BRW 2014: Satterfield's reminds me I'm a true Southern girl

Monday, August 18, 2014

Birmingham Restaurant Week 2014 is underway and this weekend the hubster and I had dinner at Satterfield's, a fine dining restaurant located in Cahaba Heights. This was my first visit to Satterfield's and a visit that reminded me that I am truly a Southern girl.

And as a Southern girl, I appreciated that great hospitality from the restaurant staff, especially our waitress Tabitha. Before our meal, Tabitha brought my husband and I an assortment of breads all made in house. The miniature corn muffins were my favorite and reminded me of my grandmother's cornbread. They were amazingly soft with scallions and corn kernels baked inside. I gobbled them down so quickly and raved about them so much that Tabitha brought us more. 

The specialty libation of the evening was the Black Buffalo -- spiced blackberry shrub, aged Cruzan Rum, fresh citrus and Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale. The spice gave the drink unforgettable flavor, while the citrus made for a very refreshing cocktail. And, of course, a Southern Girl resist a drink featuring Buffalo Rock.

For my first course, I had a salad with crispy artisan lettuces, toasted pecans, blueberries, pears, Danish blue cheese and champagne vinaigrette. The mix was just right, with the fruit and pecans mellowing the strong flavor of the blue cheese. 

For my entree I had the pan roasted wahoo, which was served on a bed of grits, haricots verts, and bacon-sherry vinaigrette. The fish was good and very well seasoned, but it's no surprise that I really, really liked the creamy and flavorful grits. 

For dessert, I pretended I was in New Orleans as I savored sweet beignets with sautéed peaches and house made vanilla bean ice-cream. 

Becky Satterfield opened Satterfield's in 2005 and sought to build a restaurant on the principle that fine dining doesn't have to be pretentious. I would say she has definitely succeeded. Satterfield took the time to talk about this principle and answer a few other questions about her restaurant. 

Becky Satterfield

What are some things you've done to foster your belief that fine dining doesn't have to be pretentious? 

My mother and grandmothers taught me as a little girl that meals are an essential part of family life and mealtime is an occasion for togetherness and bonding. Memories like these are the foundation of Satterfield’s Restaurant: bringing together fine dining, wholesome meals with a new twist, and the comfort of the family dinner table. I began with one simple philosophy in mind: find the freshest local ingredients and deliver a memorable dining experience. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are a key component to delivering this experience for every one of our guests.

Have you faced any unique challenges being a woman in the restaurant industry?

In a predominantly male led industry, it's very important to  identify with and support other women in the industry. I'm a member of Les Dames D'Escoffier, a philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. They are a great support system for sharing and contributing new ideas to Birmingham's burgeoning culinary scene.

What things have you learned as a business owner that you think would be valuable lessons for any entrepreneur? 

Be a leader, have vision and stand your ground, but don't forget to surround yourself with a team of people who you trust like family. 

Becky Satterfield is a pastry chef trained at Culinard so it's no surprise that the beignets are delicious. 

What do you love about Birmingham and what have you learned about Birmingham -- specifically the Cahaba Heights area -- by being a restaurant owner in this city? 

I love how Birmingham has blossomed into a culinary destination for the South. We are so proud to be on the forefront of the culinary scene in a town that is very supportive of the culinary arts. Birminghamians love food and they love supporting local businesses, that's what makes Birmingham approachable. I'm also so proud to be a part of our smaller community, Cahaba Heights as it is a hidden gem that people discover when they go behind the Summit. The location is perfect because it is convenient to many of the other surrounding neighborhoods like Mountain Brook, Liberty Park and other communities on the 280 corridor. 

Why did you choose to be part of Birmingham Restaurant Week? 

As I was talking about earlier, we started Satterfield's to fill a niche in our Cahaba Heights neighborhood and we love being a part of our community and an extension of Birmingham. Anytime we can be a participate in something that supports our community and city, it encourages people to get out and indulge their culinary cravings of which we absolutely want to be a part.

What are your hopes for the future of Satterfield's? 

Whether you are a loyal Satterfield's diner or someone interested in discovering one of Birmingham's many hidden treasures, we want to continue to be among the best Birmingham has to offer. I love traveling and experiencing the restaurants every city has to offer, and I'm always reassured that Satterfield's stands among the best. Next year is our tenth anniversary and we're going to celebrate! I hope everyone will join us and toast to our future!

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