Today I had the great fortune of attending a soft opening for Oscar's, the new restaurant at The Birmingham Museum of Art. With a menu chock full of ingredients from local farms, it's a welcome addition to Birmingham's beloved arts hub.
Run by local company A Social Affair, the menu consists of starters, sandwiches, salas, desserts and kids' items (aka "Bart The Art Bat's Favorite Bites.")
Each meal starts out with a complimentary sample -- today it was a scoop of pimento cheese with carrots and celery.
They call it "upscale comfort food," which works.
I ordered something a bit unusual for me -- the beef tenderloin sandwich -- because I wanted to try the grass-fed beef tenderloin (it also comes with caramelized onions, gorgonzola, arugula and homemade smoke mayo, and tomatoes for those tomato loves -- not me). Served on cibatta bread with fresh strawberries, blackberries, and melons, it was a perfect lunch.
My friend had the mahi mahi special, which I snagged a bite of (also divine). We finished off our meals by splitting two of their signature desserts: a banana pudding served in a Mason jar (nice touch) topped with Meringue and the grilled plantation cake (with fresh local berries and peaches, topped with chantilly cream). I'm not even sure what chantilly cream is, but it was absolutely decadent, with both desserts being worth the splurge.
In addition to the delicious, locally grown food (coming from Jones Valley Urban Farm, among others), they've also nailed the ambiance. The mod lime green chairs set the tone for a meal that's part of the entire experience of the museum.
They open to the public July 7, and will be a great gathering place at an already stellar jewel of a museum.
For a complete menu, directions, and information about reservations, visit their new homepage: Oscar's At The Museum.