Chef Matthew Burmeister prepares contemporary southern cuisine, wooing palates with artfully plated Montana beef tenderloin with sautéed asparagus and buttermilk mashed potatoes, shrimp served with parmesan grits and sweet corn, and homemade bread pudding souffles. Add a decadent touch to dessert with chef's speciality vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate whiskey sauce. Buttermilk Hill Restaurant and Bar inhabits a century-old Victorian frame house replete with turn-of-the-century decor and an outdoor marble patio, ideal for dining amid soft breezes or taunting nearby birds with food they will never taste. Indoors, patrons cozy up to a fireplace in a wood-floored, high-ceilinged space that draws out the cuisine's down-home allure.
Richey's BBQ, a 35-year-old Southern staple, crafts downhome fare to order, piling ribs, steaks, pork, and fish atop plates mounded with savory sides. Instead of baiting a pork-chop trap with dollops of applesauce, guests can ensnare their choice of meat within formidably sized sandwiches, including the texas-toast pork sandwich ($4.99) and smoked-sausage sandwich ($5.99). Four bones ($10.99) or a half slab ($13.99) of Richey's ribs arrive in plain or basted versions to goad jaws into gnawing frenzies, and forks pilot their eager tines through such sides as fresh-cut fries, green beans, and daily vegetable specials. Flanked by a ration of tartar sauce, a pond-raised catfish ($9.99) shimmies into the fryer or creole seasonings before it charms patrons by reading aloud from Walden. Diners on the move can also pull up to Richey's BBQ's drive-thru to procure an enviable dashboard feast.
The squad of licensed specialists staffing the skin studio at the Alabama Wellness Centers helps save skin from ruin with a number of services that can hydrate, rejuvenate, and anti-age. The sensitively skinned can unclog facial sockets and clear up acne with a PCA basic-exfoliating chemical peel or they can opt for a clarifying mask, ideal for clients who desire advanced treatment for skin issues but don't want to peel away the treasure maps etched on the outermost layer of their foreheads. Upgrade to the PCA Ultra Peel I chemical peel to treat dehydrated and maturing skin with the power of moderate-to-aggressive exfoliation, helping leave skin plump, hydrated, soft, and compliment-prone. The Esthetique peel imbues skin with improved brightness, tightness, and texture, whereas the Ultra Peel I treatment with a layer of Ultra Peel II incorporates a cream mask containing natural phytohormones and vitamins to help plump and moisturize aging skin while increasing collagen, elastin, and cell turnover.
The Straw Hat's congenial owners, Charlene and Randa, curate a multihued microcosm of women's machine-washable threads. Tribal sleeveless T-shirts ($49) ward off heat and pesky cufflink salesmen by eschewing arm coverings entirely. Slip into the relaxed embrace of Not Your Daughter's capris in black, yellow, or white ($79), or caper through the shop's leg-liberating bouquet of dresses. A cornucopia of jewelry and duds by Brighton, Spanx, Pure Handknit, and a variety of other brands orbits around a lounge perched atop an ornate oriental rug. Personalized service allows patrons to opt for independent shopping jaunts or stylish support as trustworthy as Audrey Hepburn's rebounding game.
Stone's Throw Bar & Grill serves contemporary American cuisine made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Daily menus reflect offerings from regional farmers, including the watercress salad, bursting with a harvest of avocados, corn, citrus supremes, goat cheese, and toasted cumin-lime vinaigrette ($7). A plate of fried green tomatoes ($8) works as a home-style opening act for the simple grilled fish, which is served on a bed of caramelized-onion-basil mashed potatoes ($23). Sides such as cheese grits and braised collards ($4 each) sing backup for the Meyer Ranch burger's ($9) protein-packed rock ballad. Splitting desserts of white-chocolate bread pudding ($6) and chocolate truffle tart ($7) prevents hurt feelings on the side of the delicious dessert menu.
Christine Boatwright of Shelby Living Magazine wrote a piece detailing the operations of self-taught baker and Wooden Spoon Bakery owner Leslie Arnold and how she specializes in surprising scone flavors—pear and fresh ginger, apricot white chocolate, and salted caramel, to name a few—but also loves one special, more familiar flavor. Her red-velvet cake, a hand-me-down recipe from her husband’s grandmother, is a popular classic: a light chocolate cake colored a vibrant red and sprinkled with icing and walnuts. As she told the magazine, “I’m proud to say it’s the only recipe I have not tinkered with because it’s perfect the way it is.” Still, Arnold keeps a constantly rotating menu of flavors and offerings at Wooden Spoon Bakery, baking bacon-cheese biscuits, strawberry coffee cake, and blueberry-and-cream muffins one week and specialty brownie cakes the next.