By Mitchell Nover
At The Confidante Miami Beach, Bird & Bone (4041 Collins Ave, Miami Beach) is the latest brainchild from Chef Richard Hales (of Sakaya Kitchen and Blackbrick fame). Designed to highlight the best of the American culinary landscape, the menu reflects the heart and soul of traditional country cuisine with locally-sourced ingredients from independent small farms and organic butchers that illuminate Chef Hales’ passion for Southern dining.
Menu highlights: The appetizer jars are a fun start to the Bird & Bone meal, earning extra marks for presentation creativity. The stack of three comes with a side of heirloom corn chips for dipping, and includes: Avocado (with blue cheese, honey, and almonds); Egg Salad (with Benton’s 12-month aged ham); and Whipped Sheep’s Milk Ricotta (with pepper jelly).
Although everyone loves “the bird,” “the bone” also deserves some recognition at Bird & Bone. Specifically, the Lamb Ribs with cumin spice and cilantro aioli. Tender, fall off the bone, and full of delicious lamb gaminess, these ribs are pure Southern comfort.
Neither bird nor bone, the Crispy Skin Snapper is a good choice for any diners looking to keep it a little bit on the lighter side. Accompanied by whipped potatoes, tomato gravy, and heirloom green beans, it’s about as healthy as homestyle Southern cooking gets.
For dessert, I opted for the Hot Fudge Sundae. Despite the fact that there are certainly more creative and interesting dessert options on the menu, this one just felt right for the end of this specific meal. I mean, has a hot fudge sundae ever let you down?
Standout dish: Bird is the word at Bird & Bone. Heck, it’s in the name. Regardless of anything else you order, you can’t properly experience this restaurant without a taste of the Nashville Hot Chicken. Beautifully crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, the spice on the fry pairs perfectly with the sweet Florida honey, tangy house mustard, and cool cucumber pickle. Drop it all on top of a fresh slice of Zak the Baker country bread and…BAM!
Got room for one more bite? For a bonus standout, try the Florida Cheddar and Chive Biscuits because what’s fried chicken without a biscuit (or four)? These buttery bundles of carbohydrate joy are baked to order, served hot, and accompanied by Chef Hales’ wife’s strawberry preserves.
Are we boozing? Bird & Bone features a cocktail menu of down home, backyard style drinks. The Apple Cider Sangria seems the most apropos, with Midnight Moon Apple Pie Moonshine, white wine, spiced apple cider, and orange.
Check this place out if you like: The Local. Serving Southern classics with a gastropub twist, Chef Phil Bryant’s food would definitely fit nicely on the Bird & Bone menu, and vice verse. Especially the Fried Chicken N’ Pancakes – a can’t miss if you head over to Coral Gables for Sunday brunch.
Mitch’s take: Bird & Bone is a departure from what has made Chef Richard Hales a household name around the Magic City. Some may be surprised to see him moving from Asian fusion to Southern comfort, but I absolutely loved it. Both the menu and the ambiance at The Confidante give off a relaxed, yet refined vibe that was so welcoming, warm, and just plain yummy.