Anyone been to Hot & Hot lately?
How was it? It's been a while since my wife and I took some friends. Little embarrasing because they were out of town guests and we didn't have a very good experience. Some other friends want to go and I'd like to get some current reviews/feedback. I know about the recent James Beard recogniton. However, a recurring comment in the past was that Hastings spent too much time out of Hot & Hot. I suspect that may have been the problem when I went before. Willing to give it another shot. Any comments would be appreciated.
I've not been recently; except at the party for the premiere of Chris Hastings' new cookbook. I, too, have seen those threads you mentioned. I've been there several times when Chris wasn't, and always had a good experience.
I was there a couple of months ago; this used to be my favorite restaurant in B'ham, it's just not anymore. At our last visit, the food was lackluster and one entree had obviously been sitting around for a while, it came out at room temperature (fired at obviously the wrong time...). I've also heard the complaints that when Chris is not there the food isn't as good, and that's been our experience as well. The kitchen is open so you can obviously view who is working, but I also ask our servers if Chris is "in" tonight. You can tell.
Not crazy about the waiters bringing around at the end of the evening to different tables (I'm guessing to customers who are not 'regulars') to hawk the cookbook. If I remember correctly, there's mention of it on the menu, when the check comes, and sometimes people get the cookbook 'visit'. You obviously want people to know it's available, it all just seems a little much though.
Sorry not to report better news. I used to really love it there.
I recommend Highlands or Veranda, right across the street.