So we are Eat Jackson, and we eat in and around Jackson. But what good Jacksonian never heads to the east or west from time to time? We were to meet Eat Birmingham over here at a restaurant that had many accolades. The greatest of which was probably my friend Andy Cook over at the Parker House in Ridgeland, MS who said that Haller Magee was a good friend of his, and an amazing chef. Andy raved about his food. When a chef raves about food, I get excited. Andy didn’t steer me wrong.
I called Haller, and told him I’d have a couple young’uns with me, and we’d be meeting EatBhm for dinner. He graciously invited us to come by. I’m glad we did. I hope the folks over at Satterfields have recovered from our visit.
I usually research a place on the internet a bit before I go. I mean, that’s what you are doing right now, isn’t it? I didn’t look at the website until it was about 20 minutes before time to get there. I noticed white tablecloths and NO kids in the picture on the website. I hoped that wasn’t a hint. We loaded up a few turns later we arrived. The complimentary valet was a nice touch. The kids can ding up the car when they park it, so it was nice to have someone else take a turn handling that.
We walked inside and were greeted by the smiling face of EatBhm and the highly attentive staff of Satterfields. When I say attentive, I think that might be the thing that I noticed most about the entire night. It was that they NOTICED, everything. Glasses needing filled, plates being finished, food coming out when it was prepared. Details are everything. The caught every detail.
The place has a cool vibe. I loved the piece of art on the wall. The lighting was perfect. Not too bright, and not too dark. Our seats were (for better, and sometimes worse ) in front of the open kitchen. Occasionally we would hear meat searing, or the cracking and popping of various and sundry foods being cooked. The flash of fire occasionally added excitement to our table as well. There’s even a bar looking directly in to the kitchen. Next time, I’ll sit there.
Now, before I go further… Would I suggest bringing kids to this restaurant? Nope. Did I bring mine? Yep. They did pretty well considering. One lost a tooth eating the bread…Excitement all around.
So we ordered several things. Beef, Chicken and Fish. Haller sent out his trademark appetizer as a teaser. Smoked Cream Cheese Ravioli with Andouille Sausage. It was THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER EATEN. It was a flavorful delight. I don’t go on and on about stuff like this, but I actually called Andy Cook and asked him to make those at the Parker House. You don’t want to eat there without ordering that. We also had a cheese tray, and it (pictured above) was great. The waiters explained all the different cheese and they were different and great. The finale was our dessert. I (not having a clue about portion sizes) ordered one for us to split. We were all fairly stuffed at that point. The kitchen sent out the one we ordered, and a stack of Beignets with Sauteed Apples and Vanilla Ice Cream. They were a unique and delicious end to the meal. I HIGHLY recommend those.
Food: Top notch. The bread brought out was fresh and delicious. Appetizer plate of cheese was creative and really tasty, lots of flavor that you don’t get around our neck of the woods. Entrees were all spot on. My steak was perfect. Pepper crusted seared filet that kept every nickle of flavor inside. The mashed potatoes that came with my steak were fluffy and flavorful. I really haven’t had anything like them on the potato front in forever. The chicken breast was great. The presentation of every plate was overseen by Chef Haller Magee. The attention to detail again was phenomenal. I watched him in the window inspecting every dish and making sure every plate that left his kitchen was fit for a magazine cover. Beautiful as it was delicious.
Atmosphere: Stellar. If you’ve got someone you want to impress, it’s a great place to take them. I don’t and won’t pretend to know all about the different places in Birmingham. I’d compare it to a Walkers, Bravo, Nicks experience with a crisp and formal atmosphere that was outstanding.
Service: I don’t think I’ve seen attentive waitstaff like this in a while. I had my usual refill contest with the staff. They won. One particular server watched me with a pitcher all night, he won. I never got my glass empty. The waitstaff was great. I know they knew we were “food bloggers” but they did a fine job, and everyone else in the place seemed to be extremely well attended to as well.
Big thanks to Chef Haller and the folks for having us come in.
3161 Cahaba Heights Rd
Birmingham, AL 35243