On Friday the husband and I checked out The Stand--the new restaurant in Birmingham. We originally made a 8pm reservation but because we got held up elsewhere we actually couldn't make it in until 9:15pm. The hostess was wonderful and still honored our reservation. We couldn't believe how hopping the place was still at that hour.
First off, this restaurant is HUGE. Still it was somehow packed. There are probably about 3-4 different areas including a bar, main dining room, wine room and private rooms (2 of which were filled). The crowd veered on the mid-20s/30s crowd at that time---well-dressed, hip, young, a little rowdier than expected. Very interesting vibe (which we liked).
The food was great! They are trying to sell this place as rustic chic but honestly there is nothing rustic about this restaurant. The chef is the same chef as Cuisine in Detroit. He is clearly classically trained and it shows in the food. These are excellently composed dishes with french technique. The menu is HUGE. Everything here is big! It took us forever to order because there were just so many choices. As an appetizer my husband ended up getting the trip of soups--lobster bisque, cream of wild mushroom and beef barley. All were excellent with the true winner likely being the lobster. I've never had a lobster bisque that was both flavorful and light---this some how captured both elements. I got the cold asparagus salad which was tasty and light---just what I wanted.
For a main course I ordered the rabbit. I love, love, love rabbit but rarely see it on menus. Our waitress said it's one of the most popular items! It's served multiple ways: a rabbit loin sliced,the rack itself and then an incredible duck sausage. The sauce, the sides everything was perfect. This was a perfectly composed dish that made sense and tasting wonderfully. My husband got the sturgeon with the fois gras and tomato ravioli. The fish was cooked perfectly and the foie gras was delicious (not sure if I got the tomato though). His dish tasted great but it seemed like 2 separate dishes.
The only real disappointment of the night was the desserts. They looked beautiful but disappointed in taste. I got a cake dish that was served in a mason jar and was supposed to have layers of different fruit fillings but really all I got was the passionfruit waaaay at the bottom. My husband got a chocolate dish with banana ice cream. He said it was so-so.
There is so much to choose from at The Stand that we can't wait to go back---although we'll probably skip dessert next time and just order an extra cocktail :)