The Yardbird in Miami has been on my list of places to try since it opened in 2012. From the James Beard nominations to the write-ups in food magazines, everything was telling me that this was a restaurant I must try. So when I did a mini-vacation in Miami this summer, I knew I had to go.
From the moment I sat down, I knew I was in for a good meal. The menu said all the right things. Everything is made in-house, with many ingredients sourced from local farmers. Yardbird is a restaurant that takes Southern hospitality seriously, and the variety of dishes, both traditional and playful, made me wish I had more than one meal to try everything.
I started the meal with an Old Fashioned. Like the Ravenous Pig here in Orlando, they do bacon-infused bourbon and as expected, it was pretty darn tasty (though Rav Pig still has the upper hand in my opinion.) The drinks menu was quite impressive too with a full page devoted to cocktails and full page to bourbon and whiskey, not to mention a decent selection of beer and wine.
From there I moved on to appetizers/small plates, trying everything from feta/watermelon salad (tasty) and chicken liver toasts (crazy delicious) to the fried green tomatoes with pork belly and pimento cheese, a super yummy concoction that was a little rich, but oh so good. The only miss for me in this round was the chicken biscuits. The chicken was really well made and super crunchy, but the dish was a little too dry. The pepper jelly and pickles that came with it were awesome, but the proportions of breading and biscuit made for a pretty dry bite, even though the chicken was juicy.
I ordered shrimp and grits as my entree. Like the fired green tomatoes, this was another rich dish, but the shrimp was cooked perfectly and the grits were buttery and delicious. Dessert was a house made ice cream sandwich, tasty, but nothing special. In fact, the cookies were a bit hard which made the ice cream seep out, you couldn't really get a bite with the perfect proportion of cookie to ice cream. Service was warm, although as the place quickly filled, it became less attentive than optimal.
Overall, it was a very filling and satisfying meal. High quality ingredients and solid cooking made it worth every penny. There were many more dishes I wish I could've tried (not to mention all the cocktails) so I'd be very happy to return.
1600 Lenox Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Labels: Miami, Restaurants