Winter Restaurant Week: Bottle & Bone

IMG_1432At Bottle & Bone, the word of the day is always "bacon." Earlier this week, my friend Taylor and I ate lunch at the restaurant and bottle shop in Uptown. I hadn't been in there in almost a year, and saw that they'd rearranged the space, which culled their bottle offerings but opened up more room for tables. IMG_1434For the Winter Restaurant Week lunch, you choose between a half bacon flight and an arugula salad for the appetizer. Since there were two of us, we ordered both. The bacon flight was made up of two or three pieces of three different bacons. All were cooked so that they were nice and crispy (just the way I like it), but the results were different for each.

FullSizeRender (12)Next came the sandwiches. To maximize what we could taste, I ordered the burger with potato gratin, and Taylor chose the avocado BLT with chips. The modestly sized burger came with the standard toppings: cheese, lettuce, tomato, and creamy sauce all on a buttered and toasted bun. Because there was one piece of bacon leftover from the flight, I added that onto the burger. It was tasty, but make sure you're hungry: it's rich and a bit on the greasy side. The potato gratin was also rich, but who can resist potatoes and cheese?

FullSizeRender (13)The avocado BLT was an interesting combination. It was served cold, so the rich and creamy avocado played off the more intensely smoky notes of the chilled (but crunchy) bacon. The mild tomato rounded it out, while the lettuce provided a little crunch to finish it off.

For dessert, the chocolate cookie was a nice, lighter way to top things off. Crunchy edges, white chocolate chips, and a soft center made it a nice way to wrap up the meal.

For more #WRW2016 coverage, check out the Birmingham Restaurant Week website.

Winter Restaurant Week: John's City Diner

Birmingham, you purty. Like the 1970s AlkaSeltzer commercial, I can't believe I ate the whoooole thing. Last night, the husband and I went to John's City Diner for date night. We ate, and we ate, and we ate, and then we spent a couple hours zoning out. For having just rolled out a new menu on Thursday, the service was top notch.

FullSizeRender (5)The meal started off with a light side salad. The simple mixture of greens, tomatoes, and teeny bits of carrots was accompanied by a generous dollop of apple cider vinaigrette for me and one of spicy ginger peanut dressing for Adam. The vinaigrette was a bit sweet, and I ended up stealing some of his spicy ginger dressing for my own salad. The peanut added some richness, while the ginger gave it a subtle spice.

FullSizeRender (10)For the main course, I ordered the gulf shrimp and grits, while Adam ordered the famous meatloaf. The McEwen & Sons grits were creamy, and had corn kernels mixed in, giving it a great, slightly varied texture. The whole dish was topped with sausage gravy. While it might not be the most photogenic dish, it was goood.

IMG_1380I've had the famous meatloaf before, and it's delicious. Sourced from Creekstone Farms, the beef is light and fluffy without having a whipped texture. It was served over creamy smashed potatoes, sauced with a rich beef and mushroom gravy, and finished with a pile of lightly battered onion rings and a spear of spicy pickled okra.

FullSizeRender (4)After the main dish was finished off, dessert was served. In a great meal, the Belgian chocolate bread pudding was the highlight. Made with dark chocolate chips, the rich, well-textured pudding drizzled with Belgian chocolate ganache and accompanied with rich homemade whipped cream and an Bordeaux cherry. The hot, chocolate pudding melted the whipped cream into a tasty bittersweet slurry, and the cherry was effervescent. Yes, lawd.

Check out the Birmingham Restaurant Week website for more coverage.