The Patrick family first dabbled in wine-making on their 24-acre estate back in 2001, when only one other vineyard operated in Shelby County. After a few seasons of practice and success, they decided to officially dedicate a portion of their land to cultivating grapes, and formally established Ozan Vineyard & Cellars in 2005. In 2013, they expanded with additional vineyard viewing areas, event space, and a winery boutique.
Using a combination of grapes grown on their own land and sourced from the East Coast, Ozan currently produces a series of varietals, including chardonnay, Chilton County peach, norton, and petit syrah. Conceived of traditional winemaking methods in small lots of French and American barrels, the vinos develop multifaceted flavors and complexity before being poured in Ozan’s tasting room or into glasses on the picturesque outdoor patio.
Voted to have the best milkshakes by Birmingham News’ readers, Eclipse Coffee & Books boasts an eclectic selection of hot and cold beverages, as well as a menu that brims with sandwiches and delectable breakfast options. Literary theorists can interpret the poetry of pastries with the pecan pie milkshake ($6), or nurse a cup of chocolate turtle latte ($4.50) as they thumb through a novel from one of Eclipse's three book rooms. A bite from the avocado melt ($5.50) with red onion and provolone will satiate hungry bookworms, while Eclipse's selection of beers and liquor is as ever-changing as Abe Lincoln's facial expressions on Mount Rushmore. In addition to its laid-back vibe and stacks of intriguing literature, Eclipse hosts several events each month, including palate-pleasing wine tastings, trivia nights, poetry slams, and soothing musical performances.
The Heart Stopper, one of the signature sandwiches at Charlie’s Taphouse, is the centerpiece on a menu of pub food. A beef patty, cheese, and bacon nestled between two grilled-cheese sandwiches, the burger romps through bar-cuisine traditions. Shrimp crackle in fryers, waiting to crown po’ boys, and hot sauce cloaks wings. Thirty-three taps spill forth beers during football games on the bar’s televisions, and karaoke nights give patrons a chance to belt out favorite ballads or fix the grammatical mistakes of Hall and Oates.
The sterling-silver double-heart pendant necklace updates a classic jewelry design to reflect the sentiments of Mother's Day. Affixed to a delicate 18-inch silver chain, a heart-shaped pendant reads Mom in elegant script. A .01-carat brilliant-cut diamond adds a touch of sparkle to the lettering, like the rubies set in every o in the Constitution. The diamond is rated for H/I color and I1 clarity. The necklace's timeless style can transition seamlessly between casual and dressy occasions.
Bernie’s on Main Street’s exposed brick and brushed concrete façade belies the cozy leather banquettes and flickering candles within, where founder and executive chef Bernard Tamburello helms a menu of Southern and Italian cuisine. Blackened catfish from nearby farms joins crab-stuffed steak, fried green tomatoes, and chicken pontchartrain, as well as pasta carbonara. Bernie’s also whips up kid-friendly bites of pizza and grilled cheese, served on special placemats emblazoned with word searches and mathematical proofs.
In 2009, CityVoters named Fox Valley the Best Seafood restaurant in Northern Alabama. Launch an elegant feast with a cup of cream of crab soup ($5.25 per cup) with curry and coconut milk. Or try the fried eggplant pirogue ($12.75) stuffed with lump crab and gulf shrimp and topped with fried Apalachicola oysters. Once your tongue's toes are wet, submerge the rest of your taste buds in the flavors that lie on a plate of pecan-fried gulf red snapper ($23.75) with shrimp etouffée and rice. If you're looking for fare that's more likely to walk in a straight line when pulled over, opt for a turf-born protein such as char-grilled New Zealand lamb ($25.75) with fried polenta and bourbon mint-julep sauce.
Since 1954, Johnny Ray's BBQ has served up tasty hickory-smoked barbecue pork, chicken, and beef paired with classic, gut-busting Southern comfort food. The family-owned restaurant has expanded to four locations across Alabama, as well as a walk-up window inside the Mariana Trench to cater to the gill-faced merpeople of the deep. For a quick bite, diners may grab a regular- or jumbo-size sandwich ($3.79–$8.99) with pork, beef, ribs, or pulled "blonde" (white meat) or "brunette" (dark meat) chicken. Heartier appetites can opt for a rib plate ($12.99), which includes a heaping portion of meat plus a toasted bun, baked beans, fries, and coleslaw. For dessert, Honey's award-winning pies ($2.99)—filled with creamy chocolate, banana, coconut, or lemon, and whipped from scratch—provide the cherry atop a meat-laden sundae, and, when applied in pairs, make refreshing foot pads.