Here are some Highlights for July:
Fundraising Wine Tasting for HEALS
Annette Birchfield of the Wine Cellar is participating again this year in the “Stars Dancing for HEALS” fundraiser. As part of the fundraising, the Wine Cellar is hosting a Wine Tasting this Thursday night, July 21 from 6-8PM. The cost of the tasting is $30 per person. The wines are all being donated by the distributors, so the full amount will be going to support HEALS. (For more information on HEALS, click here.) The wines should all be wonderful! There will also be a silent auction as part of the fundraiser. I have donated a gift certificate for two seats in a future cooking class. Reservations are requested, so call The Wine Cellar at 256-489-9463 to make your reservations.
Uncle Maddio’s Pizza in Madison
There’s yet another new pizza place in town – seems like we never have enough. I was invited to the VIP Preview Night and ribbon cutting this past week. During the ribbon cutting, the owners spoke about selecting both the franchise and location. The Madison location is run by three partners and they were looking for a family friendly concept to bring to town. Uncle Maddio’s is a “Fast Casual” style restaurant. They have a variety of pizzas and salads that are made in front of you. They have a number of predefined pizzas or you can build your own. I decided to do my own thing.
They have a wide variety of toppings available and you pick your crust then toppings. I selected Italian Sausage and Mushrooms. The other folks I was with tried two different defined pizzas. Two of them had the “Peachy Keen” which has prosciutto, caramelized onions, feta crumbles balsamic vinegar and peaches. They put the toppings on the pizza, gave you a number, then you head towards the register. One of the partners has arranged for the local Huntsville breweries to supply the restaurant with their wares. They have 8 beers on tap, all local Huntsville brews. You go take a seat and when the pizza is ready, they bring it to you. As part of the special night, they sent cannolis around for dessert, so of course I tried one. My pizza was good and the others enjoyed their pizzas as well. The cannoli was another highlight of the visit. For more details, please see Bo Williams write up of the evening (I was sitting with Bo at the event.)
It would not be fair to judge the service, although it was very good, since they had not yet officially opened the doors. The crowd for the VIP night was the final training opportunity before the restaurant opened on Friday. As I was going through the line, they were still learning some of the topping options. They were able to move the crowd there through faster than I expected. The picture of the ingredients was taken during the ribbon cutting and before they let us loose on the food. All in all, they did a great job considering. I will have to go back and try again. Uncle Maddio’s is located at the corner of University and Wall Triana in Madison.
Dolce Pan Bakery
During the time we lived in South Florida, we had the opportunity to eat at many ethnic restaurants. Lori’s favorite restaurants were the Cuban restaurants. Lori saw a posting about a Cuban restaurant in town, Dolce Pan Bakery on Governors Drive. Turns out it is more Puerto Rican, but they have fried sweet plantains and that was enough for Lori. We headed there Saturday night to try it out. Lori ended up ordering the Fried Pork with Mofongo – the special of the day. Mofongo is smashed plantains with onion and garlic. They have their standard menu and a daily or special menu by the register. I tried the Cuban sandwich. Lori’s came with the fried plantains and it was a good thing the other couple we were with let me try one because Lori was not sharing. They were excellent and if you’ve never tried them, it’s worth a visit. I ended up with the Cuban sandwich and it was one of the best I’ve had outside of South Florida. You can see I was enjoying myself eating it. I also got a flan for dessert since I HAD to try something. Their flan is a large one that they cut into slices rather than the individual ramekin. Lori also ordered a Mocha and told me it was one of the best she’s had in town.
It’s in the 2818 building on Governors and can be a bit of a challenge to find. Look for the big 2818 sign and then pull in the parking lot. I’ll have to go back and try some other options as well as the breakfast menu.
So, that’s it for this installment.