place for connecting over great coffee and wholesome food.

Appreciative Audience 
 
Bellini’s Ristorante and Bar has a loyal lunch following. 
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
Fine dining restaurants off Highway 280 are uncommon. And finding one open for lunch, anywhere is novel, especially with outdoor dining. Most tablecloth restaurants open only for dinner and maybe Sunday brunch. Yet Bellini’s Italian infused steakhouse checks off all these boxes.  

Fan Favorites vs. Jan Favorites

Blueprint on 3rd celebrates 5th Anniversary. 

By Jan Walsh 

Congratulations to Blueprint on 3rd on five successful years. I was there for the pre-opening dinner and opening night. I have never seen a restaurant run more smoothly on all cylinders than Blueprint did from the start. 

Golden Anniversary 
 
Ted’s celebrates 50 years in one location. 
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
I started counting what I love about Ted’s, and could not stop at 50…

A Party Tonight

Troup’s Party on the Patio is the ultimate, family pizza party. 

By Jan Walsh 

Party on the Patio is an ongoing party that Troup’s Pizza has on the first and third Thursday evenings of each month. Our sons, Jordan and Ross are in town, which puts us in a party mood. So, we decide to enjoy a fun night of pizza, and music with Sam Shober and Friends, with owners, Chef Terrill and Ashley Brazelton. 

Cantina Opening Summer 2023

Training will begin in July before Cantina's Grand Opening. Stay tuned for awesome giveaways as we get closer to opening. Cantina will open Summer 2023 serving made-fresh-daily Mexican food in a laid back, fun atmosphere. Our uniquely crafted menu items follow the recipes created by our founder Guillermo Castro, whose love for travel and a passion for fresh Mexican food came together to influence every aspect of the restaurant. 

Spicy and Sweet 
 
For our anniversary, our palates agree: Dyron’s Lowcountry. 
 
By Jan Walsh 

 
At Dyron’s Lowcountry there really is something for everyone. From Dyron’s famous fried chicken to Oysters Rockefeller, their dinner menu pleases all palates and cravings. I prefer spicy, seafood, and haute cuisine.  Kev prefers sweet, meat, and potatoes. But we both find much to love at Dyron’s. 

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.

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 AuburnRestaurants.com 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! 

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.  

 

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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. 
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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 

Launched!

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 BirminghamWine.com. 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.