Friday, January 31, 2020

Tre Luna "Contemporary Dining At It's Best"

Travel down Stadium Trace Parkway and you'll run into a "new-ish" retail plaza called Brock's Gap in the Hoover area. One of the highlights of the area is the Tre Luna Bar & Kitchen. I've heard fantastic things about it so I decided to sneak in with a co-conspirator & raid the place. 

Atmosphere: The environment here is quite appealing. The lighting was perfect for this Italian themed eatery. The space is definitely adequate enough to handle a large hungry crowds without making each table feel crowded. The noise level was not bad even with the moderate crowd on this particular night. They also have an incredible outdoor area that is well lit with overhead string lights, bistro tables and a wide open area to accommodate parties, meetings or social groups. 

The Staff: After having arrived at our reservation time, we were greeted by the friendly hostess and quickly seated. Our server, Jessica, greeted our table with enthusiasm. She was very knowledgeable about the menu and convinced us to have their daily specials. 

Beef Carpaccio

What we had: We started out with a shareable appetizer, the Beef Carpaccio: paper thin sliced beef, topped with capers, horseradish sauce and shaved Parmesan reggiano. My dinner mate opted for the "Fish Of The Day" feature which was a perfectly grilled grouper. This fish was accompanied by a serving of roasted potatoes & romanesco broccoli. If you've never had romanesco before, it's pretty much what happens if a stalk of broccoli and a stalk of cauliflower got married and had baby vegetables. It was crisp, delicious and all topped with a light butter sauce. (click images for larger view)
Grilled Grouper

My entree consisted of another daily special, which was the "Squid Ink Seafood Pasta": a generous bed of perfectly cooked pasta dyed with squid ink, topped and surrounded by roasted cherry tomato halves, jumbo shrimp, jumbo scallops and calamari. The flavor of this dish was amazing. The serving size was pretty large so at least half of it went home. I also had a half dozen Bombolini (Italian donuts) for dessert. These came with chocolate & whiskey caramel dipping sauces.

Squid Ink Seafood Pasta

Overall: Tre Luna got it right. The atmosphere combined with the food & service puts them on my list of favorite places. 

Fore more information or to view the menu, please visit

The Birmingham Restaurant Raider©
"Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You" 

Monday, January 6, 2020

"Support The Roverchase Foundation Contest"

Hey Birmingham! 

A new year is a great time to start new habits such as charitable giving. To celebrate the beginning of our 11th year, we'd like to start a new tradition. We will periodically partner with a local charity to boost donations with a delicious incentive.

During the month of February, make a donation of $50.00 or more to The Roverchase Foundation by February 29, 2020 and be automatically entered to win a $100.00 gift card to Highlands Bar & Grill

All donations will benefit The Roverchase Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals with medical disabilities obtain life changing, professionally trained service dogs.
Donate by visiting Click the DONATE button at the top of the page. 

According to the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners, service dogs can assist with lots of critical tasks including the following: 

Service Dogs Basic Tasks

  • Answers when someone’s at the door by pulling a lever.
  • Brings or retrieves stuff to its owner, such as the mail, medicine bottles or any other items.
  • Barks, summons or alerts someone in the other room, for the owner who cannot get to them.
  • Helps his owner get around, or get up from his seat, or climb the stairs at the home or in public establishments.
  • Be his owner’s steady support, in case he experiences an imbalance while doing activities.
  • Carries medicine and other provisions for his owner in a specialized back pack.

Service Dogs Tasks During Emergencies

  • Brings the phone to his owner to call 911 or a relative.
  • Knows how to bark at a speaker phone to signal for emergency.
  • Interrupts or tags its owner during a trigger or psychiatric occurrence.
  • Alerts other people when its owner is in distress.
  • Leads other people to its owner, who could already be down on the floor after an episode or a suicide attempt, especially in cases of depression and mood disorders.
  • Alert its owner in cases of fire or burglary attempts.
For more information about the Roverchase Foundation, contact them at

*Contest ends 02/29/2020 at midnight. Winner will be announced 03/03/2020 after a random drawing. This contest is solely sponsored by The Birmingham Restaurant Raider. Highlands Bar & Grill is not affiliated with this contest. 

Happy New Year!

Times flies when you’re having fun!
In October of 2019, we celebrated a milestone, the 10th anniversary of the Birmingham Restaurant Raider brand.  
Here's a little history. In October 2009, the concept of “The Birmingham Restaurant Raider” was developed. The inspiration to begin this fun & exciting journey came from a friend who owned one of the largest pop-up supper clubs in Atlanta. He gave me one good piece of advice, “be original”.
At the time of conception, I did an extensive search to see if there were any independent food review sites in Birmingham. Other than the Birmingham News and a handful of notable local magazines, there was definitely an opening for this type of media. I started out by publishing content using Constant Contact, a mainstream email marketing tool that allows information to be delivered with a polished look to a large number of email recipients. After several months of this, a decision was made to transition the content to a blog.
Fast forward to 2019, the city now has a large amount of new food blogs and other social media platforms that focus on Birmingham's outstanding cuisine.
Anonymity has allowed me to go out and see what it’s like to experience dining out as an “Average Joe” and report these findings to consumers and food enthusiasts.
The Birmingham Restaurant Raider has also allowed me countless opportunities over the years to attend local and regional festivals, offer media and in-kind sponsorships, partner with national brands  and even have a hand in the planning and development phases of many events including wine paring dinners. 
I've had the extreme pleasure of developing long term relationships with restaurant owners and independent chefs as a business consultant “free of charge”. This is always a welcomed gift to the business owners who are looking to implement marketing campaigns or simply fill tables. I’ve been blessed to have a career in business for many years so I figured I’d pay it forward. 
Overall it’s been a great pleasure interacting  with social media followers and blog readers locally and worldwide.
This full time hobby has led to the development of a great brand, business relationships and meeting some of the GREATEST people to ever have a beer or a meal with!
Thanks SO much for reading and being around just as we've crossed the 10th “Raider-Versary”! 
We look forward to reviewing new spots and promoting more giveaways! 
Let's eat our way through this 11th year!
Bon Appetit!
The Birmingham Restaurant Raider
Est. 2009

“Anonymously Raiding A Restaurant Near You”