Dinner at Effina’s Downtown Anniston

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INSIGHT looks forward to bringing you an in-depth look into epic meals from around Calhoun County. For our first dive into such a meal (on our newly revamped website), I reached out to friend and Chef of Effina’s Downtown Anniston, Alabama – Jeremy Minton. I wanted to let Chef Minton “do his thing” with a meal featuring an appetizer, main course and dessert and pair it with wines. Upon arrival my lovely server and friend – Ketti Lynn had her A game ready and I knew I was in for an epic dining experience!  
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First out was Icy Blue Clams and Little Neck Mussels paired with an Angeline Chardonnay 2019. I knew we were off to a good start when I took the first bite and sip. I loved the texture and taste of the Clams and Mussels and the Chardonnay with notes of apple, pear, tropical fruit and vanilla bacon spice really amped up the flavor of the dish. I am not too proud to tell you my method of “sopping up” the Bacon White Wine Garlic Sauce the Clams and Mussels were lathered in with my toast was heavenly! Round One … Amazing … What’s next?


I told Chef to surprise me and I must admit I was overjoyed when I saw the Main Course come out…Rack of Lamb! An herb salted Rack of Lamb over a Mushroom Risotto, topped with seared asparagus and a Veal Demi-Glace (more on that in a second). Ketti brought out a smile when she decided to pair this with a Cabernet Sauvignon, but I think she might have inevitably found my new brand – Three Finger Jack Cabernet Sauvignon. You cannot beat a perfectly paired red with a perfectly cooked meat. The Rack of Lamb was so tender and juicy and I took advantage of the bones which made perfect handles for devouring (sorry utensils). Remember the Demi-Glace? So, Chef came over and explained what all goes into it. First, they roast the bones, after the bones are roasted, they combine those with carrots, onion, celery and red wine and then once that has had its situation marination, they braze it, then remove all of it leaving the liquid which they reduce into a syrup texture. As Chef Minton was explaining that, I thought to myself; that’s what separates the Great restaurants from the Good ones. Do I have room? …Yes!


For the finale out comes a fresh homemade Blueberry, Strawberry Cheesecake! Y’all, I don’t have the words but let me try to put it in perspective. Ketti, once again, came through with the perfect pairing of dessert wine – a Mohua Sauvignon Blanc 2019 from New Zealand that really elevated the sweetness and richness of the Cheesecake. It was light and creamy and the fresh fruit really came through, absolutely scrumptious!  A perfect end to a perfect meal.
There is nothing like a phenomenal 3 course meal by a restaurant that knows their craft. So, I discreetly loosened my belt to make room as I said my goodbyes. Calhoun County we all are lucky to have a dining experience in our hometown that can deliver a real deal meal! I highly recommend Effina’s Downtown and I hope you have a chance to enjoy their cuisine soon.

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