Familiar Excellence at Satterfield’s


By Jan Walsh     

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Satterfield’s Restaurant is nestled in the heart of Cahaba Heights, just behind The Summit. Convenient to most of the Birmingham metro area, loyal patrons enjoy the daily changing menu. Whether it is steak, seafood, quail, duck, rabbit, chicken or pork that you crave, you will find them matched with local vegetables and fruits, and prepared with European influences.

The Place

The ambiance at Satterfield’s Restaurant is welcoming. Warm shiny woods, cool slate, caramel colored leather banquettes, tones of sage green and candlelight at every table provide a relaxing backdrop for dinner. Dining options include patio, full bar, dining room, chef’s counter and private dining space. Dine al fresco under a patio umbrella when weather permits. Belly up to the L shaped bar, or take a table or banquette in the full service bar, with its own entrance. In the dining room banquettes and tables are framed around the open kitchen. The chef’s counter is the place to dine if you want an interactive meal. And Satterfield’s A/V–ready private dining room seats up to 22 people. Tonight we are seated in my favorite banquette with a great view of executive chef Haller Magee and his staff preparing dinner in the kitchen.

The People

Familiar, friendly faces of the welcoming staff greet us. Owner and pastry chef Becky Satterfield maintains a long-term loyal staff, which speaks volumes to her leadership. Kevin Moore has been the general manager since 2004. Chef Magee came here in 2005 and became executive chef in 2007. Patrick Horn, Sous Chef (AKA “the grill man”) has been here since 2004, and business manager, Barbara Dawson since 2006. Servers are also a loyal lot—Jeff Burchett since 2005, Lucy Jackson since 2007 and Ryan Ernst since 2008. David Manning, Server and Beverage Manager, has been off and on since 2005, and has worked here steadily for four years. And Josh Schaff, head bartender, Barry Graham, head server, and server Alicia Colin have been here for two years.

 

Favorite Fare

Dinner at Satterfield’s is always something special. This hot, summer evening calls for chilly cocktails before dinner. We select sips of Summer martini and Cheshire lemonade. The martini is a light, icy, pink concoction of fresh grapefruit, Hendrix gin, Dolin dry vermouth, ginger and celery bitters. The Cheshire lemonade is a tart low ball, on the rocks made from Mississippi vodka, Cat Head, lemon oleo saccharum, and ripened mango infused herb-saint. Hot cornbread and raisin bread are nibbled with the drinks as we select appetizers—Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine and Snow’s Bend Heirloom Tomato Salad. The terrine arrives atop a slice of Brioche French toast, with colorful accompaniments of berry jam, pistachio pesto, and blueberry foam. The fruit adds a touch of lightness and sweetness to the terrine, and the flavors meld beautifully together on the palate with each heavenly bite.

The tomato salad is a tasty and colorful mix of flavor filled in season sliced Heirlooms, with bites of house made Ossabaw sausage, house pickles and mustard vinaigrette. The dish is crowned by a divine and elegant goat cheese stuffed squash blossom.  The creaminess of the cheese makes a contrasting complement to the acidity of the tomatoes and crisp and scrumptious pickles.

We select seafood and steak options for entrees. With our entree of pan seared Viking Village diver scallops, we pair a crisp, cold glass of Vincent Delaport Sancerre 2011. And with the Swift 1855 cowboy rib-eye we pair a pint of Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale. Four large, delicate diver scallops are golden on top and white as snow inside. They are served atop eggplant caponata, roasted eggplant puree, blistered heirloom tomato vinaigrette and basil pesto. The steak arrives presenting a serious rib bone—letting steak lovers know they have ordered the right dish. Below and surrounding the steak is a helping of heavenly horseradish mashed potatoes, a tasty Heron Hollow onion confit, rattlesnake beans, and beautiful baby carrots bursting with flavor. Our dessert is made of four of our favorite things—blueberries, blackberries, ice cream and chocolate—a chocolate blueberry tart paired with Blackberry swirled vanilla bean ice cream provides a sweet end to this special evening.

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