Tallulah Wine Bar and Bistro & Moti Mahal


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TALLULAH WINE  BAR & BISTRO: With its chicly understated, monochromatic décor, bar and tables seating just 65, and pared-down menu of fresh, seasonal dishes — many with ingredients from local purveyors — this new spot shows all the signs of becoming a downtown Birmingham classic. The open kitchen at the back of the room turns out such dishes as whole trout with pancetta, watercress, and fennel; roasted chicken with grilled savoy cabbage; and wine-compatible appetizers. Wine is served by the glass, the pitcher (two and a half glasses), or bottle, and the list is eclectic and interesting. 155 Bates St., Birmingham; 248-731-7066. D Wed.-Sun. $18

MOTI MAHAL: After a number of years, this attractive Indian restaurant has returned to Royal Oak, this time with veteran chef/proprietor Abdul Ullah, assisted by his sons. The 70-seat restaurant has been completely renovated, and all signs of its predecessor, the Nepali restaurant Kathmandu Chula, are gone. The lunchtime buffet is a good introduction to the fare, offering 15 dishes, none highly spiced. The menu includes a wide range of well-prepared dishes in varying spice levels, from Madras curries to tandooris and birianis. 411 S. Washington, Royal Oak; 248-298-3198. L & D daily. $13

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