Yardbird Southern Table + Bar
Deviled Eggs – Dill, Chives, Smoked Trout Roe / Fried Green Tomato BLT – House smoked Pork Belly, Pimento Cheese, Frisee, Smoky Tomato Jam, Lemon Vinaigrette
Classic Buttermilk Biscuits – Honey Butter, Apple Butter
Kids Swine Burger Sliders – Short Rib and Chuck Blend, ‘Merican Cheese, House Fries, Ketchup
Peppered Gnocchi Pot Pie – Wild Mushrooms, Sage, Mama’s Biscuit Crust
Fried Chicken Breast – 27-hour brined and fried, Honey Hot Sauce
Crispy Brussels – Spiced Honey
Cowboy Steak – 20oz Bone-In Cowboy Ribeye, Red Eye Steak Rub, Yardbird Butter, Buttered Potatoes
Shrimp n’ Grits – Seared Shrimp, Roasted Tomatoes, Virginia Ham, Red Onions, Nora Mill Grits, PBR Chicken Jus
Chicken n’ Watermelon n’ Waffles – Honey Hot Sauce, Chilled Spiced Watermelon, Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese Waffle, Bourbon Maple Syrup
Macaroni & Cheese – Torchio Pasta, Five Artisanal Cheeses, Crispy Herb Crust (+Pork Belly)
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes – Whipped and Roasted Garlic
Skillet Cornbread – Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, Jalapeno, Honey Maple Butter
Maple Glazed Bacon Brioche Donuts – Bacon Bits, Butterscotch Sauce
Cornmeal Chess Pie – Sorghum Chantilly, Caramel Sauce, Caramel Pretzel, Popcorn
Deep Fried Oreos – Rice Crispy Doughnut Dough Fried Oreos, Oreo Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce
Chocolate Nutella Cake – Candied Hazelnuts, Chocolate Nutella Mousse
With the recent opening of Chica less than a hundred yards away and Yardbird locations in Beverley Hills as well as Singapore coming soon it would seem that 50Eggs is in full expansion mode for 2017, a brunch look at the Lorena Garcia concept a week prior proving fairly disappointing despite hiring a top-notch Chef like Mike Minor while Yardbird Southern Table + Bar’s recent menu changes also seem somewhat misguided, the ‘Southern Hospitality’ naming of Mama’s Biscuits replaced by the word “classic” while items like the Low n’ Slow Chicken Salad and Smoked Bone Marrow are now gone in favor of “Carolina Q Tuna” and Burnt Ends.
Admittedly a fan and frequent visitor to Sin City’s best choice for Southern Food since day one, everything from Friends and Family and the Grand Opening Party in January 2015 to a fourteenth visit prior to birthday #37 in late February proving delicious and well made even as the restaurant has transitioned through a handful of Chefs, it was with an old friend in town that four guests once again sat down at a table towards the back of the restaurant, Chef Sandra Palomo still present at the end of a long shift and ever pleasant, as was the thin African American server who played up the Southern Hospitality with great enthusiasm.
Deferring carte blanche to the kitchen with a focus on mixing classics and new items, this the first visit for one in the party, it was with waters poured and napkin rings cleared that the meal got started mere minutes after sitting down, the aforementioned Biscuits still ‘a rose by any other name’ best-in-America contender with seasonal Apple Butter while the famous Deviled Eggs and Fried Green Tomato BLT have not changed a bit, though it would still be fantastic to see the restaurant offer the fantastic Pimento Cheese as a spread for the Biscuits, or as they do it down South with a sleeve of Saltine Crackers.
Specially preparing a quartet of plain “Swineburger” sliders for the youngster at the table, nothing but the juicy Patties and melted Cheese on Grilled Rolls with a side of Fries, adults were treated to the newly launched “Peppered Gnocchi Pot Pie” that comes up a bit short in terms of texture while going all in on tender Mushrooms in Sage Gravy, the addition of a Fried Chicken Breast raising the bar significantly for those who aren’t practicing Vegetarians while the Carnivorous and Omnivores alike should be impressed by the crispy Brussels Sprouts in Spicy Honey that come in a sharable portion for just ten dollars.
Understandably catering to all tastes and demographics given their location in Venetian’s Restaurant Row, though it could just as easily be argued that Chica also serves Steak – as do Delmonico, Morels and Carnevino down the way – another of Yardbird’s new items arrived next in the form of a 20oz Bone-In Ribeye grilled medium and topped with Compound Butter, the added Herbs penetrating deep into the flesh and yielding one fine piece of Meat while the Shrimp n’ Grits, Chicken n’ Watermelon n’ Waffles and Cornbread Skillet all remain rightfully unchanged, the Macaroni and Cheese given a much needed kick by diced Pork Bely while the chunky Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes present a good choice for those watching their calories with just a bit of salt and plenty of Roasted Garlic.
Not changing Desserts as frequently as it did under former Pastry Chef Vivian Chang, the focus on creating a menu that can be standardized from Miami to Los Angeles to Singapore making ideas like Hummingbird Cake or Crunch n’ Munch Bread Pudding a thing of the past, Keris Kuwana’s Chocolate Nutella Cake nonetheless continues to set a high standard for Chocolate Cake on The Strip while Yardbird Classics like the Maple Glazed Bacon Brioche Donuts, Deep Fried Oreos and usually Brunch-only Cornmeal Chess Pie will hopefully never be lost to a decision made by corporate.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Still a great restaurant with wonderful Chefs, dedicated servers and a good vibe it would do Yardbird a world of good to look at their history before stepping so boldly into the future, a few small tweaks always a good idea but moving away from the “Southern Hospitality” concept in favor of dishes that are ubiquitously found less than a football field away just the sort of ‘towards the middle’ thinking that shuttered several of Michael Mina’s Las Vegas restaurants and got Daniel Boulud into trouble at DB Brasserie.
RECOMMENDED: Classic Buttermilk Biscuits, Crispy Brussels, Skillet Cornbread, Cornmeal Chess Pie, Chicken n’ Watermelon n’ Waffles, Shrimp n’ Grits.
AVOID: N/A, though the Steak was a fairly fatty cut at its center which, along with the bone, makes the edible portion closer to 12oz while the Pot Pie could use a contrasting texture beyond the now inconsistently named “Mama’s Biscuit” crust to help offset the mushiness.
TIP: Yardbird Beverley Hills is scheduled to open 2nd half of 2017 at Beverley Center as part of a $500,000,000.00 renovation.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.