10 Spots: My Favorite Places

10 SPOTS:  My favorite places

by Kathy G

This was a hard assignment because there are so many wonderful places to dine in Birmingham. In fact, I think we have the very best “culinary scene” in the South. I love to support the local restaurants and am so proud of their connection of farm to table in all their menus.  I’m equally proud of the accomplishments of our local chefs and all they’ve brought to our city. —Kathy G

Highlands Bar and Grill

From the moment you get out of the car and the valet says, “Enjoy,” you know you’re in for evening of gracious service and outstanding cuisine. prepared with the finest seasonally local and sustainably raised ingredients that’s the “Highlands experience.”  We love to dine in the bar where I’ve loved the lamb two ways, guinea hen with forest mushrooms, stone ground baked grits, Guadalupe special and the “muddled martinis” which they put on the map! Simply the best!

(www.highlandsbarandgrill.com) 205-939-1400


The Café is definitely a place to see and be seen for lunch. Love the signature house salad with carrot shards as well as the nicoise, the flatbread with smoked salmon presentation not to fail to mention the famous mac and cheese. Love to dine outside at the café and the restaurant and I’ll never the forget Dal’s ricotta cheesecake! Pardis, wish it was always on the menu!

(www.bottegarestaurant.com) 205-939-1000


I pop in for a quick lunch and love to sit in the back room or outside at a small table. I’m a fan of Mediterranean cuisine and love the bruschetta with eggplant, roasted tomatoes and sundried tomatoes not to mention Greek salad always. They even know to put extra lemon on my tuna salad and top with feta! I always buy their Dodoni Greek feta for my home.

(www. nabeels.com) 205-879-9292

Bistro V

This is definitely our “best kept secret”neighborhood place to go.  Owners Chef Jeremy Downy and Emily do an amazing job with the freshest seafood from Snapper Grabbers next door. I had a fabulous whole wheat garlic basil cappellini with tomatoes, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and shrimp. You can’t go wrong with the fried oyster po-boy for lunch or dinner.

(www.bistro-v.com) 205-823-1505

Hot n Hot

Love the choice of Chris’ eclectic appetizer menu and the cheese platter with the nut brickle is the best on the planet. Always love the grouper with tomato, avocado, grilled vidalia with basil lime vinaigrette and the infamous tomato salad in season is a must! Congratulations to Chris’ 2012 year. I was in a Bobby Flay restaurant the night he won Iron Chef!

(www.hotandhotfishclub.com) 205-933-5474

The Gardens Café

A lovely spot at the Botanical Gardens, great place to meet a client or friend. Our chef does a great job on lunch with two soups daily, a favorite is the carrot ginger with crème fraiche and summer squash.  Needless to say, I have lunch there frequently and recently enjoyed the grilled salmon over sauteed greens. Delicious.

(www.bbgardens.org/gardens-cafe.php) 205-414-3950


A favorite place to always have dinner with one of our favorite fun couples. Love the infused ginger lemon grass vodka, raw bar, Thai spiced shrimp rice paper roll. George does a wonderful mix of Asian and contemporary bistro cuisine. The wild Alaskan glazed salmon with quinoa and cauliflower puree was memorable.

(www.oceanbirmingham.com) 205-933-0999


Absolutely fun, comfortable with an incredible wine list and amazing Italian food. Sit at the bar or in the dining room, the excellent, nightly specials are so fabulous. Order the veal chop when they feature it! Love the new wine bar in the back. So quaint and charming, it reminds of a secretly hideaway in wine country.


El Barrio

Love the urban feel and design of the space. Our group from work had lunch and definitely agree the guacamole was the best ever. I love that they source local ingredients, as well as have great margaritas and local craft beers. The grilled chorzio meatloaf and and sauteed shrimp quesadilla with sweet lime cream was awesome!

(elbarriobirmingham.com) 205-868-3737

Avo /Dram

A late night secret. I happened on it looking for late night snack after an event. The Lamb Burgers were awesome and we’ve gone back for more! They have a really fun cocktail selection and the honey-infused bourbon.  The upstairs lounge area has been great to invite a group to gather for birthday celebration which we did twice this year.

(www.dramwhiskeybar.com; www.avorestaurant.com) 205-871-8212

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