Tequila Mockingbird, And Boudin Booms

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ever go somewhere that you've heard wonderful things about, and for whatever reason - maybe because it's been built up so much in your mind - that once you get there it's just okay?

We had a Mommy-Daddy date this week at Little Savannah in B'ham.  It had been a while since we'd gone out alone so above all the expectations I already had, I was really wanting this to be terrific.  The boys were asleep, Mimi was there to listen to them sleep, and we tiptoed out for a little evening...

Little Savannah, Birmingham AL

Oh!  And you know why I really-really wanted to like it?  The chef has done at least one James Beard event that I know of, and just last weekend prepared a supper party in Monroeville as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of TKAM which included fried chicken, sliced tomatoes, turnip greens, collards cornbread, Lane cake, and a special drink: Tequila Mockingbird.  Oh yes.

The menu was broken into three main sections: "Little Vittles" or appetizers, "Middle Vittles" or entrees, and the sides, "Herbaceous Vittles".  There were five entree choices: flounder, 'Southern cioppino', chicken, grilled pork loin, and skirt steak.  Av chose the skirt steak (Meyer Ranch skirt steak, poached egg, potato frites, marchands de vin, truffle oil).  That's the bottom-right of this pic:
Little Savannah, Birmingham AL
He said it was pretty good but not amazing.  None of the mains really attracted me, so the waiter suggested I go with two of the appetizers that looked more appealing: four fried chicken livers (bottom left of the pic above) and a small plate of shrimp and grits (upper right).  

Unfortunately, someone had forgotten to salt the livers so I had to ask for salt (which...in a restaurant of this caliber, generally frowned on...they had to go to the kitchen to get me a teensy saucer of it), and - well, see the grits in the pic?  The blue/purple grits with the pinky shrimp just did not make for an appetizing dish.  I think this is one of those cases when regular white grits would have worked better in a visual way.  It also was just okay flavor-wise, and I love shrimp & grits otherwise.  It was little disappointing, even.

You know I would so much rather be positive about things.  

Here's something I can really be positive about - Denise Gee, the restaurant's mixologist and creator of the Tequila Mockingbird.  The drink is made up of strawberry-infused tequila, honey-black pepper syrup, and sparkling wine.  It's the top-right in the pic below:
Little Savannah, Birmingham AL

Excellent.  All the way to the left is Av's Pimm's cup (nice), and another drink that I had - can you believe I had two cocktails? - the 'Zelda Sayre'.

Can I even tell you how much I have always loved Zelda Sayre?  She was the beautiful girl from Montgomery who went on to marry F. Scott Fitzgerald and be known as the first American Flapper.  I can go on & on.  Anyway, I can't recall exactly what was in the drink (um, because it was my second cocktail?!?) but there were notes of lemon, and lavender-infused vodka especially.

Our waiter said that the drinks' creator was a fan of literature.  Nice!  So guess what else was on the menu?  The Walker Percy: bourbon, muddled cucumber, honey-violet syrup, soda.  

I have to share this - in today's email from Tom Fitzmorris, he listed what the chef has on his new menu at Louisiana Bistro:

BPQ Shrimp $9
Jumbo gulf shrimp in a black pepper sauce

Boudin Booms $9
Roast boudin sausage links protecting a "beach" from caramelized onion pork glace

Dirty Bird $26
Crisp broiled oil-poached duck leg confit with dirty rice covered by a mysterious dark goo

Pork Barrel with Leeks $24
Braised pork grillades and gravy in an Idaho potato barrel with crispy leeks

"Top Hat" Surf and Turf $34
Pan roasted prime filet mignon topped with crawfish tail scampi on roasted garlic mashed potatoes

Junk Shot Jambalaya $27
Ever-changing mix of Louisiana fish and shellfish with andouille sausage in a Cajun style tomato rice pilaf

Take a look at the menu page, too...hilarious!

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Favorite Restaurants:
1. Commander's Palace, New Orleans LA
2. Arnaud's, New Orleans LA
3. Antoine's, New Orleans LA
4. Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS
5. Root, New Orleans LA
6. Chez Fonfon, Birmingham AL
7. Taylor Grocery, Taylor MS
8. Ninfa's on Navigation, Houston TX
9. Lusco's, Greenwood MS
10. The Dinner Bell, McComb MS

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