Going far beyond standard

Published 5:15 pm Monday, October 12, 2009

Chef Mac Russell of The Standard Bistro isn’t shy about his love for food.

“We want to spank your taste buds,” Russell proclaimed. “It’s all about blowing away your senses.”

To give patrons that senses–blowing experience, Russell plans to take Southern food and up the ante with progressive techniques and unique combinations.

Russell wants to up the ante at The Standard Bistro on every level.

“Growing up, food wasn’t an after–thought, it was a focus,” he said.

Russell wants people to see any meal they enjoy at the bistro as an event. He said the meal could be as humble as a fried quail supper, created in a way that makes it special.

He said he wants people to come enjoy a good drink and new chef–tasting menus during a game. A tasting menu might include a grilled ciabatta with a chicken liver mousse and French bleu cheese.

Though the ingredients might seem foreign to some, Russell doesn’t want people to be intimidated by a menu.

He wants instead for the bistro to become a local hangout –– drawing people with the restaurant’s food and atmosphere. What he hopes they leave with is a new appreciation and love for a good meal.

“You’re going to see the picture and where we’re trying to go. You’re going to grow your food knowledge and enjoy great food while doing so,” he said.

Russell spent about a decade working on and off for Birmingham’s Hot & Hot Fish Club, while attending culinary school and traveling to places like Italy to study wine and food pairings.