By Paige Korner
Tucked behind a wall of glass with a welcoming banner above its door, a new restaurant and bar has opened on Old Woodward that caters to a new Birmingham. The Bird and the Bread, whose name derives from owner Kristin Jonna’s nicknames for her two children, offers a selection of classic foods with unique twists and craft cocktails for adults in a warm, sociable environment.
Kristin Jonna helped open the restaurant with her father John Jonna, who has more than 50 years of retail experience, and the care shows. The building is decorated with industrial metal, wood finishing, glazed tiles, and quirky cookbooks from the family’s own home.
While The Bird and The Bread may come across as a typical Birmingham haunt, it’s far from it. The fun food and energetic staff lend a humorous and casual tone that truly shines, especially when enjoyed with the flavorful and interesting menu at hand.
Lovers of pizza may forgo their usual tomato sauce and mozzarella creations for the meat and potatoes pizza, which is topped with sweet potato puree, parmesan, red onion, and braised short rib. It challenges the palate and claims victory over it. The crispy, salty bite of onions and meat is subdued by the softness of the potato.
Meanwhile, seafood fans will rave over their lemon and shallot mussels, flavored with a bit of Pinot Grigio, which were abundant in their proportion and every bit as soft, moist, and delicately flavored as expected. They’re best when enjoyed with a side of the restaurant’s delicious truffle fries.
The Bird and the Bread aims to strike it big with all sorts of crowds. It boasts numerous craft beers and cocktails for adults, including a special room built like a barrel perfect for sampling wine in. However, it also has a pizza bar and a cozy seating for families toting kids and teens of all ages. It’s no surprise either – the Jonna family put intricate detail into their newest culinary creation. It shows from their inventive chef, special European juicer for their cocktails, and gorgeous bread and bird artwork adorning the walls.
The Bird and The Bread is a success amongst its Birmingham competition because it ditches the stifling feeling of high society and “adults only” atmosphere. It’s easily one of the few restaurants where a parent could feel comfortable grabbing drinks with friends or bringing their kids out for a varied menu with moderate, reasonable pricing. Seaholm students should consider stopping by with friends on a week night to bask in the warm hospitality and sample the delicious food – there’s always something new to try and fall in love with at The Bird and the Bread.