On 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.
The soft, lightly toasted hoagie is overfilled with succulent lobster, with a slice of tomato and ribbons of lettuce. Chef Jeremy Downey obviously perfected this dish before rolling it out. The pink lobster is finely chopped, allowing it to easily melt in the mouth. And he has accented it with just enough acidity to balance the shellfish flavors and aromas. I order mine with a side of tasty house made slaw, which is colorful and crunchy, light and not mayo based. The roll also comes with options of fries or sweet potato fries. Yet the side of slaw makes for a lighter lunch break that keeps on giving, as the morning after weigh-in reveals a missing pound. Eat lobster and lose? Now that is a win-win.
Thank goodness, Friday lobster is back at Chez Fonfon.
By Jan Walsh
Remember years ago when Chez Fonfon served a Lobster and Leek Bread Pudding special on Fridays? It was wildly popular. People poured in on Fridays just for this dish.
Chez Fonfon's one and one-half pound Maine Lobster with Leek Bread Pudding has reemerged as the Friday special. Kev and I planned our week around being at Fonfon for our fave table and this dish at 11:00 on Friday. Okay, we actually open up the place a little before 11:00. And when we order the lobster, our server asks if we wanted halves or wholes. Silly question. Neither of us had intentions of sharing this meal that we craved all week. We both wanted wholes.
Given our early arrival the bread pudding is still cooking. So the kitchen treats us with a delightful tripletail finished with pears, mustard seeds, EVOO, and Marcona almonds. This beautiful fish kept us content and made a lovely appetizer for our entrees, both of which we pair with a bottle of French rosé bubbly.
Our server proudly carries plates of lobster from the kitchen, one in each hand, to our table. And the eyes of everyone in the dining room follow. It is a “contagious” dish. You see it. You order it. The orange head of the lobster rises high above the mound of golden bread pudding. The pudding is flanked by a glistening lobster tail on each side, encircling two tender and delicate claws at the front and center of the plate—all swimming in a buttery sauce. On first thought, I plan to forgo most of the bread pudding in order to focus on the lobster. But one bite of the bread pudding proves why it is paired with the succulent shellfish. The mild, acidic sweetness of the leeks brings forth the fresh flavors of the lobster—without overpowering it. And its moist and delicate starchiness gently grounds the dish. Each bite of lobster and pudding are a delicious dance, with the luscious lobster playing the lead. Life is too short not to experience this dish—more than once. Glad it is back. Hope it is here to stay.
Love in the Loft
Chef George Reis’ Fruit de Mer is named Birmingham Restaurants’ first annual, Valentine Food Find 2018!
By Jan Walsh
Chef George Reis’s Loft became a pop-up restaurant for Valentine’s night. Located next door to Reis’ 5 Point Public House and Oyster Bar, Rei’s private dining space, The Loft was transformed into an intimate, romantic, and nostalgic restaurant for this one-night event. It was black, white and red all over. Black tablecloths draped diagonally over white ones, red carnations and candlelight dotted each table, below a red chandelier and individual lamp shades hanging over each table. Reis visited each table during the evening catching up with patrons he knew and introducing himself to those he did not know.
Guests chose among five appetizers, four entrees, and three desserts for only $50 per person.
Our favorite dish of the night was also red, Fruit de MerFrench for plate of fruits of the sea, paired the dish with a lovely, sparkling brut rosé. Ribbons of pappardelle pasta tossed in an heirloom tomato sauce was served piping hot and swimming with lobster, Gulf shrimp, calamari, and PEI mussels. The textures and flavors of succulent seafood, al dente pasta, and a touch of heirloom tomato melded together, melting in the mouth with each luscious bite.
And I am delighted to name Reis’ delicious Fruit de Mer Birmingham Restaurants’ (first annual) Valentine Food Find 2018!
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