Equipped with mason jar and peach basket light fixtures, bluesy tunes, and a bourbon supply straight out of a Kentucky storm shelter, Yardbird undoubtedly screams the South. Although Miami is the last city in the confederacy that crosses my mind when I think of fried chicken, I’d never commit a cardinal sin and order something other than the restaurant’s namesake.
I glanced at the brunch menu and quickly settled on Mama’s Chicken Biscuits and a side of Chilled Watermelon. The biscuit was flaky and doughy, but nothing earth shattering. And it shouldn’t be when the yardbird clearly is the star. The exterior of the chicken was extra crispy while the interior was succulent and seasoned with a little heat. For a harmonious union, the dish also comes with a side of pepper jelly and brine-y pickles. And the chilled watermelon was everything. Topped with some lemon juice, pepper, and fresh herbs, it was the perfect accompaniment to the savory chicken.
Touting a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in 2012 and Bon Appétit’s 50 Best New Restaurants in 2012, Yardbird lived up to the hype. I have often been unsatisfied by fried chicken at upscale casual restaurants, but this was all that and then some.
P.S. And if you have to wait for your table and there isn’t any room at the bar, walk next door and grab a cold one at Abbey Brewing Company. They are doing some amazing things with craft beer.
Yardbird Southern Table and Bar
1600 Lenox Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33139