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.

Cocktails, as well as sans alcohol, tempt. Yet on the wine list a white Bordeaux, at a nice price point, delights. So, we order a bottle of Côtes de Bordeaux Château Puyanché 2021 to chase away the winter blues. And it does just that with a food friendly, balanced acidity and notes of white peach, apple, and spice.

From the winter menu’s la petite cuisine, we begin with Soup du Jour with Petite Baguette, and Fish Paillard. Today’s lovely celery soup comforts with each creamy, velvety bite, with hints of celery root. The bread is hot to the touch, I tear it the crusty loaf into two ragged halves. Ripping off small pieces, we slather butter on the soft insides. Warm soup with hot bread… I am in my happy place. Oh, my! Today’s paillard is a gorgeous black grouper. This lovely, mild fish is enhanced by crisp apples, chili, and onions. It too is rounded out by the baguette.

Seeing Boeuf Bourguignon as a specialty du jour, I break into my Julia Child’s voice, which Kev hates! But he orders it regardless. And I opt for Chaque jour of Fresh Fish. His generous beef cheek is fall apart tender, richly robust, and splendidly savory. It boasts fruity notes of red burgundy wine, as do its earthy abundance of parsnips, mushrooms, and carrots. Bring your appetite for this classic that would make Julia proud!

The entrée fish is also black grouper. This pristine and plentiful catch is fancified with a beautiful beurre blanc. And accompanying the fish are the best golden potatoes ever. This delightful and fulfilling fish dish brightens my day.

For dessert we share a slice of Warm Apple Cake. A scoop of vanilla melds onto the gooey cake with rummy anglaise leaving us with a sweet taste. As we depart and say goodbyes, the sun is out, and our valet has our car waiting in the drive. Nothing but blue skies…

Download Birmingham Restaurants App



Copyright ©2024 Birmingham Restaurants

Categories: Casually Upscale, Reviews
Location: Blogs Parent Separator Reviews