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“Best "foodie" restaurant in town” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Epiphany Cafe - CLOSED

Epiphany Cafe
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$ 25 - US$ 35
Cuisines: American, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Groups, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: University Blvd
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Level Contributor
116 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Best "foodie" restaurant in town”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2012

My wife and I have visited Epiphany Cafe MANY times. The food is excellent and the service is GREAT (the staff really knows the ever-changing menu like the back of their hand and are always happy to make recommendations, even on wine pairings). The atmosphere is white-tablecloth, fine dining. The portions are generally moderate and their small plate menu is great. Here is the key to Epiphany... The owner and chef is definitely a "foodie" and and in the parlance of the business, cooks food that "other chefs like to eat". He uses unique combinations of food (Kobe beef used to make "sliders", wild boar used to make stew...) and the flavors are very bold and different. So if you are looking for just a well cooked steak or nice pasta, you will probably be a little overwhelmed and maybe disappointed, but if you are adventuresome in your gastric quests for fine food that you won't find at your local chain restaurant, then definitely give Epiphany Cafe a try. By the way, the use the freshest, all-organic, locally grown ingredients.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TuscaTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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136 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    91
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
220 reviews
158 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
“Kitchen creativity at its best.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 December 2011

Om my first trip to Tuscaloosa for business, I expected a culinary wasteland. A savvy hotel manager pointed me to Epiphany Cafe, however, and in my many subsequent trips, it has been the best dining destination in the city. The chef's farm-to-table approach means everything on the menu is fresh and good. He takes a minimalist approach, letting each ingredient tell its story, skillfully layering flavors and textures.

I had an excellent Pork Bun as a starter, with braised pork belly and kim chee. Melt in your mouth tender, with just the right amount of zing. My main course was the gnocchi, which were feather-light and served in a flavorful pork ragu. I barely had room for dessert, but the Brown Butter Financier with roasted apples, miso caramel, and chantilly crème looked too good to resist, and it was!

The main problem you'll have here is picking something from the menu. It all looks so good, making a choice is difficult. Bring friends who are willing to share.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dothan, Alabama
Level Contributor
62 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“second trip...just as good as the first!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2011

another awesome meal at this eclectic little spot....i took my picky 14 year old and it was a treat watching him eat brussell sprouts, kale and succulent short ribs. i started with a great glass of wine. the pork belly app. was fabulous as was my sons cheese sampler. i loved the scallops and roasted local grown veggies...nothing could have been better. i love the ever changing menu but was a little upset not to see the bacon doughnuts...oh well....maybe next time!

  • Visited November 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank jubileepeyton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
25 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great experience.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2011

All around great experience. Hard to believe that you're in Tuscaloosa AL the tastes here could be found in any international city. The service couldn't be any better!

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Avlaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mobile, Alabama
Level Contributor
114 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 216 helpful votes
“Complex, Creative Foods For an Adventurous Appetite”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2011

I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to like Epiphany Cafe' more than I did. The restaurant occupies a nice space in Downtown Tuscaloosa, and the food creations are truly original and nicely presented. Where else can you get pickled prawns? The chef has come up with some truly unique flavors, and judging by the reviews here and elsewhere, he has largely succeeded. We liked the food alright, and we like that the restaurant has embraced the farm-to-table, organic food movement. We thought it would be healthier, but food cooked in duck fat isn't necessarily great for a diet.

The bread was fantastic, and we ordered a nice bottle of wine. The appetizer menu was somewhat daunting, and our waiter suggested those pickled prawns. They are served cold in a jar, with hot peppers and ginger. At first, they were just alright -- nothing special. As we worked our way through the appetizer, we finally got the spiciness of the hot peppers; and that flavor combination worked quite well. It just took awhile.

Our entrees consisted of sea scallops and roasted duck. Both were good, but there was really too much going on -- too many flavors. The sea scallops consisted of three large scallops, and memorably, pickled mushrooms. The duck was served with fried rice and just tasted fatty. If you could mix all the ingredients on your fork just right, both our meals might have been better. These complex meals were good, but simpler fare might have complemented the organic, farm-to-table philosophy a bit better. Portions weren't huge, but it was enough.

For dessert, our waiter suggested the homemade molasses ice cream. It's served with a corn meal and bacon cake -- really. American's love their bacon, but for dessert? It was alright, and the waiter was right about the ice cream. I will never forget this sweet dessert. But next time, I'd probably go with the Creme Brulee.

Service was attentive, but we never felt that the waiter was enthusiastic about anything on the dinner menu. We were given the "it's all good" line when we asked for a recommendation before he elaborated and made a couple of suggestions.

When we come back to Tuscaloosa, I may want to eat at Epiphany again. I'd try some different foods next time -- the duck fat fried chicken and the Kobe burger both looked fantastic, and the waiter suggested their steak ("best in Tuscaloosa") and the gnocchi. I like trying new flavors, and Epiphany gives its patrons that opportunity. This is a good restaurant for foodies, reasonably priced for a fine dining restaurant. Just approach it with an adventurous soul and don't be too disappointed if it's not all that for you. It wasn't for us, but there's always a next time.

  • Visited April 2011
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank GoingEverywhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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