I admit, I’m a creature of habit. I wind my way to my favorite restaurants, shops and watering holes time and again and talk and tweet about them. So when after a movie last night I found my way to Toast in downtown Birmingham, it wasn’t much of a surprise. Still I thought it worthy of a mention. (In the interest of full disclosure, I used to work with Toast at a previous job. But I was a fan before that time and remain one.)
It’s really amazing how Thom and Regan Bloom managed to make their kitchy brunch & lunch concept made famous in Ferndale work in a bistro setting in Birmingham. The restaurant retains its ability to attract a stellar breakfast and brunch crowd – and half of the seating is reminscent of that 50s diner vibe. But they gave us options – a plush lounge with doors that open out onto the street, outside seating that I can’t get enough of when the weather is warm and a mod bar that serves up drinks like the ever-popular strawberry basil martini.
And that’s just the setting.
Once you find your way through Chef Jeff Rose’s menu, you’ll fall in love with the place. From the Grilled Shrimp and Chimichurri appetizer or the Citrus Cured Salmon with delicate micro-greens I tried last night to heartier fare like Steak Frites or Crispy Black Truffle Risotto, Fried Chicken and Waffle or Pan Roasted Whitefish, you’ll know this isn’t just the cool breakfast joint down the street. The wine menu is just as serious as the dessert offerings.
Take my advice. Bring guests you intend to impress. And whenever possible, reserve a spot ahead of time in the lounge for dinner. It’s like no where else.
Toast is located at 203 Pierce Street in Birmingham. Raise your glass. Have you been? Let us know what you think.
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