Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Mama’s Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter and Strawberry Jam
Fried Pickles with Housemade Ranch
Low + Slow Smoked Chicken Salad – Hass Avocado, Fried Cornbread, Caper Housemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Smoked & Roasted Bone Marrow – Onion Marmalade, Tomato Jam, Pickled Onions and Okra, Grilled Toasted Country Bread
Buffalo Frog Legs – Creole Remoulade
Chica Arepas – Lime Cream, Radish, Jalapeno, Fresh White Cheese
Whole Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken with Family Style Macaroni & Cheese – Torchio Pasta, Five Artisan Cheeses, Crispy Herb Crust
Loaded Brisket Fries – Bacon Salt, Five-Cheese Sauce, House Smoked Brisket, Diced Pickles and Onions
Southern Chicken Chile Verde – Green and Red Chili Peppers, Creamy Nora Mill Grits, Pulled Smoked Chicken, Charred Tomatoes and Scallions
Skillet Cornbread – Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, Jalapeno, Honey Maple Butter
Velvet & Berries – Creamy Red Velvet Cheesecake, Sweet Macerated Berries, Cream Cheese Mousse
Skillet Blueberry Pie – Butter Lattice, Vanilla Ice Cream
Birthday Platter – Chess Pie, Mango Sorbet, Mississippi Mud Pie, Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwich
Entering Yardbird for late Brunch on 2/25/17, a 3:00pm arrival time with two others seeing the group seated amidst a half-filled room that was apparently jammed prior and soon to fill up again, it was as part of an elongated birthday celebration that Chefs Sandra Palomo and Keris Kuwana again rolled out the Red Carpet, the restaurant that has been a favorite for over two years breaking out several items from the “Secret Menu” and some soon-to-arrive specials.
Changed little since opening, save for the staff, Sin City’s steady stream of tourists allowing the restaurant to impress new guests with the same menu week after week, it was admittedly having communicated with the Chefs that no menu was presented after the party got situated in a high-top towards the bar area beneath songs by everyone from B.B. King to The Raconteurs, Chef Palomo soon to take a short break in her busy life to stop by and offer greetings…and the world’s best Biscuits.
Part chuckling after a longtime server inquired as to whether this was the group’s first visit, actually the 14th which marks it the most frequently attended eatery in Endoedibles archives, it was not long after the first buttery cube was slathered with Butter and Jam that two additional plates arrived, the thinly sliced Fried Pickles succeeding where other preparations have failed thanks to the light batter and quality of house-brining, the Low + Slow Chicken Salad introduced by former Chef Todd Harrington as cool and fresh as ever in three portions, the Fried Cornbread forshadowing dinner dishes to be offered later and the creamy Ranch Dressing accompanying both making the American staple a standard-bearer by way of the briny Capers.
Still not cutting corners, most of the recipes taking extra steps to assure their quality including house-made Pickles and Jams plus the decision to smoke Bone Marrow when lesser-kitchens would simply grill it and send it out, it was much to the Child of the group’s surprise that both the creamy spread and a follow-up of Spicy Frog Legs were not only edible, but “awesome,” the typically light eater taking down three pieces from the Amphibian and then seen wiping out the center of a bone with toasted Bread.
Bringing out one member of the opening team at Chica, a second restaurant from 50Eggs slated to open next-door this Spring, it was to the surprise of all that three Arepas soon to be cooked under the direction of Mike Minor were offered, the toasty Cornmeal pockets filled with Fresh Cheese brightened up by Citrus, Radish and a bit of sliced Jalapeno heat.
Already a bit full from Breakfast, and acknowledging that there was little chance of consuming everything the restaurant was served, the Entrée course was truly an embarrassment of riches better suited for six adults than two plus a Child, a perfect golden Bird served whole with a cauldron of Macaroni and Cheese alongside it while the crisp Hand-cut fries were overloaded in Cheese and Brisket plus diced pickles to add some balance, the off-menu Southern Chicken Chile Verde putting Yardbird’s smoker through the paces before Chicken is lightly shredded and cooked down with Green and Red Chili Peppers plus Tomatoes and Charred Scallions before being poured over stick-a-spoon-up-straight Grits.
Unable to put much of a dent in the Cornbread, about 1/3 of the toothsome spoon-bread finished with the Mains plus a few scoops more enjoyed with extra Honey Butter as Dessert, Chef Keris again pulled out all the stops by presenting both old and new favorites to end the meal, a Red Velvet Cheesecake added last-second from memory since she knew one guest loves the stuff while a “Happy Birthday” slate featured a Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwich, the soon-to-debut Mississippi Mud Pie in a Pot and sticky-sweet Chess that continues to make David Chang and Christina Tossi’s ‘Crack Pie’ irrelevant before literally raising eyebrows across the room by way of innumerable still-bubbling Blueberries beneath an all-Butter Lattice in an sizable cast iron skillet.
FIVE STARS: Soon bringing the Southern Table & Bar to Singapore and Beverley Hills while Spring Chicken’s takeover continues to evolve in South Florida, Yardbird has already outlasted neighboring Daniel Boulud and shows no signs of slowing in the face of Sugarcane, the ‘high prices’ complained about in the past suddenly seeming all the more unfounded as Momofuku sells fried Chicken and Caviar for nearly 10x the price while the team in the kitchen remains a passionate group always willing to go the extra mile with a dining experience that continues to benefit from their commitment.
RECOMMENDED: Mama’s Buttermilk Biscuits, Chess Pie, Low + Slow Smoked Chicken Salad, Smoked and Roasted Bone Marrow, Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken, Skillet Cornbread. Southern Chicken Chile Verde and obviously the Pie (if available.)
AVOID: I remain unconvinced by the Macaroni and Cheese, though the same sauce tastes pretty great on the loaded Brisket Fries as a result of the diced Pickles which seem to add a bit of levity to an otherwise hefty dish.
TIP: Brunch till 4 o’clock on weekends where the Biscuits, Fried Chicken and Gravy remain an off-menu special available to all.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.