Chez Fonfon, Birmingham, 3/17/23

exterior – 2007 11th Ave. S, Birmingham, AL, 35205

Chez Fonfon was a casual French bistro that opened in 2000.  It is under the helm of Chef Frank Stitt but the night we were there it was his wife Pardis Stitt who was on site.  (She also is a co-owner of Highlands Bar and Grill).  The large place was crowded and busy with a large bar taking up about a third of the room.  Music was in the background, lights were lowered, windows looked out to the street and parking, and the good-sized tables were bare wood set with cloth napkins.  The vibe was of younger people and lively conversations.   We were lucky to get a table in a corner, otherwise, the noise might have made me like the place less. Service was good as was the food, which was first-rate.  I’d go back, especially for the dessert.


Frankie tried to look out the window
wine front
wine back
Co-owner Pardis Stitt visits with guests



We started with one of their drinks, a pecan old-fashioned.  It was made with bourbon, pecan orgeat and angostura.   Most importantly it was not sweet but the overall taste didn’t make me think of pecans.  It was just a well-made old-fashioned with a little twist.

Frankie enjoyed a pecan old-fashioned cocktail


The Salade Fonfon had a farm egg with walnuts, blue cheese and dijon vinaigrette.  The egg quarters were cooked to a fudgy yolk.  The mix of greens was mostly Romaine and it was underdressed.  We ordered it wanting to have something green with the meal and then had to substitute asparagus on the dinner plate for the salad that came with the steak.  A more experienced server would have mentioned this earlier, but it was his first day.  Anyway, the walnuts added a nice crunch to the greens but the blue was a mild variety.   It was good, not great.

Fonfon salad


The Petite baguette and butter were just that.  A good baguette and butter are wonderful with a salad and with steak.  It was just fine.

Frankie found a plant


Flat iron steak came with pommes frites and was covered with sauce béarnaise.  The meat was cooked a nice rare as requested and came pre-sliced.  It was tasty, tender and delightful with the sauce.  The fries were a small cut and cooked beautifully with a crisp exterior and creamy potato-filled interior.   They came with a container of ketchup and one of mayo for dipping.  They were fabulous.  As stated earlier, the plate came with a salad for which we substituted asparagus.  There was no charge for that.  They were almost smokier tasting than the meat.  They were tender and delicious too.  A really fine main plate.

Steak and Frites
another serving
closer steak
closer fries
closer asparagus


Basque cake was topped with chantilly cream and sat on créme anglaise.  This was amazing.  A butter cake that was crispy on the exterior and had total soft richness on the inside.  This was delicious on steroids.  It didn’t really need the anglaise or the chantilly it was that good on its own.  It may have been the most delicious butter cake I’ve ever had.  It was so profound I couldn’t help but order a second one.  This was something hard to share.  Yum x5.

Basque cake
from the top
2nd Basque cake
Frankie liked the bird under the cake

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