If you live in Birmingham, you don’t really need to read a Highlands Bar & Grill Birmingham restaurant review. You know they’re fantastic. Even visitors know about the great food and service that this restaurant offers.
In fact, many residents in Alabama who live outside Birmingham tend to visit the city just to eat here. This is a truly iconic spot. It’s a mainstay in many Best Restaurant lists nationwide, and often it’s the only Alabama restaurant included in such lists.
The history of Highlands Bar & Grill began with Frank Stitts. He developed his culinary skills in France and California and then came back to his native Alabama as a 28-year old restaurateur in 1982. His focus on Southern cuisine began many decades before it became trendy throughout the country.
He was imaginative and was able to present Southern fare in more innovative ways. He used mushrooms and slivers of ham to pretty up his baked grits. He served red wine with red snapper and ham hock sauce. He offered flounder along with lady pea succotash.
Not surprisingly, the reputation of his restaurant grew, and now Frank Stitts owns 3 highly regarded restaurants in Birmingham. But the Highlands Bar & Grill remains the most famous.
What can you say about the dishes? This is Southern fare at its finest and most succulent. They make use of local fare, and then they use classic French technique. It’s virtually an unbeatable combination.
- The baked oysters come with a splash of absinthe.
- Sautéed spinach cradles a serving of scamp grouper.
- The great seared Guinea hen leg is served over pirlau, with oxtail meat and preserved butter beans.
- The baked grits come with white wine-butter sauce and thyme.
- You have to try the fabled peach cobbler. This is a must.
- You can also try the salted chocolate cake, with its special bourbon buttercream.
Seriously, everything here is great. However, it really is crucial that you call for a reservation. When you have out-of-towners coming in for dinner, finding a table on the fly is all but impossible.
The bar opens at 4 PM from Tuesday to Friday, and at 5 PM on Saturdays. Dinner is served from 5:30 PM to 10 PM on these days. They’re closed on Sundays and Mondays.
They’ll also be closed for Christmas Eve and they’ll reopen on the 27th of December. You can celebrate New Year’s Eve here too. The reservations have been coming in since the 1st of December.
It’s not just the food that’s the main attraction of the Highlands Bar & Grill. It’s the excellent service too. This starts with Frank Stitts’ wife Pardis, who is extremely gracious.
Then you will certainly notice the superb wait service. Their waitstaff is trained to be subtle, and they pace your dishes throughout your meal properly. They’re unobtrusive enough that you can enjoy your dinner conversations. Look up and around when you need something, and a helpful server will immediately come over to your table.
If you’re ever in Alabama, you owe it to yourself to try Highlands Bar & Grill Birmingham.