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.

We start with a bottle of Cremant de Bourgogne. Bubbles from Burgundy? Vignerons des Terres Secretes Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé is a non-vintage wine of 80 percent Pinot Noir and 20 percent Chardonnay. Served very cold, the crémant boasts a consistent effervescence of fine bubbles. This proper temperature brings forth this cremant’s sparkle, aromas, and flavors. Delightful notes of cherry, brioche, and grapefruit tickle out palates at a price point that pleases the purse.

To start Kev opts for Fried Crab Claws and I order the Seafood Bisque. The plump, golden claws served with a house made cocktail sauce soon disappear as I steal my share. My bisque is a beauty, piping hot, rich, and creamy. Deep flavors of the sea are generously enhanced with delicate fresh crab. Chef Jeremy is a soup guy. His seafood gumbo is a family recipe that can’t be beat. His father and uncle would each have their own version of gumbo ready for Jeremy after football practice, always asking whose was better. Today he often cooks soups at home, where he is known as “Soup Daddy.” And enjoys scouting out the best soups at other local restaurants as well as judging the annual Gumbo Gala with me.

It is difficult to choose among 18 incredible entrees, such as Francisco’s Paella, Lobster Ravioli, Shrimp and Jumbo Scallop Risotto, Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, and so many more… Kev selects one of the steaks, Hand Cut Filet, and I catch the Lobster, Shrimp, Mussel Fettuccini. Here’s the beef… His herculean, thick cut filet towers on the plate of roasted potatoes, Brussel sprouts, bacon, Swiss chard. And the rich demi-glace is like a savory icing for the steak that also enhances the veggies. Kev carves a bite for me. Oh, my! Sizzling and cooked to order, the filet is melt-in-the-mouth tender, and juicy with subtle and sweet beefy flavors. I am seduced. One of the best steaks we have EVER tasted… More please.

My entrée is enormous. The mussels alone would make a meal, as would the pasta. I need help. And Kev comes to my rescue. Ribbons of al dente fettuccini, slathered with spicy tomato sauce, are intertwined with succulent jewels of the sea: Gulf shrimp, lobster meat, and claws. The robust sauce also adds spice and acidity to the seafood including the mussels. But even the two of us can’t finish this lovely, lavish dish. So, we take some of the pasta home for tomorrow’s lunch.


For dessert, Emily has whipped up a long list of tempting choices. As our server Ashley recites from memory, my mouth waters. But we patiently listen until the end… Oh, my, Macarons! Be mine. A plate of heart shaped macarons encircles a mound of freshly whipped cream. Fresh blueberries and strawberries along with chocolate covered blueberries and strawberries round out the plate. Sadly, I have not had macarons since my birthday at The Plaza Hotel, when the hotel treated me at The Champagne Bar. On first bite, the outside shells flaunt the desired crunch and the inside buttercream filling exhibits proper chewy texture. And their almond sweetness whispers sweet, French accents. Every “bite as good” as The Plaza’s. It wouldn’t be Valentine’s without romantic, tantalizing chocolate covered strawberries. Although I have never dreamed of chocolate covered blueberry, what a marriage they make! The dark chocolate coats the juicy berry with its decadence. We whimsically pop one after another in our mouths like candy. This unrealized dream, until tonight, is now an unfulfilled desire… until next time.

Download Birmingham Restaurants App

Copyright ©2024 Birmingham Restaurants

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