Southern Hospitality and Fine Dining Meet at Brock’s


V51A0358-EditWritten by Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

 

Brock’s Restaurant is located inside Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort and Spa, downstairs from the main lobby. It is open for breakfast daily and fine dining for dinner nightly. Drawing a loyal, local following of both nearby residents of Ross Bridge and beyond throughout the Birmingham metro area, all gather here. And resort guests do not have to leave the building to dine here. 

 

The Place

Brock’s ambience is bold, colorful, and geometric. Bright, lush fabrics of azure, lime, and cherry red are balanced by cool metals of iron and copper. Tall windows wrap around the space, boasting views of the golf course and patio, where fire pits roar and the bag piper plays. Curved banquettes line the center of the space, separating the dining room from the bar and kitchen. And outside, iron café tables and chairs dot the patio for al fresco dining, weather permitting. Tonight the windows provide a beautiful view of a lightning storm rolling through.

 

V51A0325-Edit-EditThe People

Robert Kamm is executive chef, and Marx Gary is restaurant chef. The two execute incorporate locally grown produce with seafood, steaks, fowl, and pastas. The service is outstanding from a very well-trained staff. I am impressed that everyone who attends to our table calls us by name, as they also do the surrounding tables. And I am delighted to hear “my pleasure” as their response to being thanked, rather than the typical “no problem” at many restaurants. The restaurant professionals to thank for this evening include director of restaurants Kent LaBoube; food and beverage manager Dillon Skinner; Brock’s evening supervisor Nelson Walters; and Brock’s morning supervisor Lucy Gary.

 

Favorite Fare

Brock’s is known for easy to mix and match antipastas and for their array of grilled flatbreads and tapas. In the mood for the cheesiest option, we select the four cheeses flatbread for starters, paired with margaritas. We sip our cocktails from tall glasses with salted rims and a slice of lime until our piping hot flatbread arrives. Buffalo mozzarella, fontina, Parmesan, and ricotta blend into a thick layer of hot, gooey cheese atop a thin yet hearty bread. We enjoy the bread while selecting entrees of spaghetti bolognese and prawns.

V51A0395-EditWe are also happy to have the option of the spaghetti available in two sizes, a full size or a smaller portion. The plateful of al dente spaghetti is tossed with meaty bites of pork and beef, tomatoes, and basil and topped with Parmesan, for a bite of creaminess to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Three enormous, succulent prawns are topped with a Romanesco sauce that adds a hint of nuttiness, a touch of heat, and creamy tomato to the shrimp. The prawns wrap around a divine scoop of freekeh. Freekeh is an ancient Arabian cereal made from green wheat that was roasted during its production. Freekeh’s texture is chewy, hearty, and comforting to the palate. The yellow grains are mixed with slices of oiled, cured olives, adding depth. And its mix of fresh fennel adds green color, flavors of licorice, and crispness to the dish.

For dessert we pair the Chocolate Elevation with glasses of port. Three selections of chocolate elevate in dark richness and temperature, from an icy chocolate bourbon gelato to a creamy chocolate caramel mousse, and finally a deep, dark chocolate torte with a hot lava center. Highly recommended from this chocoholic to all chocoholics! Fonseca Porto Bin 27’s deep, velvety flavors of blackcurrant and cherry make a lovely match for all three chocolates—and a nice glass to warm up to on this rainy night.

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