It took a visit to Bird & Bone restaurant to get me to leave the mainland of Miami and hit up South Beach; it’s a different world over there. I’ve been a fan of Chef Richard Hales, or as I refer to him, Sir Richard since Sakaya Kitchen rocked my world for the first time years ago.
His new restaurant, Bird & Bone, is at the Confidante Hotel in Miami Beach. There is valet parking, and a few blocks away is a parking garage if that’s more your speed. I gladly chose valet (which can get validated) and waltzed right in.
There is some limited seating inside, but I opt to sit outdoors under the canopy type roofing. There’s a gentle breeze during lunchtime, plus the pictures will look much better if taken with natural light.
I’m by myself, which means my wife Marcela will not try to convince me to order in a more civilized manner, full BEAST mode here. It sounds crazy, but I order 3 Starters, 3 Tacos, 3 Sandwiches, and 3 Desserts.
GET THIS PARTY STARTED
The starters were the cheddar & chive biscuits, the country ham & cheese board plus the egg salad jar. Those cheddar & chive biscuits with Wife Hales’ strawberry preserves were heaven. The ham and cheese board, something I rarely order, made my day with the jalapeño jelly. As for the egg salad, my mom makes my favorite egg salad, BUT this one is pretay pretay good plus those heirloom corn chips were out of this world.
TRIO OF TACOS
There isn’t a Trio of Tacos. There are three tacos to choose from, it just so happens I ordered all three. The vegetarian option is the Rajas con Queso (poblano pepper, onion, Oaxaca cheese, lime crema); it was excellent. The beef option is the Steak Nina (cumin-spiced skirt, scallion, Oaxaca cheese, jalapeno verde), and the poultry option is the Chef Hales’ Hot Chicken Taco (hot fried chicken, Florida honey, house mustard, pickles). If I had to choose a winner, gun to my head since I liked all three tacos, I’d say the Steak Nina taco takes it with its seasoning.
On the sandwich side, I’ll start with the Cubano grilled cheese (pulled pork, Benton’s ham, pickled red onion, Swiss cheese, house mustard, pickles). He could have just called it an empanada, and it’d still be great but a Cubano and a grilled cheese it’s not. It does come with a side of that killer Alabama white BBQ sauce, more on that shortly.
Chef Hales’ Hot Chicken Sandwich (hot spiced chicken tenders, honey, pickle, house mustard, lettuce, tomato on brioche) is next up. After I remove those offensive subjects (lettuce & tomato), I dig in for a big bite. The chicken tenders were moist, nicely breaded and tossed in a non-aggressive Hot Chicken sauce. You can get the heat level kicked up a little bit more. I can see why folks are raving about this fellow. Honorable mention to those addictive hot spiced waffle fries, damn you, Sir Richard!
I left the Bird & Bone Burger (double Angus beef patty, bacon, onion, Florida cheddar cheese, pickle, comeback sauce on brioche) for last. Before I go into my thoughts, I need to say it’s an excellent burger.
The onion slivers & Florida cheddar cheese separating the top and bottom was a great idea. There may have been a tad too many pickles, but that’s easily fixed, or maybe you like a bunch of pickles, and you’re ok with it. I would have skipped out on the bacon as I don’t think it needs it. What I found worked beautifully was the Alabama white BBQ sauce. I slathered some on the bottom bun alongside the comeback sauce, and you had a one-two punch that people won’t see coming. Trust me on this one.
Somehow I manage to order some *desserts. The fried apple pies are reminiscent of a particular fast-food chain that I know Sir Richard loved growing up; it won’t take rocket science to figure out this one. Even the hot spiced waffle fries seem to be a riff on that same place. No complaints here as I grew up eating it and enjoying that place too.
The chocolate bourbon cake is more my wife’s speed, plus it comes with Azucar Ice Cream, which Iove.
I saved the best for last, Wife Hales’ blueberry cookie. I took one bite and thought, my wife, is going to kill me if I don’t bring back the rest of this cookie, so I did.
I went all the way to Miami Beach like a big boy and enjoyed an excellent meal with exceptional service.
There’s also a breakfast and dinner menu left for me to tackle, so the adventure isn’t over yet. There is only one thing left to be said; I’ll be back.
Bird & Bone
4041 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33140
*All three of the desserts were on the house. I did pay for everything else if you’re keeping tabs at home.