Chris Hastings, the chef and owner of this superb Birmingham restaurant, runs both the house and the kitchen with an effortless grace and brilliance worthy of this southern classic.
Expensive but lovely, plenty of vegetarian choices.
Don't be fooled by the name, the Hot & Hot Fish Club is NOT a seafood only restaurant. It is a restaurant of many cuisines while emphasizing fresh and local ingredients. I dined there most recently with my mother in April of 2006. We started with a pea and lemon risotto which was absolutely perfect. It had fresh split peas sprinkled throughout and a bright looking and tasting leomn oil drizzled on top. My mom had a pork chop served with a delicate corn cake patties. I had a vegetable platter with five sides from the restaurants daily selection of side dishes. All were delicious. My mother declared the pork chop to be tender and wonderfully seasoned. For dessert we ordered a strawberry shortcake and a bread pudding. The strawberry shortcake was a little dissapointing as the strawberries were not at their peak yet. They could have used a little balsalmic vinegar to bring out their flavor. The bread pudding however, was perfect. Not the soggy stodgey thing you get at so many diners but instead it was light, buttery and not over-sweet. It was sprinkled with berries that remained suspended in the pudding instead of squished at the base. We also had coffee which came out fresh, in our own french press.
One of the best parts about the Hot & Hot is the chef's counter. If you are going with only one other person, plan on sitting there. A great counter wraps around the kitchen, allowing you to see all of the activity including the creation of your own meal. A word of caution though, if you think one of the kitchen staff is cute you might want to keep it to yourself. They can hear you too!
Do plan on reservations, or at least call an hour before you go to make sure they can seat you. This is also a wonderful place for just dessert and coffee.
Finally, don't fall in love with a favorite, the menu changes often, sometimes even weekly. There is usually one vegetarian entree listed but they are always willing to make you a meal from the many sides.
User review by lzapalowski. I had a great meal here the other night. The server was very knowledgeable and gave great recommendations. The grilled fish of the day was cooked perfectly and I loved the shrimp and grits.
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