Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Coffee and Cocktails
Buttermilk Biscuits with Housemade Apple Butter and Honey Butter
Warm Farmer’s Cheese & Watermelon – lemon oil, sea salt
Low + Slow Smoked Chicken Salad – Hass avocado, fried cornbread, fried capers, house-made buttermilk ranch dressing
Vermont White Cheddar and Fried Chicken Skin Sandwich with Creamy Dill Tomato Soup
Egg & Sausage Biscuit – fried egg, house-made sausage, ‘merican cheese, heirloom tomato
Chicken Fried Steak with Biscuits and Chipotle Country Gravy, Overeasy Eggs, Corn Grits
Chicken n’ Watermelon n’ Waffles – Fried Chicken, Hot Sauce Honey, Spiced Watermelon, Cheddar Cheese Chow Chow Waffle, Bourbon Maple Syrup
‘77 Elvis Pancakes – chocolate chip pancakes, banana compote, bourbon maple syrup, peanut butter
Char-Grilled Churrasco – sunny side up farm fresh eggs, bacon hash brown potato cake, grilled green onion, sour cream
Strawberry Shortcake – Vanilla Cake, Strawberry Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream, Sorgum Chantilly, Orange Strawberry Sauce
Cornmeal Chess Pie – Sorghum Chantilly, Caramel Sauce, Caramel Pretzel, Popcorn
Figgy Pudding with Graham Cracker Streusel and Brown Butter Ice Cream
Hummingbird Cake – Cream Cheese Icing, Caramelized Pineapple, Banana Pecan Ice Cream
S’mores brownie – Charred Marshmallow, Graham Cracker Ice Cream, Hot Chocolate Sauce
Bacon-Butterscotch Cake with Bacon Frosting, Pecan Pie Filling, and Bourbon Bacon Ice Cream
Days before the announcement that Todd Harrington, the man who helped to hatch Yardbird Las Vegas just after the start of 2015, was leaving 50-Eggs for a dream job it was with family and friends that another great meal was enjoyed overlooking the pass at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in the Venetian, the kitchen under Chef Melvin Johnson still in very competent hands without a doubt.
Having again arranged for a Chef’s Choice tasting, the new menu augmented with several of Johnson and pastry Chef Vivian Chang’s newest inspirations, details of the exemplary service and setting can easily be gleaned from several previous reviews ever since the restaurant’s beginning, the classic plates still every but as down-home and delicious as ever while five new items shows the kitchen unwilling to rest on its laurels, ever creative and equally exciting.
Starting off with cocktails and coffee, the bourbon menu growing with each successive meal, it was by the best biscuits in all the land that palates were primed for tasting, the follow-ups of warm farmer’s cheese thrilling my aunt who reminisced of the bites from Miami while the Low and Slow Chicken Salad created by Hollingsworth showed no signs of disappearing anytime soon, the crispy cornbread even sweeter than usual in the late summer season.
Chuckling at the audacity of Melvin’s spin on grilled cheese even before taking a bite, the buttered sourdough and sharp cheddar upgraded exponentially by crispy bits of lightly-spiced chicken skin that was great on its own but even better when dipped in tangy tomato soup, it was next in the don’t-you-dare-call-it-a-McMuffin Housemade Sausage Biscuit that bites were invested, the spice mix and heirloom tomatoes playing point-counterpoint with creamy cheddar and yolky golden eggs.
Still all about the fried bird from Mary’s Free Range and the sort of savory waffles that continue to make one wish for a Yardbird cookbook soon, suffice it to say that the lean flank steak coated in Yardbird’s buttermilk batter fries up just as exquisitely as the chicken while grits and smoky country gravy were reference standard iterations, the marinated Churrasco with hash another well-seasoned dish that commanded extra bites even as stomachs were nearing full, with desserts still to come.
Always able to muster up a little extra room for sweets from Chef Chang, a woman who I continue to say deserves a look from The James Beard Foundation for the quality and breadth of skills displayed across nearly a dozen items per day, it should seem obvious at this point that everything offered represented the highest expression of upscale Southern Desserts, a seasonal Figgy Pudding no less impressive as the British classic was served in hot cast iron with streusel used to shield slowly melting housemade ice cream overhead.
FIVE STARS: Already hearing naysayers suggest that Yardbird is poised to fall from its perch with the departure of Todd, those in the know will realize that a group like 50 Eggs was likely aware of the decision far enough in advance to have implemented both good systems and fail-safes, the presence of Melvin and Vivian no doubt two of them with Harrington’s stamp and strong work ethic not soon to fade.
RECOMMENDED: Biscuits, Low & Slow Chicken Salad, Fried Chicken and Waffles, Chess Pie, Hummingbird Cake, Specials.
TIP: Pay attention to online menus as certain items are only available at Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner with Brunch Service running Friday through Sunday.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor