HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >

Birmingham birthday dinner

kelkins Mar 24, 2009 10:48 PM

Planning on a birthday dinner in April and have a few to choose from. Which would you pick and why? We haven't been to any of these.

Cafe Dupont, Chez Fon Fon, or Highlands?

I am leaning towards Highlands, simply because it's Highlands and I have never been. But after reading Cafe Dupont's menu...I am second guessing. I ate at his place in Springville years back and still remember it. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. sheilal RE: kelkins Mar 25, 2009 05:36 AM

    Personally, I would pick Highlands. You can't beat the ambiance and the service and the food - superb! However, it might be hard to get a reservation right now since Frank Stitt (exec chef & owner) if up for the top James Beard award this year. I imagine that is really going to spike a renewed fondness to this place. Cafe Dupont would be my next choice. It's fabulous as well. I'd also through Hot & Hot Fish Club in the mix. They have a tomato salad that is divine and by April, it should be on the menu. Chez Fon Fon has great food, but it's a bit more casual than the other three offerings. It's not Olive Garden casual, but more so than Highlands. BTW, Chez Fon Fon and Highland's are both owned and operated by Frank Stitt, so you really can't go wrong with either.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sheilal
      pinotboy RE: sheilal Mar 25, 2009 06:34 AM

      It depends completely on what you are looking for. If you want a more formal dining experience, then Highlands or Dupont are the ways to go. Since you have never been to Highlands, that would be my choice.

      As sheilal points out, Fonfon is more casual than the other two, but I would refer to it as upscale casual. In my opinion they have the best hamburger and fries in town, but they also have offerings that are more ambitious.

      Sheilal is right about Hot and Hot's tomato salad--it is very good. However, my recollection is that it does not typically make an appearance on the menu until late May/early June when good tomatoes are available. Also, as I have written on this site several times, I think that Hot and Hot suffers greatly when chef/owner Chris Hastings is not in the kitchen, as has been the case more and more often over the past 2-3 years. I would stick with one of the three choices you list.

      1. re: pinotboy
        kelkins RE: pinotboy Mar 25, 2009 04:44 PM

        Thanks to you both. We've been to Hot and Hot and it must have been on an off night. I was not impressed. We typically go to Standard Bistro for most special occasions and always love that. I did make reservations at Highlands. Called and got right in for April 7. I was just second guessing after thinking about Dupont and reading something else about Chez Fonfon.

    Show Hidden Posts