« New Book Celebrates Bright Star | Main | Fine Dining a Bargain in Birmingham »

First Impressions: Plaza III Steakhouse

plazaiii.jpgCopper Grill at Brookwood Mall has become Plaza III Steakhouse, and a lot more than the name has changed. Gone are all the flamboyant (and sometimes tacky) things that made Copper Grill seem like something from Vegas or Disney -- the twinkly-star ceiling, the huge menus with the garish color photos, the spiels about rare olive oils or imported desserts, the Rat Pack soundtrack, the leopard-print upholstery, the flaming rosemary branch that accompanied the rack of lamb on its journey to your table, the pushy service.

In their place is a very classic, very basic, Midwestern-style steakhouse. In addition to a facelift, the restaurant has a completely new menu, emphasizing USDA Prime beef for prime rib and steaks, which you can order with a choice of sauces, or get in classic preparations such as Steak Oscar and Steak au Poivre. You can still get huge, live lobsters flown in from Maine each day. Sides, which in classic steak house style you order separately and are large enough for two, include things like steamed asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, creamed or plain spinach, and seven different potato sides, from Idaho baked to white cheddar potatoes. Salads are basic -- classic Caesar, spinach salad, iceberg wedge, house salad featuring ranch dressing. The wine list is heavy on California selections.

We plan to go back for a second visit and give you a full review, but our initial take was that while we don't miss a lot of the tackiness of Copper Grill, we do miss some of that pizzazz. As our waiter (who had been there seven years and did an excellent job) commented, with Copper Grill, "it was all about the show." Plaza III is good, but for our tastes, both the atmosphere and the food were a bit bland. If you're into very simple, basic food, and places like Highlands are too weird for you, then Plaza III may be just the ticket.

Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2007 at 09:41AM by Registered CommenterDeborah Lockridge in | Comments6 Comments

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (6)

No Ribeye? How can you have a steak house without a ribeye on the menu?

September 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

we dined a plaza 3 on 10/19/7 and were very disappointed in the food. gone is the famous caesar salad that the copper grill prepared and served tableside. also the steaks seemed thin and smaller than advertised. also the appetizers seemed simple. for dessert you can still get the molten lava chocolate cake and bananas foster. i might go back but i think the copper grill was much better. also the decor has changed so you don't feel that you're anywhere special.

October 22, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersteven davis

"everyone" of these diners do have a point. i do work there and the change did take some time to get use to. i can guarantee you that plaza 3 will be just as big if not bigger than coppergrill. try us again!!!!

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjustin

no prolbem with price, but disappointed with the experince and will not be back any time soon. I should have known something was up when I tasted the strangest "old fashioned" cocktail I have ever sipped (it tasted like a B&C doused with bitters). Then brown edged lettuce, thinner steaks...no bone-in rib-eyes? Confusing sides...3 or 4 differnt versions of potatoes sides and poor menu explaination of how prepared/served. Blueberry Renuzits doedorisers in the mens restroom? And then your waiter wants to shake your hand at the end. come on.

February 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRB

The food and service was excellent. I will be returning soon!

May 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I went to Plaza III last weekend and the entire experience was exceptional. The food was fantastic. The service was flawless. Plaza III is one of Birmingham's best kept secrets!

July 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>