The Eaves [5/5]
5 (100%) 1 vote

The Eaves
Back in January, I received an email from a reader requesting that I try a little restaurant out in Madison. The restaurant was attached to a cooking school–The Budding Chef–and was open only for weekday lunches and a Saturday breakfast. It took me several weeks to make it out during their hours and when I did, I discovered that they were in the process of moving! After giving them a couple of weeks to settle into their new location in downtown Huntsville, I finally made it in to try The Eaves (with the move came a rebranding). Pamela, I am sorry it took me so long to get this review posted for you, but thank you for the tip. The food was well worth the wait.

I stopped in for lunch and found it surprisingly busy for a restaurant that had been open less than two weeks. I was promptly greeted, seated and was soon poring over the menu. So many of the dishes looked tempting that I asked my server for her choice between my top two–the apple bacon panini and the Eaves salad. I took her recommendation for the panini and opted for a side salad to accompany it.

The menu makes a point that their portions are generous and their salads truly are meals in and of themselves. I watched several salads en route to their destinations, presented in huge colorful colanders and was happy I had settled on what I assumed would be a smaller meal. My meal’s arrival put an end to that idea (in the image above, look at the silverware for scale).

The panini was a wonderful balance of salty and sweet. Generous, flavorful ham, melted cheddar cheese, soft maple flavored bacon, and thin sauted slices of green apple were piled between soft French bread with a perfectly done crust and a standalone flavor. The sandwich was served warm and gooey, leaving my hands incredibly greasy but worth every bit of fat.

The side salad was full of delightful discoveries. For a salad listed as “mixed greens”, there was an amazing variety of produce included. Sliced grape tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and almonds were all nestled among the baby spinach and romaine leaves. Everything was fresh and flavorful, even the grape tomatoes, a rarity in March. The balsamic vinaigrette was tangy, rich, slightly creamy and overall fork licking good.

I had chocolate on the brain, so I flagged down my server to ask about the dessert menu. They offered a chocolate ganache cake, but the mention of cheesecake made me pause. Good cheesecake is a rarity, might I find it here? My server’s enthusiastic recommendation decided the issue and I ordered a slice of cheesecake with fudge sauce.

The Eaves
Oh my.

The cheesecake had the airy, creamy texture and bright tangy flavor which marks truly good cheesecake. The graham cracker base had a finely ground texture and an even, mildly sweet flavor that perfectly accented the cake. The accompanying fudge sauce was rich, thin, and utterly amazing while the handmade whipped cream was undeniably dreamy.

My only complaint about the visit was that they ran out of unsweet tea and substituted a 50/50 mix of sweet and unsweet. My server was careful to ask, but on the second trip by she apologetically refilled my drink despite my earlier refusal. As someone with a strong aversion to sweet tea, I simply requested water instead.

Otherwise, the service was gracious and quick. The check appeared as I finished my meal and was quickly replaced when I ordered dessert. This is a restaurant that understands that weekday diners are often coming from office jobs and do not have the time nor inclination to wait around for a check.

The price point is higher than most other lunches in town, but the food more than justifies the price. I plan to be back and am holding out hope that they will once again expand their hours to include a Saturday meal (and maybe, someday, dinner too?).

Total for the meal: $17.38 (includes panini with side salad, a slice of cheesecake, and a drink)

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