Oh Lucky Lolly. My dining companion let me have free reign on where to go for my birthday lunch last month. I chose Chez Fonfon. A French Bistro in Birmingham? Oh yes. Here's a brief description of the restaurant from their website:
Chez Fonfon is that cozy, casual French bistro that we hope transfers you to Paris, Lyons or Nice. Opened in 2000 by Frank and Pardis Stitt, it is a bustling place serving classic, hearty French fare: steak tartare, moules et frites, sautéed trout with brown butter, escargots, and homemade charcuterie. We offer the most delicious wines, chosen for their value and quirkiness, from the Loire, Rhône and Languedoc.
Patrick Dunne (of Lucullus fame) is responsible for the décor, including authentic elements such as the French Belle Epoque café tables and 100 year old etched glass door from Lyons. The marble wainscoting and mahogany paneling for the bar were rescued out of a glorious old Birmingham office building.
Open for lunch at 11:00 a.m. (Tuesday - Friday) and serving continuously until 10:00 p.m., stop by for a quick snack, sumptuous meal or a glass of wine. Maybe even a game of boule in our courtyard — we’ll help you keep score.
Vive le Fonfon!
If you're not familiar with Chef Frank Stitt, you need to become familiar quickly.
It was a wonderful birthday meal! And my dining companion treated me with a copy of Southern Table autographed by Chef Stitt himself!
We began by sharing Ratatouille with farm egg and arugula. Chef Stitt has a working farm with laying hens which provide the eggs for all of his restaurants.
I chose the Wednesday special Chicken Escoffier (pan fried chicken breast with white wine/butter, shallot and caper sauce with cherry tomatoes. I chose wisely!
My dining companion chose one of the three specials of the day (pan seared pompano topped with cherry tomato and cucumber relish served over new potatoes). Yes, I begged a few bites of this dish and it was absolutely amazing.
The dessert selections are displayed on an antique sideboard. Such decisions!
I finally (after much deliberation) chose the chocolate caramel nut (walnut/cashew/pecan) tart.
Contemplating my birthday wish before I blow out the candle!
And a few photos of the interior of this lovely bistro. I loved these copper pots!
Our waiter graciously introduced me to the kitchen crew.
There's also a covered courtyard in the rear with a boule court!
I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch at Chez Fonfon. My dining companion was charming as always, the food was absolutely delicious and the atmosphere perfect. Happy Birthday to Lolly......oh yes, my waiter my also kind enough to get Chef Stitt to autograph a menu for me.