Highlands Bar & Grill - B'ham
Frank Stitt opened up shop during the time I was traveling the Southeast on business and in B'ham at least once every other month, sometimes much more often. But I was not the foodie I am now, and stuck with my faves the Golden Rule and Social Grill, never popping in to check things out.
Being very much aware of him these days, I was very much looking forward to dinner there, one of only a few splurge meals we were allowing ourselves along the route.
While I was certainly impressed with the overall experience, I can't say that Highlands is a place I would drive well out of my way for (as I would for Bloomington, IN's Restaurant Tallent let's say).
Ingredients were of impeccable quality, and were perfectly prepared. But I found the overall flavor profile of everything served to lean towards the bland side. I totally "get" what he is doing, but I happen to prefer much more aggressive flavors in the foods I eat. Highlight was the crostata for dessert, a triumph in textures AND flavor
Should you go? Absolutely. Definitely should be on every 'hound's must-do list, just maybe not on the must-do-everytime-in-the-area list.
re: Big Daddy
Thanks for the linky, BigDaddy.
We started with the grits appy. For entrees I had the pork shoulder and belly, my traveling partner had the hanger steak, though both preps were slightly different than on the most recent web menu. Given my experience, unless I had a wealth of time and budget, I'd check out Bottega and perhaps FonFon before returning to Highlands.
And I think my partner would concur. We hit the aforementioned Tallent twice on the same trip, both requiring much miles or time or both out of our way. He enjoyed Highlands as did I, but it was Tallent that knocked our socks off.