Southern-style cooking finally hit South Beach at Yardbird
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar just opened on South Beach. This is something we had long anticipated. For months, they’d had their storefront windows covered with brown paper — teasing phrases like “Run Chicken Run” and Southern lingo. Miami can get to be a bore, so seeing something on it’s way that looked “different” than the usual swanky ultra lounge was exciting.
Tony and I arrived (without a reservation) and waited at the bar until Jillian arrived. Luckily, we weren’t in any hurry, because we waited well over 2 hours. Goes to show everyone wants t o be the first to try a new spot! This little blessing of extra time at the bar allowed us to try out their signature cocktails –one of the highlights of the evening. Each is rooted in Bourbon…a nice change from the usual “mojito” flare of Miami.
The bartender, Joshua, was super friendly and obviously very “in” to what he does. You could sense the passion he had for what and how he created the signature drinks on the menu. He even offered to make us something “off the menu”, something he called “Run Passion Run” (omg, delicious…ask for it!) Tony and I merrily sipped our cocktails, as our eyes moved from one piece of their Southern decor to the next. It was like being kids in a candy store. Every single glass, light fixture, tables-cape was part of their intricately designed creative staging for the restaurant. Kudos to the peeps that implemented that. All of the attention to detail really created an atmosphere, rather than just decor.
My personal decor favorites:
- The bar tap handles. J’adore! They were rustic items like a fork, knife, hammer, etc.
- The lightbulbs covered with glass jars
- The chicken-wire in the storage cabinets by the bar
- The tiny flip-top glass containers and glasses they used to store their fresh herbs at the bar
- The canning jars filled with actual fruits and veggies along the walls
- BONUS – try to find the bathroom… there is no door handle, just a blank wall (see photo)
- FOOD: awesome flavors, lots of options, great menu. Now the UGLY – though this mama loooves the whole concept of “Family Style/Southern style sharing”, their take at this time is very misleading. The portions, both the “small shares” and the “big shares” were way too small (especially for the price). Upon recommendation of the waitstaff and explanation of the menu, we definitely didn’t order enough for our hearty appetites. May just be because we have roots in Ohio and have lived in the South, but when a restaurant says “fit for sharing”, we expect sharing size portions and not tapas styles “sharing”. I think we would have been fine with it, if our expectations weren’t BIG.
- SERVICE: bar service was great! waiter was fine. chef came out and apologized for the wait on our brussels sprouts, and gave us the cracklins which was a super plus. hostess was courteous, but something was off — we waited well over 2 hours, while other people that came in after us (without reservations) got seated before us. Luckily we weren’t in a rush and not in a pissy mood.
- AMBIANCE: perfect. Rustic atmosphere, but still clean and put together.
- Run Passion Run – AMAZING if you like savory/salty. Still a nice amount of sweet, but it has a kick (Sriracha hot sauce in it!)
- Smoked Pear – smoky little piece of heaven
- Porkchop – good, but way sweeter than I was expecting. With a name like Porkchop, I was expecting something heartier
- Southern Peach – light & refreshing
- Fried Green Tomato BLT – delicious, wish there was more.
- Brussels Sprout Leaves – to die for. give them to me now.
- Shrimp ‘N Grits – creamy, savory, perfect texture and shrimp with a nice bite to them – not overcooked
- Mama’s Chicken Biscuits – we loved you, but there wasn’t enough!
- Farmhouse Casserole – good flavor, but if I had to choose, this would be my least fave. Probably because there is no meat!
- Boiled peanuts (on the house) – a nice touch. very meaty and well flavored.
- Pork cracklin’s (on the house) – naughty and amazing. we tried to figure out what the distinct citrusy/vinegary flavor was on top, but to no avail.