Restaurant Listings: Steak & Seafood
Hint: To see restaurants in this section in a particular area of town, click on the category name indicating "Hoover," "Downtown," "South," etc., below each listing.
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180 Main St., Suite 200, Patton Creek, Hoover, 985-7785
5071 Pinnacle Square, Trussville (just off U.S. 11), 655-6008
Full bar. Wide variety of Cajun dishes with a lively atmosphere and friendly service, according to City Scene review of the Hoover location. In addition to steamed seafood, there are salads, po-boys, fried seafood, a variety of entrees, and Cajun specialties such as Boudin, gumbo, and crawfish etouffee. We've been to the Hoover location a few times, and while it's probably not worth seeking out from the other side of town, it's a great local addition to the casual dining scene in this part of town. We've enjoyed the steamed seafood platter for two (and they graciously subbed fried oysters for the steamed), the Voodoo chicken (the topping with all the crawfish and bacon and onions is the best part), seared tuna and po-boys. Fun place to eat outdoors.
5426 U.S. 280
Open for lunch and dinner. Chuck's Fish specializes in fresh fish and shellfish from the Gulf Coast. All their seafood comes from their own wholesale market in Destin, Florida. The fish is strictly hook and line caught by either their own boats or boats they have contracts with. When possible, they use local produce and meats are all hand cut, either in house or by local markets. The owner started Harbor Docks restaurant in Destin back in 1979. He owns a couple other restaurants on the Gulf Coast and another Chuck's Fish in Tuscaloosa, which seems to have gotten high marks, including for its sushi. A July 2009 City Scene review complained that while the restaurant is attractive, it is LOUD. Service, however, is expert, and reviewer Tom Gaskin gave high marks for Uptown shrimp, Red dragon sushi roll. Crab cakes were tasteful but not as good as some others in town. Fresh catch of tuna was "perfectly cooked and delicately seasoned." Seafood choices are "innovative with some expected standbys."
121 Oak St., Crestline Village, Mountain Brook
Lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch. No reservations accepted. Specializing in lowcountry cuisine -- the soups and seafood dishes traditional to the South Carolina and northern Georgia coasts. Online reviews gave good marks to shrimp and grits, West Indies salad, crab cakes, fried green tomatoes, grilled shrimp. In a July 2009 City Scene review, Fletcher Harvey enjoyed shrimp corn dogs for an appetizer, fried Gulf shrimp with mild corn relish, a pan-seared snapper special he called "a triumph," lowcountry crab cakes, lowcountry Bananas Foster and homemade banana pudding. For Sunday brunch, high marks went to French toast, crab cakes Benedict, mimosa. At lunch, Carolina chicken salad "is different and very good."
191 Main St., Patton Creek Shopping Center, Hoover
This is a small, Charlotte-based chain of about a dozen locations featuring bold southwest flavors incorporated with aged steaks, chicken, and pizza. The 7,000-square-foot restaurant features the ambiance of a Colorado ski lodge with an open-air kitchen, large exposed high wooden beams and an expansive fireplace in the bar area.
Daily specials such as blackened Gulf shrimp over stone-ground grits, rainbow trout with basil pesto sauce, crab cake with lemon butter, Maine lobster ravioli. In-house-made fresh cinnamon rolls. Some non-fish items, including prime rib on Sundays. Chef/partner Nicola Bacchi is a native of Milan, Italy, and is known in this area for opening White Villa restaurant in Sylacauga, then was with Amore Ristorante Italiano.
103 Summit Boulevard
It's a chain, but we'll list it because Birmingham doesn't have much in the way of locally owned, independent steakhouses -- and it's very good, although when we went several years ago, we thought their much-vaunted list of 100 wines by the glass was overpopulated with mass-market offerings you can find anywhere.
2341 Hwy. 150, Suite 119, Hoover (north of I-459, near intersection with Shades Crest Rd.)
City Scene 2007 review found the food inexpensive and good but the atmosphere chaotic. They do crawfish "better than anybody else." Soups were "terrific," fried oysters "the best ever." Mashed potato side was "the only miss of the evening." But it took forever to get seated; "the seafood was fried, boiled, grilled or blackened, but we were steamed." Almost nothing came out together.
3340 Galleria Circle (Hoover), 982-0144
1903 29th Ave. South, Homewood, 871-9525
Lunch and dinner. Michael's used to be a downtown institution, and even though it's in a new building, it has a bit of that old-style feel, complete with live pianist renditions of old pop tunes. They serve lunch and dinner, with classic old-style cuts like prime rib, delmonico and steer butt, plus seafood entrees such as ancho-crusted tilabpia, citrus-grilled mahi mahi over grilled grit cakes, shrimp and grits, seafood risotto, and several other entrees plus burgers and sandwiches. Serving lunch and dinner. Not worth a special trip, but if you're in the area, worth a visit for the steer butt and grilled asparagus. Don't miss the sweet rolls. Read a review of the Homewood location from City Scene.
233 Finley Ave. West (just north of Downtown, near Farmer's Market)
All-day dining. Although it's better known for its steam table full of meat-and-three offerings, Niki's also offers old-fashioned seafood and steaks in a casual setting reminiscent of Gulf Coast restaurants of old.
1218 20th St. South (Southside/Five Points South)
Reservations suggested. Valet parking available. Popular restaurant from chef/owner George Reis from Kentucky with local Fish Market owner George Sarris, this upscale, chic restaurant, featuring fresh fish and oysters from around the world, draws rave reviews. Says City Scene: "The menu is inventive in its simplicity and the preparation exquisite."