Birmingham Hounds: What was your best meal (or meals) of 2011?
Mine was a dinner with my wife at Highlands Bar and Grill, an absolutely magical experience. To start, I had the baked grits (split that appetizer) and the pork belly simmered in bourbon.
For an entree, I had the Poulet Rouge Two Ways, which may be the best chicken dish I ever have eaten. Made with a French heritage bird that is raised in North Carolina that has such a powerfully chickeny flavor. Thighs were slow braised and the breast was roasted and studded with herbs.
Oddly, you can find a recipe for the chicken dish in one of Chef Frank Stitt's cookbooks -- but it's the Bottega cookbook, not the Highlands one.
Second best had to be my first meal at Ollie Irene, which led to many more meals at the new gastropub that has become a more-than-minor obsession.