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50 Favorites 2022- 2023

Birmingham Restaurants Annual Best of the Best Awards Coming in December!

Coastal Roots 
Dyron’s Lowcountry is tried and true, yet Chef Brantley always has something new. 
By Jan Walsh 

Dyron’s has been one of my favorite restaurants since it opened in 2009 in Mountain Brook’s Crestline Village. There is really nothing else like it. Here, owners, Dyron Powell and wife, Sonya, hit the spot with their niche of South Carolina and Georgia’s Lowcountry cuisine. Southern coastal estuary shrimp, fish, crab, and oysters are abundant here, as are local fruits, veggies, grits, and grains. Dyron’s is also famous for their seafood gumbo, fried chicken, fried crab claws, and “Old Mobile Style” West Indies Crab Salad, not to mention the Beignets and Buttermilk Biscuits. 

Soup, Seriously
One Chez Fonfon’s soup du jour leads to another…
By Jan Walsh 

Not many restaurants take soup seriously. If on the menu at all, most places only offer the one they have mastered, no matter the season. Not Chez Fonfon. There is always a soup du jour on the menu, waiting for you. Be it thin or thick, cold or intercontinental, it will be the highlight of your day. 

Chef Driven
Bellini’s Ristorante’s Chef Andrew Hatcher’s fab fare is scratch made. 

By Jan Walsh 
Executive Chef, Andrew Hatcher’s earliest memories of food are of his great grandmother’s chicken and dumplings. And no matter how gourmet he gets, you will still find comfort in his fare. 

The Big Reveal
Tonight, we get a taste of FOOD+Culture’s plans, including its annual festival. 
By Jan Walsh 

Food is what we all have in common. And at tonight’s launch of FOOD+Culture we learn more about upcoming supporting events and FOOD+Culture’s Festival planned for October 2023. Afterwards the food and cultural festival will be held annually. Here Birmingham chefs, restaurants, food media, makers, growers, distillers, and brewers will have the opportunity to share their cultures, talents, and stories with the world. 

Farm to Sea
Ocean serves local fruit and veggies with seafood from coast to coast. 
By Jan Walsh 

We came to Ocean tonight craving seafood. Yet we find so much more. From heirloom tomato salad, sweet pea pasta, fried okra, to blueberry cobbler, owner chef, George Reis brings an abundance of local fruit and veggies from start to finish. And he sources fish and seafood from the finest purveyors from the Atlantic to the Pacific, in addition to our Gulf Coast. 

Southern Coastal Cuisine 
Where to take a Napa CIA grad to lunch? Bistro V
By Jan Walsh 

I recently partnered with Ada Ruth Huntley in my upcoming and Auburn Restaurants App venture. When making plans to meet for our first business lunch, I considered that she is not only a former Auburn SAG President and graduate, but also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, California. I have visited this wonderful place years ago for a wine lecture and understand its rich history and prestigious reputation. So, I could not take her just anywhere for lunch. It had to be a chef driven restaurant. Bistro V’s chef, Jeremy Downey played on the 1992 University of Alabama championship football team and proudly wears his ring while cooking. Yet his co-owner, Emily Tuttle Shell is orange and blue all the way. And she greets us and seats us today at my favorite, corner bar table, in this house divided. 

Bar Night 

Bistro 218 brings back Burger and Crab Cake Sliders at The Bar.

By Jan Walsh 

Tonight, Kev and I have reservations in The Bar at Bistro 218. This French bistro boasts two dining options for dinner to suit your mood and your appetite: fine dining with French classics in the main dining room and casually upscale bar with its own bar menu. And no matter which room or menu you choose, owners and restaurateurs, Tom and Christina Saab offer ever changing, seasonal fare sourced from the best meat and Gulf Coast seafood purveyors, local foragers and farmers, and every ingred

Sunday Funday
Abhi Eatery and Bar is now open for Sunday lunch and dinner.  
By Jan Walsh 

Sunday lunch at Abhi Eatery & Bar is back by popular demand! When the Abhi at The Summit location closed, taking down its Sunday lunch, many of us were disappointed. So Abhi came to our rescue… opening Mountain Brook Village for lunch to satisfy our Sunday appetites! 

Petite Phenom 
Corporate Exec Chef, Mary Grace Viado celebrates 20 years at Village Tavern.  
By Jan Walsh 

If Chef Mary Grace Viado were a dish… What would she be? Her petite appearance and gracious hospitality are much like a canape, perhaps a caviar scallop. Yet her pretty smile and sweet personality are more like a dessert, such as her own warm butter cake with fruit and ice cream. Yet underlying this dainty demeanor, there is a CIA education, a world of experience, a passion for research and development, and a boss lady. Thus, Viado is not a dish, she is the talent who develops them all.