Whether you crave classic fish and chips, or you love to start your night off with oysters, Hazel’s has your favorites from the sea.
“When you’re putting the name ‘seafood’ on your restaurant, you have to be proud of it, and you have to have the best quality you can find,” explains Emmele Herrold, the Executive Chef, and Co-Owner, along with her business partner, Beth Hussey.
The two are “food soulmates” as they put it. Both met while working together to open One-Eyed Betty’s and later Pop’s for Italian. They always talked about opening a restaurant together, and eventually got together to do it.
Their sights were set on Birmingham, and they found the perfect spot for their concept, on the corner of Maple and Peabody. While they visited to take pictures, the geotag on the photos said Hazel Ravines and Downtown, it was at the crux of those three neighborhoods. Considering they wanted to open up a neighborhood spot, this was the perfect fit for them. They originally called the restaurant Hazel, Ravines, and Downtown, but it later got shortened to just Hazel’s.
The restaurant is large, warm, and welcoming, with a modern slightly industrial feel. There is also plenty of décor around the building hinting at what’s on the menu. While they always had a raw bar full of oysters, over the years they got more and more seafood-focused. Dishes you can always find on the menu include lobster rolls (both Maine and Connecticut style), classic fish and chips with a malt vinegar aioli, and lobster rolls.
They try to fly fresh seafood in daily, so on occasion, they may run out, but that is by design. They want to promise quality food and ingredients. That is also why four times a year they change up the menu to go along with what is seasonally available. They call it “following the crustacean,” says Herrold. In the winter it’s Crab Trap season and they serve up dishes from Florida like stone crab, grouper, and alligator bites. In Spring they head to the East Coast and Chesapeake Bay area and feature blue crab. In the summer it is Lobster Pound, and the menu will have Maine-inspired dishes. Come fall, they transition over to the Pacific Northwest and dish up Alaskan King Crab.
For those who are not a big fan of seafood, they have dishes like their token burger, and fried chicken to enjoy as well.
For the full story, watch the video above. If you would like to try out Hazel’s, they are located at 1 Peabody Street in Birmingham.