Birmingham - Icon
I joined some friends for dinner and drinks last night at Icon and it did not disappoint. A couple of us started with the house made (mix) blood mary. Wow, maybe the best I have had so far in town. A bit of spice (mostly from the horse radish), a few large green olives, and a lime wedge complimented this drink perfectly. I'm normally a game day/tailgating bloody drinker, but this was the perfect start at the bar. We retired to a table for 8 for dinner there after. The 7 of us shared four apps:
BIG BOWL OF MUSSELS IN A VERMOUTH AND SAFFRON SCENTED BROTH
WITH GRILLED BREAD 12.00
The mussels were fine but the broth was perhaps one of the highlights of the meal. Once we requested that the server bring more bread (and again more later) to dip in that wonderful vermouth and saffron broth, our end of the table pretty much forgot about the other apps.
I'm not sure whether the broth or the bloody was the perfect ambrosia, but one or both nearly qualified as nectar of the gods.
TUNA TATAKI, SEAWEED SALAD, WASABI CAVIAR, HOUSE PICKLED GINGER,
PLUM SOY SYRUP 14.00
I only had a small taste of this as it went so fast (and was on the other end of the table), but the tuna was perfectly rare and absolutely delicious.
The other two apps are not on the http://www.birminghammenus.com/icon/d... website but they were duck spring rolls and chicken skewers with a "shitake" sauce that had no sign of shitake mushrooms. The one bite I had from the skewer was pretty damn good too, with a nice hint of spice. Duck spring rolls were fine, but a little sweet for me. I also only had like one bite.
For dinner, I went with the lightly coated (cornmeal I believe but details start to get hazy as the cocktails flowed) rainbow trout over a bed of crawfish tails and something else I forgot. I was in heaven or so I thought; perfectly cooked, moist trout mixed with mudbugs is a concoction surely made from above or at least in Olympus. I might have stabbed someone with my fork if they tried to take any, but luckily there was a ton with two filets so I ended up sharing some.
I also tried the pork tenderloin and the roasted lamb, both of which were pretty fantablulous. Lamb was perfectly medium rare and well, the tenderloin, while medium well which is more done than I prefer (but ordered that way), was still succulent and moist. Someone else had the salmon over noodles; I didn't try it but there was none left on the plate so I'm sure it was pretty good. I never really paid attention to the other end of the table.
Service was professional and efficient.
Bottom line: a great place for a special night out or even just a casual dinner. We ate kind of late at around 9 but the place was empty. I hope it doesn't continue to be so, as it really shined last night. I'll definitely return.
Caveat: one of my friends/dining companions is a former server there. With that said, I don't imagine we got a lot of special treatment.
We, too, thought it was very good. Maybe the best variation on a Caesar salad we've ever had, with lots of garlic and anchovy kick and the addition of radicchio and arugula. Other highlights were a beautiful scallop appetizer, and a "parsnip-potato cloud" riff on mashed potatoes that was heavenly. Innovative wine list with a lot of choices you don't see elsewhere. The only reason we didn't give it four forks was a couple of things could have been warmer, and the cappucino and espresso were awful -- I've made stronger coffee in our drip coffeepot at home. See full review at http://www.bhamdining.com/icon/
We also went recently for Sunday brunch. Incredibly rich version of Eggs Benedict with crabmeat instead of Canadian bacon. The stone ground cheese grits, however, needed more cheese and more salt, but had a wonderful texture. Nice jazz trio in the background.