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Mar 19, 2008 10:58 AM

One night in Birmingham

Passing through Birmingham on our way to Columbia, SC. Last time we stayed in B'ham we ate at Chez FonFon. We enjoyed it. Then we had dessert and after dinner drink at Highlands Bar & Grill. We need one restaurant suggestion since we are only there one night. I am leaning toward 26. Any comments or suggestions?

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  1. Is it on a weekend night? What are you looking for--food, ambience, ethnic?

    1 Reply
    1. re: gyp7318

      Yes, it is Friday....this Friday. Prefer seafood heavy menu since it is Good Friday. I am looking for good food. Ambience....doesn't matter. Ethnic.....just good food. Would prefer something close to The Hotel Highlands, but do have a car. Thanks!

    2. 26 is very good in a casual, hipster kinda of way. Very good food, but not what memories are made of. I suggest going next door to Ocean for a lovely, refined, and tasty dinner. Try the lobster pot pie, ceviche, or greek-style grouper. Delicious!!!

      7 Replies
      1. re: sheilal

        Ocean sounds delicious. I checked their website. What is the dress code/attire?

        1. re: south foodie

          On my one (recent) visit, Ocean seemed to have mostly a business casual sort of atmosphere but some folks were wearing jeans and a nice shirt. This was also not a weekend night. Ocean and 26 are owned by the same folks and share a kitchen. Ocean's menu is more heavily weighted to seafood.

          It might be fun to have pre-drinks and an app at the more lively 26 before dining at Ocean. However, 26 can be a zoo at peak hours on a Friday night and I am not sure whether they take reservations. I've always just put my name in and waited (sometimes a while) for a table.

          A lot of folks here also like Hot and Hot Fish Club for seafood, which is relatively close to your hotel also.

          While I like the Fish Market for what it is, I would avoid it for a one night shot. It's well prepared Greek-style seafood but nothing spectacular with most of the sides being pretty weak. They also seem to love their salt.

          1. re: Dax

            I would suggest Hot and Hot as Dax mentioned or daniel george, which would be a short drive away in Mountain Brook. daniel george has some excellent seafood selections each night.

            If you go to Hot and Hot and like some action, request to sit at the chef's table. They really have a great one. But it's hard to sit there with more than one person and be able to talk. Best for couples.

            1. re: eatyourveggies1

              Another vote for Hot and Hot as top choice. But you won't regret Ocean either. Idea about drinks/apps at 26 and meal at Ocean is a good one.

              1. re: Big Daddy

                Since this week is Spring Break, Birmingham is rather dead and the crowds at some of the nicer restaurants should be down.

                For seafood, Ocean is a much better choice than 26. And as much as it pains me to say it, right now I think it is a much better choice than Hot and Hot. When it is on, Hot and Hot is one of the top places in town. However, the chef/owner, Chris Hastings, is spreading himself a bit thin by doing consulting for other restaurants, and I find that the food slips noticeably when he is not in the kitchen (that has been the case the last few times I was there).

                1. re: pinotboy

                  Have to second pinotboy's slipping comment on Hot and Hot. We took some out of town visitors last Friday. Not a good night. Heavy salt for most dishes. Quail appetizer and pork trio dried out. My shrimp dish (not with grits) was bland. Pasta dish was rated good. Overall, food was average that night. A shame, because we wanted to show it off to our guests. Service was stellar and atmosphere was great though.

                  1. re: tomself

                    We went to Ocean and enjoyed it. Thanks for the help. We went to Highlands again for after dinner drinks and dessert. Again a perfect ending to our night. We enjoyed our dinner at Ocean. We had the tuna and the hallibut. Very good. Our waitress was very helpful.