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“Incredible All Around”
Review of Cotton Row

Cotton Row
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Ranked #18 of 616 Restaurants in Huntsville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $36
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Madison Street
Reviewed March 4, 2014

Cotton Row is an incredible experience ..... The atmosphere in the old historic building on The Courthouse Square is perfectly paired with the James Boyce Culinary Experience, and the most professional staff I have ever been served by. You will enjoy ! The perfect place for an important Business dinner, A Casual dinner with friends, or that special occasion or romantic dinner

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Thank Travlur58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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167 - 171 of 267 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2014 via mobile

A group if us were in town for business and had the good fortune to eat here. We had reservations for the "Loft" and up on arrival were escorted outside and up the stairs to the loft of the restaurant. Appears it was once a loft apartment, complete with shower. Great ambience, service, and the food was even better.

Thank Dennis10_51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2014

This week I read an article about how restaurants serve lower quality food with poorer customer service in overcrowded venues on Valentine's Day for supper. Thinking back I couldn't come up with a specific memory to validate this story but I didn't want to risk it so I took the wife out for a romantic lunch instead. My internet search for "Huntsville AL Romantic Restaurants" brought me to a story about the top 5 here in Rocket City. 2 of the 5 were no longer in business and 1 we had already been to. When I checked out Cotton Row's website and discovered reasonable lunch prices, I had the wife call and make reservations. They open for lunch at 1100 and walk-ins are welcome. Parking was a tough nut to crack due to extremely heavy pre-lunch street traffic but once we realized the parking garage across the street was open to the public we quickly found ample spaces for a minor fee. From the outside this eatery appears to be nothing special but I found the interior to be comfortable and interesting, it felt like a very old European restaurant that had been renovated but showed off it's dated architecture. I loved the feel of the place. The staff were extremely professional, present enough to check on us but not in your face cheerleader enthusiastic that gets tiring when you want to focus on your company without interruption. We started with a bottle of German white wine that was exactly perfect though overpriced at $40, it had the desired effect and we were soon deep into our romantic date. The missus had mahi mahi on buttered noodles that we both found better than average, might could have used something to flavor the noodles up a bit but certainly not unpleasant. I had a shortrib sandwich with fries, all of which was good. The lunch portion was enough to fill us both but I wouldn't call it large, I'd call it calculated. This is was not one of the best meals of my life but it was one of the best dates I've had and the Cotton Row heavily contributed. I usually feel a bit uncomfortable in fine dining establishments as I have no education in food n drink, I just know when I like something and when I don't. I like the Cotton Row and will consider returning after giving the other restaurants in Huntsville a shot. The Chef has a fat resume and owns a few other local joints that come highly recommended by a friend. To the tourist in town for vacation, I say come on in to Cotton Row and give it a try.

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Thank kkibby43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2014

Let's just say this is a compound review, based on four visits.
The reason this is compounded- I was hoping for the prices to eventually justify the quality of food, atmosphere and service.

The preface to eating here as an epicurean, is: the chef's reputation/biography. Le Cirque is a restaurant to have experience in fine dining, the food isn't that great. Daniel Boulud, a masterful chef, created some fine things, and I have been to several of his establishments. The "various" awards- I would like to know what they are. As the catering I have also experienced of said chef was pre-made chicken dish- I was in the kitchen, so I saw it looked as if frozen. The wine pairings by said chef's wife were touted beyond absurd price-points, and weren't good. Plain and simple. Not complaint, simple fact.

Huntsville loves to have patrons with money, but no taste. So, Cotton Row is a perfect gamble to throw away money to "look good" on the square and have supper.

The "open" atmosphere is something I hate- I have no reason to be seen or watch others gobble and pretend to be important. The chairs aren't comfortable. The staff, even though known socially as fun people, must be encouraged-seemingly to act as if they are celebrities.

On the times visited:
Course 1: Rabbit Ragout- Okay- it's fine. Not much there.

Cornmeal oysters: tiny, over cooked, not good, ordered three orders on different occasions. Go to a real oyster joint if you want some old sorry oysters in cornmeal. Please. How silly.

Pan seared fois gras: PLEASE DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY! Two occasions ordered, it was BURNED to a bitter nasty grit like consistency.

-Yes, I understand I could send this all back and complain- though the prices dictate perfection here. Company dictates being "polite"- so no reason to cause a scene.

Course 2:

Diver sea scallops: They're good. Okay, as they should be for $31.00. They are NOT worth $31.00. Nor is the plating that divine. No doubt, they are served on Amish peas imported on the back of an Amish person in Pennsylvania, walking on knees and hands to constitute the price!

The Short Ribs: Excellent. Worth $32.00

The Filet Mignon: It's good. It looks good, and it is appropriately filling for the price. It is $34.00

The dessert course I have always had blah blah blah whatever peanut butter phyllo jelly whatever. It's fine. Whatever, it is not transcendental.

The prices are ridiculous. THOUGH, I do know they must have a lot of rent to pay, and a lot of clout they need to put forth to be featured in Event or No'Ala magazines. I mean- who cares if it is good, as long as someone has a new dress and a photographer near for a society magazine.

I have been here numerous times, and feel like people need an honest review. The staff as pretentious as they try to act, shouldn't wear such cheap looking shoes. The bathrooms in the private areas upstairs need a lot more attention in cleaning. The drinks are too expensive and not even generous pours.

For a party of two, my bill was $285 or so. A party of 3: $420 or so. A party of 1: $190 or so.
You don't go out to eat to save money, and I certainly am not going to dinner to scrimp, I want good drink and good food. Though- this is a Huntsville downtown restaurant trying to gloat the prices to match a transcendental food experience that is never going to happen here.

I miss 801 Franklin where it was good....and fun.

I'd recommend CR for a date though. More than two, and for parties- it's a pretty null for me.

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2  Thank Christopher C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2014

This establishment was incredible! Everyone in my family is very munch into food (my parents are foodies and my brother is a chef) but I am not. This was by far the best fine dining excursion I've been on. Usually we share what we've chosen and decide "who wins" with their choice. While we did share our choices, no one could decide who won! The portions were incredibly satisfying and incredibly tasty. I ordered the gnocchi and rabbit appetizer and was AMAZED by the texture of the gnocchi. It wasn't dense and chewy like most gnocchi; it was indescribable! It was so light and fluffy! My entree was the Sea Scallops and I didn't even need a knife to cut them! For dessert I had a chocolate toffee cake...it was so rich and decadent! My mom got the peanut butter and jelly dessert and I have never experienced anything like it! There's a reason it's been on the menu as long as it has....

Not only was the food incredible, but so was the staff. Our waiter, James, had been with the establishment since it opened and knew a lot about the history of the building, the area, and the food on the menu. He gave us a tour of the downstairs wine cellar area and also got one of the general manager's to give us a tour of the upstairs loft area.

It's a beautiful lay out and is a beautiful restaurant. I highly recommend it and enjoyed myself through out the dinner. It's been a full week but this experience has stayed with me, and I hope that this review will help others in making the choice to make a trip to this restaurant.

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2  Thank executivewench
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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