My wife and I had the opportunity to go on a date before she leaves for Florida for a few weeks, and we decided to go to a restaurant we have enjoyed before. We like chain restaurants, but we are always looking for a local cafe' that is unique and has delicious food. Epiphany has all of those. With fresh, local farm-to-table ingredients, you can definitely tell the "local ingredients" by the quality and freshness of the food.
We decided to try the Chef's Table, it is a 10 course tasting of some of their popular dishes, along with dishes not on the menu. I want to share with you our experience and also review how well everything was in relation to service.
If you try the Chef's table, be sure you call about a week in advance. One, reservations are required for this feature; and two, sometimes it can already be full. Try to plan around events and parties, because the chef will be extremely busy and may not be able to do the Chef's Table due to the high volume of requests and customers. At first, there was a large party of 20 that was coming, and I got a very courteous, polite call from the manager on how they could accommodate us. But when we arrived at the restaurant they said the party cancelled and we were allowed to do the Chef's Table. Much to our enjoyment!
1. The atmosphere: The restaurant is nice and inviting. It does not look like a upscale restaurant, but it does look like a place I would enjoy taking my wife on dates. With the scale of the restaurant, I would dress business casual.
2. The service: The hostess and the waiters were welcoming and courteous. They would even generate conversation with you (where are you from, food blogging, restaurant info, etc.) and seem very interested in what you had to say. Our hostess was nice and made sure we had everything we needed. We were allowed to set at "the table" where we witnessed the line cooks and the chef preparing our meal. The Sous chef even asked how everything was as she was cooking! She even generated a conversation that she is also a food blogger, and wants to be a food journalist.
3. The Chef: The Chef and owner of Epiphany is Tres Jackson. He was very friendly and generated conversation while we ate. He explained the dishes as they were presented. Tres was very collected and ran his kitchen well. He craved perfection in his dishes, and had great attention to detail.
4. The food: The food was awesome. Every single tasting had its own layers of flavors. The presentation was superb, and portions were just right. I wanted to share some of the dishes we had on our 10 course tasting:
Bread Service-Local Berkshire Pork Butter-House made Brown Sugar Bread. If you have never had pork butter you need to try this. Lightly salty butter with the sweetness of the bread was a great way to start our courses.
Yellowfin Tuna-Sushi grade with avocado puree. There was also added kumquats, that gave the dish a floral and citrus flavor. It was amazing! As he was cutting the meat, I almost wanted to ask for the entire steak! It was so good.
Grains Salad-We had the privilege of having a dish not currently on the menu. It contained chewy grains (delicious), pistachio puree, cooked butternut squash, and apple. It was quite tasty. In fact, my wife wants to do a similar dish like this at home.
Wild Mushrooms with Turnip Puree' and Olive Dust- Perfectly prepared mushrooms with the puree' and the salty, crunchy of the olives on top. This was probably my wife's favorite dish. It was amazing.
Crawfish with Biscuit and Gravy-Now I didn't even totally get all the ingredients in this dish, because I was memorized by the smell and look of this dish. MY FAVORITE DISH! Hop a jet, get in a cab, and go here and eat this. The crawfish, the gravy and the biscuit: harmonious delight on my palate! If I would have eaten this 10 times, I would still be happy.
Beet with Sweet Condensed Milk-Pistachio espresso-Cremeaux-A well rounded dessert to a wonderful tasting. It was creamy and smooth. With the crunchy of the pistachios, it was not overly sweet, but perfect to finish.
When you are in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, you definitely need to try Epiphany Cafe'. Our experience was wonderful. If you are looking for a good, fresh, farm-to-table place, go here. You won't regret it! Here is some contact information:
Address:519 Greensboro Ave. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Tres Jackson-Executive Chef/Owner
Rebecca Doss-House Manager
Rena's Local Farm Eggs-Cottondale, AL
Johnny Nuckols Pork-Buhl, AL