Vintage Year 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die
Tasty Tuesday this week is Cast-Iron Blackened Redfish atVintage Year inMontgomery, is my 92cnd dish on my quest to eat all 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die and #9 if I am counting down to zero.
Having visited Vintage Year (VY) prior to noticing that in 2016, this restaurant was chosen by Tourism Alabama to be added to this esteemed list of “100 Dishes.” I was already familiar with the food and the atmosphere; new and upscale-casual fine dining in the beautiful area of Old Cloverdale.
Dining regularly with a group of friends in various establishments, and having just visited VY, I selfishly asked my friends to return specifically to try the 100 dish and they kindly agreed.
The Alabama Tourism 100 Dishes phone App, calls the dish “Blackened Redfish with Crawfish Etoufee and Saffron Rice Cake.” The 100 Dishes pamphlet called it “Cast-Iron Blackened Redfish.” On the menu was Blackened Gulf Redfish. The waiter said that this dish was made in the skillet. Served with Jalapeno Corn & Crab Soufflé’, Collard Greens, Conecuh Crisps.
Just this morning, as I was writing this piece, I was considering my rating scale and value when I noticed that for $28.00 this plate looked pretty sparse. I went to the website and was unable to find a photo of this fish dish. However, when I read the menu description, I noticed that I had not received the Jalapeno Corn & Crab Soufflé’. So there is that. As far as taste, I found the fish seasoning to be extremely overpowering and the Conecuh crisps too crisp to bite into, the greens were so heavily salted that I could not eat more than a few bites.
Just this past week, I had an amazing seafood experience at Jubilee Seafood Restaurant in Montgomery. Having traveled around the state tasting some of the best fish and seafood in this country and beyond; my bar is set fairly high.
MEGastars 3 ***
However, this visit and the dish was a very big miss for me. Read further for a detailed description of the visit along with other foods that I have tried from VY. Generally, I do not include my “worksheet.” However, since this was not such a great visit, I feel compelled to describe the rating.
Service 2 /5 *
Decor 5 /5
Food 2 /5
Price 2/5 (based on my entree)
*Notes on service. We had a few issues with staff not knowledgeable enough to answer a few questions along with appetizers and drinks being removed too early. Something that would be generally overlooked, was compounded by our greeting which left all of us feeling uncomfortable.
My friend kindly phoned for the reservations ahead of our visit specifically for the outdoor seating. We arrived a few minutes early and were shown a table near the entry. Because there was a business discussion, we began a conversation. “Sorry, we were hoping to sit outdoors as discussed on the telephone. If possible we would be happy to wait for the outdoor table, or a less hectic area,” (as there were only two other small parties of two seated outdoors, we felt this reasonable. ) At that time, the maître d’ (not the Managers.) became quite defensive and grumbled: “we have to change these things in the restaurant business.” Well, You will have a wait for your food.” Read below for my thoughts on this subject.
We kind of laughed, embarrassingly, and brushed this curt greeting off. After a short wait, we were seated outdoors. So, there was that.
On with our business, some ordered drinks, myself diet sprite, which I love because this is one of the few places in this large area that serve a white decaffeinated soda. Thank you to VY!
With my group of friends, oysters are an obligatory starter. The oysters are served with Meyer Lemon Mignonette and Jerk Cocktail Sauce. 4 MEGastars ****
VY Cheese Plate $15.00
A selection of 3 Kinds of cheese, Seasonal Accompaniments, Grilled Baguette. Pictured L-R
- Taleggio Cheese. This cow milk originally from Italy is a semi-soft cheese. It is a with what some call a pungent or smelly rind. I love this cheese! Fantastic paired with honey. This is not a super well-known cheese but is sometimes carried at Whole Foods. Cheese snob? There is an artisinal Water Buffalo milk with similar properties made in Wisconsin by Landmark Creamery. 4*
- Sweet ? Pepper Jack Cheese. I could not get any further than this with information. I liked it. 3*
- Humboldt Fog Cheese is a goat cheese that my friend looked up as we tasted the cheese. I have a love-hate relationship with goat cheese. I loved this cheese. It is a California cheese named after the ocean fog that rolls in from the ocean in Humboldt County. It reminds me a bit of a mild creamy blue cheese. The outside has a layer of edible ash with a so called pungent runny shell that is said to widen as this cheese matures. Because it ripens from the outside to the center, the center remains creamy. Cypress Grove Dairy suggests serving this cheese drizzled with honey, prosciutto, and almonds. I loved the complexity of this cheese and will buy this cheese in the future. 5 *****
Shrimp, Oysters, Crawfish, Scallops, Conecuh Sausage, Grilled Baguette. This one was a crowd favorite. 4 ****
Joyce Farms Airline Chicken Breast $20
Served with Bucatini Pasta, Bacon, chives, Sweet Corn, rosemary, Goat Cheese Cream.
So, one of us knew what “Airliner Chicken” actually meant. My friend had to school me. He told me it used to be served on during air travel. It fit into the trays and were easy to pick up. Huh? A boneless breast with the meat on the first joint of the wing. Anyway, the person that ordered this dish loved it. Pretty tasty and interesting. 4 ****
Pan Seared Scallops $27
Crawfish Risotto, Pickled Cauliflower Cured-Olive Relish, Fennel Pollen Beurre Blanc’
Grilled Ahi Tuna $29
Charred Fava Beans, Basmati Rice, Black Garlic, Serrano Pepper Coulis.
Crème Brulee with fruit 4 ****
MEGathoughts on Service Issue
My thoughts on the service that we encountered. Always treat the customer as welcome and valued guests. Never assume that your customer has no knowledge of “the restaurant business.” If, for whatever reason, you are unable to honor a seating request, please at the very least, perhaps use gracious customer skills such as, I understand, we had to move a server to the indoors for an unexpectedly large group. We are so happy to have you visit our restaurant, would you prefer to wait for an outdoor table or may I find you a quiet table indoors? It may be a longer than average food wait due to XYZ, a large group being served by the same server, but we strive for outstanding service, let us know if we can do anything to meet our standards. Thank you!
- Website offers any details needed for your visit. Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner and Sundays for brunch during the hours of 10:30-2:30. Vintage Year Montgomery, Alabama
- One of my friends has visited with her “friends brunch club” and tells me it is fantastic.
- Reservations may be made by phone 334-819-7215, or by OpenTable.
- Upon my last visit two women sat at the next table with a bottle of wine and five Martinis;I am not judging. Anyway, they stopped at our table to chat. The tip that they gave was to get to know the bartender. The website
This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes in Alabama escapade, this may be helpful information.
ABOUT: *100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die,” is a compilation of food to chow down on “Bama style.” Thanks to Tourism Alabama, www.alabama.travel my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier. I am going to have some food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home. From the little old diner to the white cloth setting, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food, with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ smoker to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama. From this list, I select stops based upon convenience of location and they are in no particular order (but I already have a few favorites.) Perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes. You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York.
I use a 5 MEGastar system. For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience. I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the food service industry. I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience. I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.
- *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or, the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in Alabama. This has happened to me a few times and is a difficult write.
- ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place was not “ok” or vice versa.
- *** good but not outstanding or unique.
- **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/or truly highlights Alabama Pride.
- ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.