Reviews › Casual Fare

Somethings Special

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

By Jan Walsh

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

J.P. Two Ways

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

By Jan Walsh

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

For the Doughnut

“There’s a food critic in the house!”

By Jan Walsh 

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

Date Night, Done Right

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

By Jan Walsh

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

Birthday Bliss

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

By Jan Walsh

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

Bottega Al Fresco

Bottega’s patio or my porch?

By Jan Walsh

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

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

By Jan Walsh

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

Pizza Perfection

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

By Jan Walsh

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

Clairvoyant Chef

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

By Jan Walsh

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

Sensational Steaks, Fantastic Fish

Ocean’s steaks are as awesome as the seafood.

By Jan Walsh

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