Food Scoop "Birmingham"

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Posts Tagged ‘desserts’

Southern Italian Flare in Birmingham!

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on May 29, 2012

Recently I met some local foodies at Bettola Restaurant, which is located at Pepper Place in the Lakeview District. This quaint, dynamic, & eclectic eatery serves up authentic Southern Italian food. Several of their classic dishes include the signature Neopolitan pizzas that are cooked in a wood-fired Neapolitan pizza oven— which was handcrafted in Naples, Italy and shipped to Birmingham. This oven is capable of cooking a pizza in 90 seconds.

This was my first visit to Bettola and I had no idea what to expect, but let’s just say that I’m so glad that I visited. Upon arriving to dinner, I saw my guests sitting on the outdoor patio and I began to greet each and every one. And as we slowly began to trickle in, the atmosphere seemed to liven up and greatness was being created. On this warm evening, I met a diverse group of people that seemed to be a wonderful reflection of this great city and community of Birmingham. More specifically, my large party consisted of people of different races, ages, occupations, perspectives, and many more various characteristics. Earlier in the day, I was wondering how would I get all of these people to converse amongst each other because I thought that these various differences would be a hindrance, however, I was completely wrong. The conversation just flowed throughout the entire night.

I was amazed to see that the restaurant had assigned just one waitress to take care of 14 people, but she did an amazing job. Our experience was truly personalized by the restaurant and the customer service that we received rivaled that of many others. Everyone started out with drinks, homemade bread & marinated olives (contain pits/seeds). Not long after, the staff surprised us and brought out complementary antipasti’s for the entire table. These antipasti’s included a calamari dish, prepared by the owner especially for us; it consisted of squid, arugula, garbanzo beans, and thinly sliced ginger. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish, but a few other people felt differently about it.

The next antipasti was served to us on a long wooden board, which had prosciutto, capicola ham, house sausage, salame mostrano (salami), two special types of cheese, pickled vegetables, & dried apricots in a housemade glaze. Everyone loved at least one thing from this special dish.

After enjoying the drinks and antipasti’s, I discovered that this was going to be a long night because I still had to order an entree and a dessert, but I definitely wasn’t complaining. For an entree I ordered the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese (pasta) which was made with House-Made Tagliatelle Pasta, Ragu Bolognese, Two-Year Aged Parmigiano Reggiano. This dish was delicious and filling; I would order it again.

Everyone else ordered a variety of dishes, but the main dish that our group ordered were the variety of signature pizzas. For example, here is the Quattro Stagioni which is made with Cotto Ham, Artichokes, Mushrooms, Black Olives.

Not everyone got a dessert, but I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity. So I got the Torta di Mandorle which consisted of Burnt Butter-Vanilla-Almond Cake, Mascarpone Cream, Toasted Almonds. It was scrumptious but there was no way that I could eat it all. The cake was moist on the inside and had a wonderful vanilla almond flavor.

The lady sitting next to me ordered the Torta Cioccolata Warm Truffle Chocolate Baked in Toasted Almond Tart, Espresso Gelato, Toasted Almonds. She really enjoyed this dish and I sampled it; it was good but I’m not a big fan of coffee flavored ice cream and it was really rich.

Overall our entire restaurant experience was phenomenal and I can’t wait to return. The owner and chef James Lewis has definitely created a gem. The prices range from $15-$25 per entree. So I encourage you to visit Bettola Restaurant and sample the authentic flavors of Southern Italy, without even having to leave Birmingham. Grazie!

Bettola on Urbanspoon

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New Restaurants

Posted by bhamfoodscoop on March 23, 2011

I have some exciting news about new restaurants that will be opening up in the Birmingham area, very soon. Check them out:

  • Momma Goldberg’s Deli and McKee’s Irish Pub will be opening in the new Cityville Condos on 20th Street South, near UAB. Each of these restaurants will offer indoor and outdoor patio seating. I’ve never had anything from McKee’s Irish Pub, but I do know that Momma G’s reminds me of my exciting college days at Auburn, and did I also mention that I love their salads, nachos, and sandwiches.
  • Traditions Restaurant at Park Place Towers, across from Linn Park and next to Sneaky Pete’s , just opened and they offer southern cooking with very reasonably priced daily meat-and-three lunch specials. Their breakfast features made-to-order omelets and fresh baked biscuits. Call 327-7999 for more info.


Diners will have a new restaurant option in the mid-town area of Downtown. Sweet Tea Restaurant is expected to open in April and will be located at the corner of 3rd Ave South and 22nd Street. Operator Mike Skaran says the restaurant will offer a southern inspired menu serving breakfast and a cafeteria style lunch, with table seating and an extended menu for dinner, which will include wine and cocktails. I can’t wait to see how a cafeteria style lunch restaurant is going to switch gears and serve wine and cocktails!

  • Izzo’s Illegal Burrito will open its first Alabama location at The Summit in Birmingham (former Coach storefront). The restaurant is a Mexican fast-casual concept that specializes in hand-rolled burritos, tacos, quesadillas and nachos from a made-from-scratch  kitchen. I’m eager to see how this is going to work out since there is already another Mexican restaurant (Chuy’s) located at The Summit.

 

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