Ever go somewhere that you’ve heard wonderful things about, and for whatever reason – maybe because it’s been built up so much in your mind – that once you get there it’s just okay?
We had a Mommy-Daddy date this week at Little Savannah in B’ham. It had been a while since we’d gone out alone so above all the expectations I already had, I was really wanting this to be terrific. The boys were asleep, Mimi was there to listen to them sleep, and we tiptoed out for a little evening…
Oh! And you know why I really-really wanted to like it? The chef has done at least one James Beard event that I know of, and just last weekend prepared a supper party in Monroeville as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of TKAM which included fried chicken, sliced tomatoes, turnip greens, collards cornbread, Lane cake, and a special drink: Tequila Mockingbird. Oh yes.
The menu was broken into three main sections: “Little Vittles” or appetizers, “Middle Vittles” or entrees, and the sides, “Herbaceous Vittles”. There were five entree choices: flounder, ‘Southern cioppino’, chicken, grilled pork loin, and skirt steak. Av chose the skirt steak (Meyer Ranch skirt steak, poached egg, potato frites, marchands de vin, truffle oil). That’s the bottom-right of this pic:
He said it was pretty good but not amazing. None of the mains really attracted me, so the waiter suggested I go with two of the appetizers that looked more appealing: four fried chicken livers (bottom left of the pic above) and a small plate of shrimp and grits (upper right).
Unfortunately, someone had forgotten to salt the livers so I had to ask for salt (which…in a restaurant of this caliber, generally frowned on…they had to go to the kitchen to get me a teensy saucer of it), and – well, see the grits in the pic? The blue/purple grits with the pinky shrimp just did not make for an appetizing dish. I think this is one of those cases when regular white grits would have worked better in a visual way. It also was just okay flavor-wise, and I love shrimp & grits otherwise. It was little disappointing, even.
You know I would so much rather be positive about things.
Here’s something I can really be positive about – Denise Gee, the restaurant’s mixologist and creator of the Tequila Mockingbird. The drink is made up of strawberry-infused tequila, honey-black pepper syrup, and sparkling wine. It’s the top-right in the pic below:
Excellent. All the way to the left is Av’s Pimm’s cup (nice), and another drink that I had – can you believe I had two cocktails? – the ‘Zelda Sayre’.
Can I even tell you how much I have always loved Zelda Sayre? She was the beautiful girl from Montgomery who went on to marry F. Scott Fitzgerald and be known as the first American Flapper. I can go on & on. Anyway, I can’t recall exactly what was in the drink (um, because it was my second cocktail?!?) but there were notes of lemon, and lavender-infused vodka especially.
Our waiter said that the drinks’ creator was a fan of literature. Nice! So guess what else was on the menu? The Walker Percy: bourbon, muddled cucumber, honey-violet syrup, soda.
I have to share this – in today’s email from Tom Fitzmorris, he listed what the chef has on his new menu at Louisiana Bistro:
BPQ Shrimp $9
Jumbo gulf shrimp in a black pepper sauce
Boudin Booms $9
Roast boudin sausage links protecting a “beach” from caramelized onion pork glace
Dirty Bird $26
Crisp broiled oil-poached duck leg confit with dirty rice covered by a mysterious dark goo
Pork Barrel with Leeks $24
Braised pork grillades and gravy in an Idaho potato barrel with crispy leeks
“Top Hat” Surf and Turf $34
Pan roasted prime filet mignon topped with crawfish tail scampi on roasted garlic mashed potatoes
Junk Shot Jambalaya $27
Ever-changing mix of Louisiana fish and shellfish with andouille sausage in a Cajun style tomato rice pilaf
Take a look at the menu page, too…hilarious!