I had high hopes for this north-side Birmingham place. The owner is a successful caterer in the Birmingham area and the menu is ambitious. Too ambitious, as it turns out.
We (a party of four) were seated for a full ten minutes before a harried waiter took our drink order, which was incorrect and handled very poorly.
For starters, one in our party had a green tomato soup, which she found adequate. One had an endive salad, which was fine, but nothing special. Probably the best starter was pecan crusted oysters, which were flavorful but barely large enough to add flavor to the generous breading.
My starter was described as a crispy sweetbrad with mushroom flan. What I got was a deep-fried WHOLE sweetbread (medium rare and disgusting) and flan with some partially reconstituted dried mushrooms in it. The sweetbread had not been parbolied before presetnation and still contained loads of membranes and connestive tissue. Both this and the "flan" were positively disgusting. I told our harried waiter about the undercooked sweetbread, as that had the potential to really make someone ill. The kitchen's reaction? After everyone else had finished the starters, he asked me if I wanted another. Ummmmm, no thank you.
For entrees, three of us had braised lamb shanks which were adequate but had really not been cooked long enough to break down all the connective tissue, leading to some quite unpleasant textures. My wife had a salmon dish with baby bok-choy and somen noodles. It was presented nicely, but the taste of the bok-choy was so poorly controlled that it completely obliterated any other flavors in the dish.
In short, service was amateurish, food dissapointing, and prices high. There are many other places in Birmingham (Hot and Hot, Bottega, Highlands, Daniel George, and a host of others) where the food is better and a better value.
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