highlands bar and grill

Last night, Mat and I went to Highlands Bar and Grill to celebrate our 5th Anniversary (which was Aug. 30) and to celebrate the birth of our second child. We had planned this night out for quite a while, because it's a chore to get reservations. We have been to Bottega Cafe, one of Frank Stitt's other restaurants, but we were so excited about going to his flagship in Birmingham's Five Points. Our reservations were at 6:00p, and we got to the restaurant right around 6 o'clock.

When we got to the door, we say that a couple photographers from The New York Times were at the restaurant making photos for a story. Really cool. We were seated right away, and got our menus and water.

We ordered the famous grits for our appetizer, and they brought out a couple different kinds of bread, but oh my goodness, y'all. Cornbread. Frank Stitt's cornbread. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of the cornbread, which is probably due to the fact that we gobbled it down so quickly. It was amazing. Our wonderful waiter said that sometimes, they have some left over at the end of the night, and he will take some home and pan sear it with some butter to have for breakfast with his honey. Y'all. Cornbread like you've never tasted it. Cornbread.

We ordered the stone ground baked grits with country ham, mushrooms, fresh thyme, and parmesan for our appetizer. I've never had anything like it. Mat and I split it, and it was the perfect portion. The sauce that is on the grits is rich and creamy, and the ham and thyme make the dish. Of course, I'm a sucker for a good mushroom, so the mushrooms added a lot to the dish for me. Mat, who usually doesn't like mushrooms, loved them, too.

We enjoyed our bread (and a second round of bread) as we waited to order our food. We watched the restaurant really fill up with people, too. There were not a lot of folks in the dining room when we arrived, but 15-30 minutes later, there were tons of people at the tables.

We waited a few minutes to order our food, and Mat ended up ordering the Fudge Farms Pork Paillard with House Cured Bacon, Corn, and Green Beans and I had the Ribeye Steak with Michael Dean’s Arugula, Steak Fries, and Peppercorn A├»oli. I don't have a photo of Mat's, but here is mine...

I can't even begin to describe the food we ate. I was just unreal. Mat said you know you're eating good food when the last bite is better than the first, and I think he's right. Everything was so good. Even the arugula I had with my steak was so fine, and I'm not a huge arugula fan. The peppercorn aioli really made the dish-- it was spicy and creamy and a little chilled. Perfect addition to my perfectly cooked medium steak and fries.

Mat's dish was so tender, and it was served with this corn mixture that was creamy and full of sweet, home-grown corn. Some of Mat's vegetables even came from Frank Stitt's garden. So neat.

While we were dining, the lady herself, Pardis Stitt (Frank's wife), came out to the dining room to mingle. She obviously knew several of the patrons, as she spoke and laughed with them while giving them hugs, big smiles and information about the latest interior updates to Highlands. She said, "We love it here. It's our life, you know?" Yes, I do know. We can tell.

(No, I'm not above a stalker photo.)

For dessert, at the recommendation of our waiter, we had the Sea Salt Caramel and Chocolate cake. Y'all. It was amazing. It was perfectly sweet with a glossy chocolate top, with the richest caramel on the plate. On the bottom of the cake, you could see the grains of salt. I couldn't imagine a better way to top off our meal at Highlands.

We had the best experience at Highlands. It may be a little pricey to eat there, but trust me-- it's pricey for a reason. It's GOOD. It was probably the best meal I've ever had. I was so glad to get to spend a night alone with my husband in such a fine Alabama eatery. If you ever have a chance to go, don't miss out. Go check out Frank and Pardis' restaurant tucked beautifully in Birmingham's Five Points South. It is definitely an experience!

1 comment:

  1. Oh this looks SO very good. Might have to be on my bucket list to try in the next few years!