Unbound: The Confidante Hotel on Miami Beach

There is “comfort food’’ and being “comfortable’’ with your food. Bird & Bone brings each to the fore at The Confidante Hotel on Miami Beach. Bird & Bone is acclaimed Chef Richard Hales’ latest example of the home-style cooking that has succeeded at his midtown Miami restaurants – Sakaya Kitchen and Blackbrick Chinese.


“Getting away from the generic’’ hotel cooking,  is the way Andrew Pittard, food and beverage director at Bird & Bone, describes restaurant, as well as Nina’s House.

“The most important thing is really looking at food and being comfortable with it,’’ Schiafone said. “Knowing that when you come here, you know you are going to eat something that’s been made with a lot of character.’’

Chef Richard Hales

That philosophy is a good fit with The Confidante and the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, which includes a portfolio of new and existing upper-upscale and luxury properties, each with a distinct character and individual brand identities.

Hyatt acquired The Confidante, formerly The Thompson, this past March. The 380-room hotel is one of the largest and most historic properties along the “Mid Beach’’ section of Miami Beach.  The Confidante originally opened as the 18-floor Lord Tarleton Hotel on Collins Avenue. In 1955, it reopened as the Crown Hotel and later was converted into a three-tower apartment building. Since 2014, the property has operated as Thompson Miami Beach hotel.

Hyatt doesn’t define any of the properties in its Unbound Collection as a “flagship,’’ but if it did, The Confidante, which features two swimming pools, a rooftop spa and direct beach access, would be it. The Confidante also has restaurants, including Bird & Bone and Nina’s, as well as Talde, celebrity chef Dale Talde’s eclectic Pan-Asian eatery.

Talde is managed and operated separately from Bird & Bone and Nina’s House, but each is a “must dine’’ experience.

“We want to be more hip. Afterall, this is The Confidante,’’ Schiafone said. “We thought, ‘Why not think outside the box? Let’s do it different.’’

Different begins with Bird & Bone’s Nashville Hot Spice Chicken – marinated in flour and buttermilk, then fried, dipped it in a hot spice and served with house made pickles and mustard. It’s the perfect lunch dish, particularly when served at a poolside cabana.

Want to stay with spice. Don’t pass on the Hot Spiced Hand Cut French Fries with Alabama White BBQ Sauce and the Nashville Hot Sweet Bread.

The American Country Ham Board with Pepper Jelly, House Pickles and Benne Seed Crackers is Hales’ outstanding take on a charcuterie plate.

Nina’s House amplifies the difference-making concept of The Confidante. Set in a 1930s-era home that was moved from across the street from The Confidante, Nina’s House was designed by Saladino Design Studio and is outfitted with surfboards, local artwork, hand-selected leather furnishings, and other bespoke touches.

My favorite? A picture of the Beastie Boys over the fireplace.

Nina’s House is open from 7 p.m. to midnight Thursday-Saturday and serves up some of the best street tacos and guacamole in South Florida.  It’s one more example of how The Confidante is making a difference in Miami Beach.

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