Chef Clifton Holt has been the Executive Chef and sole proprietor of Little Savannah Restaurant and Bar since September 2003. Chef Clif’s mission is simple: to serve delicious and affordable food that guests will want to return to week after week. Located in the historic Forest Park neighborhood in Birmingham, AL, Little Savannah Restaurant & Bar takes great pride in honoring its Southern roots and heritage. A “homegrown” Chef from Cullman, Alabama, Chef Clif has lived in Alabama his entire life. Chef Clif’s deep appreciation for food was inspired at a young age through his Grandmother.
Having recently introduced CBD Oil to their drink menu, we tried the Strawberry Chill, a muddled strawberry cocktail infused with the cannabidiol oil. This drink was quite refreshing, with pieces of strawberry throughout: a perfect libation for the heat of summer.
We started with the Fried Deviled Farm Eggs and the Thai Chile Brussels Sprouts. The fried deviled eggs: crunchiness and creaminess joined forces to make an upgraded deviled egg that rivals anything you’ve had at an average family gathering. Who can resist deviled eggs even when they aren’t fried?
The Thai Chile Brussels Sprouts were our favorite appetizer. If you’ve only ever eaten them boiled, steamed or microwaved, it’s quite possible you hate Brussels sprouts for their bitter flavor and limp texture. However, these were the most crispy and flavorful roasted Brussels sprouts we’ve had. The Thai chili added a lovely spice to the dish. We definitely could’ve eaten more of these.
As the main event we had the Gulf Shrimp & Grits, which turned out to be fantastic, and The Lionfish; more on that later. The large shrimp fresh from the Gulf were perfectly seared and combined with a rich, roux-laiden sauce poured over perfectly creamy grits. This Southern specialty was down-home comfort food at its finest.
The Fresh Gulf diver-speared Lionfish stole the show. Not only did this entree make an immaculate presentation, but it was absolutely delicious; flaky, buttery filets, expertly flash-fried and served over roasted potatoes and charred tomatoes and green beans. Lionfish has a white, flaky meat that is similar to snapper with no red (blood) line in the flesh. We absolutely loved this dish and have been raving about the mysteries of Lionfish ever since.
Lionfish are something of a culinary feat, as their spines deliver a venomous sting that can last for days and cause extreme pain, sweating, respiratory distress and even paralysis. Lionfish venom glands are located in the spines on the top and the sides and the bottom of the fish and can sting you even after the fish is dead. But no worries, the chef at Little Savannah takes care to remove the spines prior to serving.
The Meyer Lemon Semifreddo with Summer Berries was a perfect finish to our meal: mildly sweet and gently refreshing.
For those craving a more dense dessert, the Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding hits the spot.