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's 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.
Figs are also in season. Just seeing the word, “fig” makes me smile with memories of picking them for snacks from my grandmother’s fig plant, while I played in her side yard: the perfect snack for outdoor play. Today we partake in figs from the Stitts’ farm. Paradise Farm Roasted Figs, along with Fish Paillard for starters. The colorful figs are bursting with freshness, boast a honey like sweetness, and please the palate with their tender seedy texture. Just like I remember. Rounding out the dish is creamy farmer’s cheese, lean ham, crunchy hazelnuts, and fresh mint… a masterful synthesis, which elevates their big fig flavor. The glistening yellowfin floats on EVOO. And each delicate bite of this flashed in the pan filet melts in the mouth. The tuna’s sweet mildness is punctuated by bits of fresh peach, jalapeno, onion, and dill, adding color and texture.
Whenever I order lobster in a restaurant, and it arrives with crackers, forks, or forbid, shellers or a mallet… I sigh, like a damsel in distress. Tools mean work, make a mess, and delay the fun of eating lobster. But men love tools, so I just sit back in my silk dress and let Kev do the work. But fortunately for him there is none of that here. Our golden rolls arrive overfilled with speckled lobster claw meat, Gulf Shrimp, bacon, heirloom tomatoes, and lettuce accompanied by house made potato chips. All we need to do is get our hands around these sandwiches. And all I need is a bigger bite! We pair with delicate yet defined glasses of Sancerre Domaine Paul Cherrier, 2020 vintage, a wine which is in conversion to certified organic. The rolls have a paper-thin crust, just firm enough to hold everything together. And the inside is soft and moist, slathered in the sandwiches creamy, tangy dressing. A symbiotic seafood synthesis: vibrant, pristine, tender-sweet lobster serpentined with firm, succulent shrimp, shines in this marvelous sandwich. Tomatoes add a rainbow of color and acidic juiciness, while the crispness of the lettuce and bacon add structure. Highly recommended! Catch it if you can.
For dessert we finish with Berry Trifle, Tarte aux Figues, and Champagne Gaston Chiquet “Tradition” Brut 1er Cru. Each delicious dessert is everything the other is not, although they both bring, a soon to be missed, abundance of late summer. The trifle is custardy, jammy, and creamy delight. And the tart is a structured composition in which the tarts rule over the crisp crust. The Champagne’s blend of Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir exudes a bright, crisp subtleness that allows it to marry well with either, an airy trifle or an almost savory tart.
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