Having already been lauded as Restaurant of the Year in 2010 by TuscaloosaRestaurant.com, Opus's culinary team continues to conjure a memorable menu of elegant steak and seafood entrees. Fried green tomatoes ($7) scribble epicurean prologues across palates, harnessing spicy rémoulade sauce and shockingly simplistic prose. Local honey spotlights sweet notes in cedar-plank-roasted salmon ($28), and grass-fed beef tenderloin ($32) ups its earthiness factor with a posse of portobello mushrooms. Cracked-pepper duck ($27) and blueberry demiglace join forces to whisk taste buds away on culinary adventures as thrilling as Marco Polo's maiden foray into French cooking. Postdinner cool-downs commence with chocolate crème brûlée, which clings to fork tines for efficient transport into gung-ho maws.
Chloe's Cup's mother-and-daughter team brews custom and specialty beverages with organic fair-trade coffee. The specialty espresso drink ($4.25) soaks taste buds in an eye-opening potion of chocolate or white chocolate, flavored syrup, and whipped cream, and caramel cultivates foam sideburns in the caramel macchiato latte's hot tub of steamed milk and vanilla ($4.05). Although combining steamers and syrup is usually a recipe for delayed freight routes, Chloe's Steamer with syrup defies expectations and delivers a patron's chosen injection of flavor to steamed milk (a $2.35 value). Tailor beverages to dietary wants with soy, fat- and sugar-free versions, as well as hot, iced, and frozen variants.
What’s in a name? For Big Daddy’s Mediterranean Grill, the answer might be “a surprise.” While the moniker might suggest a no-frills barbecue joint, the name actually belongs to a laid-back hookah joint where smoke curls skyward and platters of Mediterranean feasts populate the tables. After digging into kebabs, falafel, or squares of flaky baklava, guests can take a few puffs of a hookah loaded with 1 of nearly 30 available shisha flavors. Open late on weekdays and until 2:30 a.m. on weekends, the grill’s exposed-brick walls and twinkling fairy lights maintain an atmosphere appropriate for sophisticated excursions and late-night bull sessions alike.
Fried Alabama-grown green tomatoes encrusted in cornmeal are a golden start to a journey through Southern favorites with European touches on The J. Clyde's dinner menu. The caprese stacks Italian standards (fresh tomato and mozzarella) with Southern flavors (fried okra and pancetta), while entrees ($8–$23) such as grilled grouper, steak au poivre, and Bavarian sausage further satisfy appetites for culinary adventure. Order off the comfort-food-filled pub menu (with items ranging from $5 to $12) to sup on steak and eggs or customizable pizza.
Whether amongst the cantina's chandeliers, the saloon's rustic surrounds, or the outdoor patio's crackling fire, guests at Fuego Cantina can savor a bevy of Mexican cuisine seven days a week—and until 2 a.m. on Monday through Saturday. Seasoned chefs cover hand-rolled enchiladas in house-made sauce, mix house-marinated meats into fajitas, and fill quesadillas with fixings such as grilled Portobello mushrooms and caramelized onions. Along with Mexican items, the inventive kitchen captains also smother half-pound hot dogs with relish and sauerkraut and top burgers with house-made chili and sharp cheddar cheese.
To wash down feasts, bartenders at Fuego Cantina's two bars keep 14 beers on tap and pour more than 30 wines by the glass. They also mix up specialty mojitos, margaritas, and martinis, such as the combined chocolate ganache and Godiva liqueur of the Death by Chocolate. In addition to tasty treats and drinks, Fuego Cantina enlivens evenings with karaoke on Tuesdays, pin-the-tail-on-the-cacti on Thursdays, and live music throughout the week.