Yardbird was opened by Jeff McInnis, a former top chef finalist, along with two local restauranteurs. It's located in a neighborhood (making parking slightly easier to find than the bustling Collins Avenue) that very much feels like Santa Monica.
Although we couldn't get reservations (which they do accept, even for brunch), the bar area is first come first served, and includes several high tables as well as the actual bar. Even at prime brunch time when the rest of the restaurant was full, we got seats in this area pretty quickly. Also, I have to mention that towards the end of the meal, our server came by and said "did you guys see Dwyane Wade come in? He's sitting at the table behind you." I had no idea who that was, but I did recognize his fiancée Gabrielle Union, and was so excited, as I'd just read her interview in February's Glamour.
Now onto the food...
A simple but nicely rustic interior that feels somewhat similar to ABC Kitchen in NYC.
Bloody Marys, $11 each
Not only were these drinks beautifully presented in mason jars complete with an olive, pickle, string bean and bacon, but they were undoubtably the best I've ever tasted-- a perfect balance of spicy and savory. I can't believe I didn't start liking bloody marys until a year or two ago.
Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade: lemon juice, bourbon, organic blackberry, cardamom, sparkling wine
The cocktail that Yardbird is most known for, this was definitely on the strong side. The hint of blackberry is nice, but I would recommend the bloody mary over this.
Deviled Eggs, $10: Organic eggs, fresh dill, "redneck caviar", smoked trout roe
I never really gave much thought to dill until one day my sister bought a bunch of dill to make salad dressing with. As soon as I got a whiff of the herb, I told her there should be a perfume made of the stuff. Maybe not perfume, but it really does have a nice subtle and soothing scent.
Back on topic-- the dill really made these deviled eggs come alive. And the trout roe? Best addition ever.
Fried Green Tomato BLT, $14: Pork belly, greens, fried green tomatoes, tomato jam, house-made pimento cheese
I'm always interested in ordering items I would likely not make at home, or those with a creative combination or spin on it. The fried green tomato BLT is a prime example. As popular and trendy as pork belly has been in NYC, I have yet to get sick of it. This was a strange combination, but everything worked well. The tomato was freshly fried with the most amazing breading, the pimento cheese had a nice kick to it, and although the pork belly was not as soft as I like (ippudo, anyone?), it made the dish feel more substantial and complete.
Fried Chicken, $26: 1/2 free range bird, "27-hour" recipe, spicy tabasco honey
Crispy, moist, meltingly tender, and plenty of dark meat. Basically everything people love about fried chicken. The sauce was equal parts sweet and spicy. This dish was insanely good and my favorite of the meal (I swear it was very difficult to pinpoint a favorite dish. Everything was so tasty).
Macaroni and Cheese, $10: Torchio pasta, 5 artisanal cheese, crispy herb crust
I've always been a fan of mac and cheese, and I loved that this one managed to be both comforting and sophisticated. The cheese tasted like more high quality, expensive cheese, and I liked that the pasta pieces were very large.
Served so hot and fluffy, these were perfect.
Not pictured here but that we also tried:
Chicken and biscuits. The biscuits are flaky and pretty darn good, but I would personally prefer the fried chicken order with a side of biscuits instead.
Waffles with Florida strawberries, whipped cream, bourbon maple syrup. Very light and fluffy-- definitely 10x better than the waffles I had at the Setai.
1600 Lenox Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
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