The Bright Star | Five-Star Dinner in Birmingham, Alabama

Review by: Michael Stern

Gracious Hospitality

It isn’t only delicious food that makes dining at the Bright Star so pleasurable. In the Roadfood book, it serves a five-star dinner. We love it for its gracious hospitality and its history. (It is Alabama’s oldest family-owned restaurant.) I relax just thinking of the extreme comfort of its well-upholstered booths. I breathe deep and easy when surrounded by the quiet beauty of its well-aged wood and brass interior. Pilgrims who come from Birmingham and beyond know it as the polite restaurant in town. They come for meat-and-three lunch and impressive top-dollar steak and seafood dinners.

Greek Flavors

Like so many of the better restaurants in this area, Greek flavors dominate dishes. When you order a Greek salad, you get cups of both vinaigrette and creamy garlic dressing. “Mix them together!” advises waitress Linda.. Roast chicken comes garnished with Greek-seasoned celery and tomato. Many customers believe the garlicky Greek-seasoned tenderloin is the best steak anywhere. For a large number of clientele, the must-eat dish is snapper . A buttery, pan-seared fillet arrives swimming in a simple sauce of olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. This fine fish wants no embellishment more than that.

Gumbo Is A Must

Bright Star’s gumbo weaves a magic spell. Soft nuggets of fish and vegetables crowd together in a spicy, smoky, complex broth.  I put it on a very short list of the best gumbos anywhere, including Louisiana.

“Insanely Luxurious”

To conclude a five-star dinner, have a slice of cool, sweet-tart lemon icebox pie. Or go for broke and order baklava cheesecake. This insanely luxurious Bright Star specialty wraps fine phyllo pastry, honey, and nuts around a shaft of creamy cheesecake.


Bright Star has made its mark in Birmingham since 1907. Its continued success warms my heart. You’d look long and hard to find the genial and truly helpful professionalism of the waitstaff. And its impeccable square meals make it rarity in today’s world. No, not simply a rarity; Bright Star is one-of-a-kind.

What To Eat

Greek Style Snapper


Baklava Cheesecake

Greek Salad

Lemon Icebox Pie


The Bright Star | Five-Star Dinner in Birmingham, Alabama Recipes


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