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“Simply amazing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Dupont

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Cafe Dupont
113 20th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203-3603
205-322-1282
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Ranked #14 of 872 Restaurants in Birmingham
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Simply amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013 via mobile

One of my favorite meals I've ever had. We had the chef's tasting and everything, I mean everything, was absolutely fantastic. Our server was super helpful and accommodating. Just simply a fantastic restaurant for a special occasion.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    33
    14
    4
    0
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Vicksburg MS
Top Contributor
186 reviews 186 reviews
143 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“excellent food in downtown makeover”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

The setting is a little more formal than the atmosphere, i.e., it looks like a coat and tie place(and is for some), but I was comfortable in jeans and a nice shirt. It is actually a very nice re-do/conversion of a space downtown, the entry room a bar and then a step up through doors into dining room. The food is imaginative and delicious. We split an organic greens salad and then the pork roulades appetizer, which had the most remarkable combination of tastes and was a huge hit. My wife had the rabbit entree and I had the butter braised sea bass; both were delicious, but hers was the hands-down winner. It is a dish not to be missed! We finished with a not-so-special dessert and too-cool cappucinos, but that did little to diminish our experience. Our waiter was pleasant and competent and service was flawless. Entrees are generally in the upper $20's, topping out with the sea bass at $34. We did also have a very good bottle of red wine at a reasonable price point.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Birmingham
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Another wonderful meal!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We try to get by Cafe Dupont at least once a month - and to date we have not been disappointed with any selection. Yes the bar area and restaurant are dark - but lit with candelight and dim lights that add an air of romance and intimacy that is hard to come by in Bham. We sat at the bar (even though we had table reservations) - and service was great. For New Year's Eve that was a price fixe menu - choices were a variety of usual and not so usual meats and pairings - the marinated crab claws were spectacular - if only they had been offered as an entree and not an app....
If you have the time and $$$ - suggest the Tasting Menu option - it is a wonderful way to get a taste of the Chef's best dishes. Be sure to have a finely crafted cocktail - the bartenders are great at what they do.
Only potential drawback may be the valet parking as the only "easy" option - but for us that is not a big deal. This place is great for for couples and adults - usually very quiet and relaxed - can't recall ever having seen small children dining - but I'm sure they would be just as accommodating for families with younger diners!!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Cold and Formal Ambience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

The food here is expensive but good, though not as good as at Birmingham's best restaurants, such as Bottega, Highlands or Hot and Hot. There are two dining rooms, one where the bar is located, which is dark and forbidding, and the other to the right, which is somewhat brighter but still rather stiff. It struck me as a good place for quiet conversation among the wealthy elderly. The same owners also own Mix, which is a combination bakery/cafe that's absolutely outstanding! Some of the airiness and welcoming environment of Mix would help improve Cafe Dupont.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
301 reviews 301 reviews
150 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
346 helpful votes 346 helpful votes
“Read this if you are from out of town.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

Cafe DuPont is one of the best restaurants in the Southeast. The food is delicious. You will not have better fried food at a restaurant anywhere. The fried okra and fried oysters here are a must. The chefs here are also skilled at preparing duck, lamb, and rabbit. The desserts are delicious. The bar, while not open late, makes some of the best New Orleans inspired cocktails anywhere.

For more food detail, read some of the other reviews. This is the inside scoop on why this place is in the 40's on Trip Advisor and not in the top 5 where it belongs.....

1. The restaurant is downtown. While downtown is slowly rebounding, it is not a place that wealthier suburbanites return to after dark. You will be perfectly safe here (downtown is actually safer than most suburbs thanks to years of vigilant efforts), but a decades old perception holds with many locals. As a result, you can get a table here most any day with ease. Any other city, you would not.

2. Birmingham people are not foodies as a rule. 99.9% of the population would see the buffet at Golden Corral a far better value than this any day, and this attitude is reflected in the reviews. Even wealthier citizens, who will spend loads of money on a host of things, such as hobbies (especially manly hobbies) or college football, will not forgive or be forgiven for spending over 25$ on an entree. They may proudly own Tide pride tickets or five Sea Doos, but would never cheerfully admit to have rolled out much money on a meal. Here or anywhere.

3. Birmingham is the largest small town in the world. At heart, most reasonably well-off citizens here idealize the countryside with its hunting, fishing, lakes, and four wheelers, romanticize a simpler time, and eschew any big city formality, except when they get really dressed up on Easter Sunday or when Wicked makes a tour stop through town. Therefore, Cafe DuPont appears far too stuffy and fat cat for most people in Birmingham. The elegant, yet simple decor, along with a formal staff can sometimes offend folks who enter here with a built-in disdain for all things formal. (Their defenses were already raised when they had to valet park outside.) In local parlance, "formal" and "elegant" are at odds and even at enmity with the high values "friendly" and "nice". For most of the citizenry, it is ok to be wealthy, but not to appear that way.

If you can understand some of this reality, or even if this somewhat fits how you feel about life and restaurants, I hope this review can help you be at ease with one of the best restaurants anywhere. Cafe DuPont is a treat.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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