Forest (formerly Forest Grill) recently reopened in Birmingham. Under new ownership (Phoenicia’s Sammy Eid) but with the same Executive Chef, Nick Janutol, Forest is hitting the ground running. Allicia Janutol, Nick’s wife, is general manager focusing her talents on front of house and bringing exceptional service to forefront. Bartender Matt Ashley is still behind the bar as part of the bar crew crafting interesting cocktails. In fact, there are more than a few familiar faces from Forest Grill that have returned to Forest, another aspect making Forest less of a newcomer and more of seasoned veteran with plenty of experience under its belt.
The interior has been completely remodeled. With a kitchen that is now enclosed in windows, guests can see the inner workings of the back of the house. A busy kitchen is quite a sight to behold. Movements appear almost choreographed as ingredients are prepped, dishes composed, and ultimately brought to the table. Tables are cloaked in white tablecloths, a nod to fine dining, but Forest’s attitude is more fun than stuffy.
Janutol appears to be spreading his wings. The menu is focused on seafood and pasta, possibly due to the influence of Eid and his Mediterranean background? Regardless, it’s a welcome sight. All of the pasta is made in house. Of course, ingredients are seasonally focused and as fresh as can be.
Overall, if Forest Grill was not on your radar, Forest definitely should be. Take a look at a few of the menu items I sampled. Please note that since the menu is constantly evolving, dishes may not be the same or available any more.