It’s a given that when I’m visiting my friend Shahla in Miami, she’s going to introduce me another restaurant that I’m going to crave as soon as I leave. I was FAMISHED when I touched down in Florida a couple days ago and when she was throwing out options, I was decidedly in the mood for some Southern comfort food. Actually, I’m always decidedly in a Southern comfort food mood, but I eat other cuisines for variety sake. Anyway, so went my meeting with Yardbird Southern Table and Bar.
What you can expect: dishes made from scratch, decadent, and rich flavors with fresh farm-to-table ingredients. Co-owner Jeff McInnis (of Top Chef finals fame) teamed up with two local restaurateurs, Chris Romero and John Kunkel to achieve just that. Complete with long communal tables or cozy booths, it turned out to be a pick for my first night in Miami with Shals and our friend Shireen. The hardest part was deciding WHAT to order when you have options like big ol’ cheddar waffles, pan seared fish, and of course, fried chicken. We decided it would be hard to go wrong with their Butter Bean Risotto (with grilled hen of the woods mushrooms and winter park tomme cheese), Shrimp n’Grits (Florida shrimp, Adluh South Caroline stone ground grits, minus the ham), and Chicken under a Brick (Carolina poulet rouge, fresh rosemary, local lemon, brussels sprouts, fresh tomatoes and okra):
The risotta from start to finish proved flavorful, rich (strong on their butter and sauteed onions, and the mushroom made a nice side too); and the other dishes didn’t disappoint either. I took half my dish to go but could barely control myself from finishing the rest after I got back to Shahla’s apartment. With all the savory foods though, we couldn’t help but gorge on dessert too. We went for the pecan pie…and did justice to devouring it a few minutes later.
Not to mention, the service and staff were really attentive, with the manager and our waiter checking in often and making sure everything was on point. Either Miami is really stepping its food game, or I’ve been missing out on some delicious places here!
(Out of three stars)
Service: *** (the staff was extraordinarily attentive)
Would I go back?: Yes
1600 Lenox Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139