Helen, a contemporary Southern grill in Birmingham, was named one of the best new restaurants in America by Esquire.
The magazine’s list, published Thursday, highlights 40 restaurants across the country that epitomize “the transportive power of food” and “the soul-stirring nature of hospitality.”
Helen, a downtown eatery led by a husband-and-wife team, Rob and Emily McDaniel, is the only Alabama restaurant chosen by Esquire’s food writers. Helen opened in August 2020 at 2013 Second Ave. North, in the historic Berry Project buildings.
“Helen was a real woman who wore pearls and had a grill inside her house,” Joshua David Stein writes in his description for Esquire. “Her facility with coals lives on in her grandson Rob McDaniel’s restaurant: Witness the twenty-two-ounce, dry-aged Kansas City strip, drizzled with beef-and-herb-infused duck fat, and the fennely porchetta with a crackling skin. The chef describes the place as not a steakhouse. ‘But,’