Well, it's my last day in Miami. I am devastated to leave and not just because the weather is beautiful (which it is). This week I have been able to spend so much quality time with my family, explore new neighborhoods, enjoy live music, eat like a queen, and most importantly - relax. Before I fly back to reality this afternoon, I wanted to share one last review with you.
Sunday morning the whole family headed to South Beach for brunch at Yardbird. Not even two weeks ago my parents, my sister and her boyfriend had been there for dinner and knew immediately they wanted me to experience it. Since the dinner menu didn't have many vegetarian offerings, they asked the waiter if they offered brunch. Sure enough, they do!
Yardbird is located on the corner of 16th Street and Lenox Ave, just one block away from Lincoln Road.
Though Lincoln Road is a bustling, pedestrian, shopping mecca, somehow Yardbird's street is completely tranquil. Check out that blue sky!
Out front, Yardbird has a tropically landscaped patio.
We had a reservation for 11:00am and when we arrived, we were the only diners. The hostess sat my family in a beautiful, round, gray leather booth, right in the front of the restaurant.
Before sitting down I ran around taking pictures. The restaurant is so beautiful! In the front corner, there is the bar and a group of high top tables. Over the high top tables is an incredible light fixture made of glasses jars with filaments inside. I don't know what it is with me, but lately I have become obsessed with lighting.
The main part of the restaurant, the dining room, has a mix of high tables and low tables. There is an entire section of just two tops.
In the main dining room the kitchen is open, which makes you feel like you are part of the cooking experience. I really loved that.
When I sat down, my napkin ring barked at me, "Elbows off the table!" How funny!
The Yardbird brunch menu is quite large. They recommend ordering what they called "the Southern Table" which is ordering a few items to share. We were each excited by totally different things, so we decided to go rogue and ordered whatever we each, individually wanted.
My mom and dad each started their meal with coffee which came in the most charming presentation. I love the milk bottle!
I ordered a cocktail (hello, vacation) called the Southern Peach which was peach puree, sweet tea and bourbon. Yes, please! The cocktail was the perfect mix of sweet and refreshing. You could definitely taste the bourbon!
I loved the presentation of the mason jar, the lemon slice and the spring of herb.
It took us quite a while to decide what to order since we were all so intrigued by every single offering! After we placed our order, our waiter informed us that the food comes out as it is ready, so we might not all receive our plates at the same time. I could see the look of concern on my sister's boyfriend's hungry face!
My plate arrived first which was the farmer's salad. The salad was packed with delicious goodies: cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado (my fave), carrots and grilled corn. It was topped with a hard boiled egg and a very thin slice of crusty bread. It was fantastic! Everything was super fresh and the dressing was excellent.
Since we were in a southern comfort food place, I had to order a side of the cheddar and chive grits! The grits actually tasted a bit burnt to me, but it was still worth the five or six bites.
Next to me, my father ordered the country ham and cheese sandwich. It arrived in all its glory, garnished with a side of fresh pineapple. My father, thinking ahead, ordered a side of eggs (over easy) and as soon as they arrived, he put them right on top of his ham and cheese sandwich.
He was so proud of this creation that he elbowed me, "Moll, come on! Get a shot of this!"
Next to him, my sister's boyfriend ordered the sausage biscuits which came with a side of pickled vegetables.
While he loved his choice, he kept staring at my dad's sandwich. Half way through each of their plates they decided to switch!
My sister went with the BLT benedict biscuits, hollandaise sauce on the side. Her eggs looked so perfect!
Lastly, my mother ordered the big ol' stack of waffles which came topped with blueberries, candied pecans, creme fraiche and a side of more blueberry syrup! Everyone at the table wanted a bite of that.
The waffle was sublime and the blueberry syrup really put it over the edge. If you like sweet things for brunch, this is your dish!
Not wanting to be left out of the bacon situation, my mom ordered a side of that too. When I asked why it didn't look like regular bacon she said, "Because it's pork belly." Well then!
After our plates were cleared our waiter asked if we were interested in dessert. We were all stuffed, but when he said one of the options was milk and cookies, we were sold.
The dessert plate included mint infused milk, two oatmeal raisin cookies, a chocolate chip cookie and a whoopie pie.
The oatmeal raisin cookies were the stand out. The chocolate chip cookie was a weak attempt and the whoopie pie was hard, instead of cakey, which is just not right.
I will say, that mint infused milk was delicious, inspired and perfect for dunking! I want to find out how to do this myself!
In addition to the exceptional food and atmosphere at Yardbird, I was also impressed by the staff. As I said, my family had been there two weeks ago and when their server from their last visit saw them, he came right over and said hello, shook their hands, and asked how our Thanksgiving was. He stopped by two more times during the meal to check on us and seemed genuinely invested in us having a wonderful, second experience. I wasn't even at that first dinner and I felt like he and I were friends.
Before leaving my mother said, "Come to the bathroom with me and bring your camera." As we walked back toward the ladies room she said, "Look! I knew you'd want to take a picture of this sign." See below what she was pointing to:
I love this! So true.
I was also glad to have my camera for the ladies room because it was beautiful! This actually reminded me of the bathroom at The Farm in Los Angeles.
As I was getting ready to leave and head back to our table, when I grabbed the door handle I realized it was a rolling pin! What a clever touch!
If you're visiting Miami, Yardbird is an absolute must. The food and drinks are oustanding, the restaurant itself is beautiful and the service is superb. Instead of dining at one of the crowded, over priced places on Lincoln Road, walk the one block to Yardbird. You'll be so glad you did.