Birmingham, AL Fine Dining or Romance
I would like to get a gift for a newlywed couple that live in Birmingham, AL. They love food and have spent time in NY, San Fran, etc and I would like to get them a gift certificate for an amazing restaurant in their new hometown. Any recommendations?
Highlands Bar & Grill, the creation of star chef Frank Stitt, was the leader of B'ham fine dining and a definite must try if they haven't already been. My personal favorite when I lived there for a cozy romantic meal was Hot & Hot Fish Club. Cafe DuPont downtown is also an excellent spot. All have websites so you may want to explore a bit and see which you think would strike their fancy or which one they haven't tried.
I second all of Guilty Gourmand's recommendations. For italian fare, I recommend Bottega (also a Frank Stitt restaurant) or GianMarco's in the Homewood area of B'ham.
Not necessarily romantic, but definitely intimate, try Jensei in Homewood. Best sushi joint in town by a long shot- with chef trained by Nobu and fish flown in daily from Japan and Australia. The sushi is excellent (recommend the serrano yellowtail); the wine it outrageously expensive ($15/glass) and the wait is generally long (no reservations). It only has a handful of tables (maybe 20 seats) so the service is very attentive.
For romantic, I agree with all of the recs above, esp. GianMarco. For their initial introduction to town, I'd have to go with Highlands.