Note: This restaurant is now closed.
801 Franklin advertises itself as “fine dining the way fine dining should be” and it truly is. With attentive and knowledgeable servers, fantastic flavor combinations, and an emphasis on local and sustainable food, 801 Franklin offers a dining experience that rivals fine dining in many larger and more “sophisticated” towns than Huntsville. But the characteristic that stands out the most is the sheer graciousness of every employee in the establishment. These are people who love what they do and love sharing it with others. They are equally adept at explaining the basics to those who are new to fine dining as they are in debating the nuances of wine with connoisseurs. And, with a bar menu offering both large and small plates at a lower price point, they are clearly courting both sets of clientèle.
This visit, we chose to take advantage of their happy hour pricing ($5 for a small plate, $10 for a large plate) and have an early dinner. We were promptly seated in the main dining area, a lovely room with paintings from a local artist displayed on the walls and a single fresh rose on each table.
I opted for the basalmic glazed lamb chops with a fresh tomato and mozzarella salad (shown above). The lamb was tender, juicy, and cooked to an evenly pink medium, as specified. The tomato salad combined cherry tomatoes and golden globe hybrids with mozzarella and basil. The sweetness of the tomatoes balanced the strong kick of the herb laced mozzarella.
My husband ordered the Napa platter–a spread of meats, cheeses, vegetables, and fruit that made for an ideal summer dinner.
We followed up dinner with a shared Berry Romanoff–strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries topped with a thin layer of fresh whipped cream spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brandy.
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