Thursday, January 17, 2013

Birmingham Bites: Bettola

After six months of eating on the road 3 meals a day, I've sampled a large number of restaurants and had a good deal of the great dishes in Birmingham.  I have to say, I was more than pleasantly surprised to find out what a vibrant and diverse eating scene there is here!  Michelin and James Beard awards a-plenty!

Last night my coworker and I tried a new place and it was absolutely phenomenal!  We worked up an appetite after our iPhone sent us deep into the ghetto (the ghetto here seems to be mixed in with enormous, although devastatingly run down, antebellum homes... very sad and southern).  

Finally we arrived at a Bettola, a pretty new spot in the Ham and definitely one that deserves some serious acclaim, as if getting a nod from Food & Wine for Best New Chef James Lewis isn't enough...

It's located in an old Biscuit manufacturing building - very chic and warehousey, with pretty decor and a bench seat that runs the length of the restaurant facing the open kitchen.  Wide selection of Neopolitan-style pizzas (my fav) and an assortment of modernized yummies, with a small but great wine selection.  I suggest the cocktails, as the bartender was on point!  

The smells coming from this place were just amazing.  I think we asked the waitress 3 different times what we were smelling!  The hand made wood fire oven was made in Naples and shipped to the Ham and is really just stunning!

Gorgeous wood fire brick oven from Naples - miss Piggy roasting on an open fireeee
Awesome gin cocktails.  With rosemary and fairy booze dust.

This is going on my top dish list for sure!
Crostini di Carciofi - fab crostini with artichoke puree, roasted artichokes and
tomatoes, covered in gooey mozzerella and topped with an herb pesto.  Couldn't get enough!

Neopolitan style Bietola pizza with pecorino, fontina & mascarpone with sausage (we subbed in pancetta),
local spinach and a sunny side up egg!
Couldn't wait for a photo before digging in!
This is on par with Antico Napoletanta in Atlanta, for sure!  Amazing!

The drinks got the better of me and I forgot to take a picture of our third course - kale salad and gnocchi.  The gnocchi was definitely not my favorite, which was unfortunate, but the kale salad was something new I hadn't tried before!  Pretty good!

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