My birthday was last week so Av took me to Hot and Hot in B’ham – that used to be my favorite restaurant (ah…sadly…used to…).

Well, here’s what we had – for a cocktail, I had a ‘Bogg Sucker’ (sounds delicious, right!? haha!) – it’s ‘sherry and gin muddled and served with spicy marinated olives and garnished with Hawthorne feathers’. I was told if I like a gin & tonic I would like this. It was good. And strong.

So strong that when we finished supper and I stood up, I actually took two steps backwards before I could get my bearings! Didn’t realize it was that strong!! Wow, that was embarrassing!!

Av had the Red Mountain Martini (their version of a whiskey sour, made with ‘Maker’s Mark, Red Mountain Honey, Housemade Sour Mix, shaken and served straight-up’) – it’s in the pic below with his appetizer, the charcuterie plate. That was foie gras torchon, pickled veal tongue, souse meat, pork rillettes, duck prosciutto, and pickled okra:

That was amazing, amazing, amazing and we should have stopped there.

Crispy duck confit. Pretty good:

Av’s entree was ‘seared yellowfin tuna and Mississippi shrimp with Asian greens, baby bok choi, rice noodles, and lemongrass broth’:

Good but not great.

Mine was the ‘pork and beans with collard greens, cracklin cornbread, and chow chow’. This is one of the dishes Hot & Hot is famous for:

I never send anything back, but they had let the beans get cold and it was pretty sad overall. Chris Hastings, the chef/owner, wasn’t there that night and many people say that if he isn’t there in person, there’s a big difference. There was.

And it struck me the difference in the plates that the food is brought out on. Some of it is put on Earthborne pottery (like my entree) and the majority, it seems, on non-descript white china. Seems as though you would want a unified presentation – one way or the other.
They were also hawking his new cookbook pretty hard (put a card in about it when they brought the check, there was a message on the menu about it, and the server actually brought a copy over to our table to show us) which felt a little like they were pushing it too much. We passed.
I think that’s our last visit to Hot and Hot for a while.
Now! What was fantastic? Lunch with Leslie at our favorite lunch-spot…Chez FonFon. This is one of Frank Stitt’s restaurants. Never been there when we weren’t wowed with everything.
We snacked just a little bit on the pizza with tuna, roasted peppers, onions, and olives:

I had the shrimp and avocado salad for my entree:

Leslie had the trout with brown butter, capers, and brabant potatoes:

Here we are! That’s Leslie on the left, me on the right:

So pretty:


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