Bistro 218 is nestled along 20th Street North between 3 & 4th avenue that offers a variety of upscale lunch and dining options. For Birmingham Restaurant Week they offered a 3 course meal for $40. I did enjoy the warm bread with the garlic infused butter as a starter.
The first option was a salad or gumbo. Seeing my hometown is Mobile, I opted for the gumbo. The menu called it “New Orleans Style File’Gumbo with crawfish, shrimp, Andouille Sausage. I must admit everyone can not make gumbo, so I had my fingers crossed as a first time diner. It had lots of okra and very rich rue. I personally would have liked a little more meat in my cup because I’m a huge seafood lover, but Bistro 218 did deliver on the flavor. It had that authentic New Orleans seafood taste which made me forget about the missing crawfish. In fact, I kinda wish my cup was a little bigger.
For the main entrée my choices were a tenderloin medallions, free range chicken pailards or Blackened Louisiana Redfish. Can you guess what I chose? Surprisingly not chicken! I am trying to increase my seafood intake. This dish was paired with Alabama’s own McEwen Yellow Corn Grits, Roast tomato beurre blanc and fried whole okra. The redfish was seasoned to perfection, very juicy and masterfully executed. I felt it complimented the creamy yellow grits well since fish and grits is a staple of the south. The wine sauce gave it a light pop of flavor with the tomato toppings. But the fried okra… omg was so mouthwatering. Small tender lightly fried, yet crispy baby whole okra was incredible. I’m not sure if it is a regular appetizer item, but it should be.
My friend ordered the crab cake appetizer which was also very flavorful with a light breading.
For my final course was dessert. I opted for the Vanilla Bean crème brulee. Very good and light to cap off a wonderful meal.
I must give a special shout out to my server Richard who was not only new to the eatery, but was amazing at sizing up guest when it comes to drinks. My friend dined in with me asked him for a recommendation, he took the led along with Tim the bartender to create her a one of a kind drink. Since she was elated with hers I thought I would ask Richard for a Tim special. So cheers to the hard working a friendly staff at Bistro 218. I look forward to my next experience.