To many people in Miami Beach, “Southern’’ cooking means the swordfish ceviche that is served on Collins Ave., south of Lincoln Road.
But to me, Southern cooking in Miami Beach means Chef Richard Hales’ terrific c Bird & Bone restaurant inside The Confidante Miami Beach hotel. Three words that best describe Bird & Bone? Nashville Hot Chicken. From the Florida honey to the house mustard to the cucumber pickle, nobody in South Florida does it quite as good as Hales. His Nashville Hot Chicken is a “must have’’ at Bird & Bone. And if you’re like me, you might have it each visit.
Hales is among the chefs for the Feb. 24 “Chicken Coupe’’ event at the W Miami Beach for this week’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
Want a real post-festival treat? Rent a cabana at The Confidante and order the Hot Chicken Sandwich delivered poolside. Miami Beach never taste to so good.
“The chicken is amazing,’’ said Bird & Bone manager Kemp Dowdy one recent Sunday in a packed dining room. “We serve it all three meals. At dinner dime you can get chicken and waffles – and it’s a popular enough dish that people do.’’
Bird & Bone, however, is more than just chicken. For example, the giant Roasted Pork Shank (with blueberry BBQ sauce) on the inner menu is off the charts good; and the Shrimp & Sea Island Heirloom Grits with Head-On Prawn, Andouille Sausage and Pickled Okra is a classic Southern dish that even non-grits aficionados will love.
“People don’t even know they’re grits,’’ Dowdy said.
For lunch (in addition to the Nashville Hot Chicken), don’t pass on the Florida Cheddar & Chive Biscuits or the Key West Shrimp. My brunch favorite? Definitely the Chicken Fried Steak.
Bird & Bone celebrated its first anniversary in The Confidante this past December.
“We’re a relatively new concept,’’ Dowdy said. “There still is a lot of room for growth, but so far, the restaurant has done really well.’’
And it all begins with three words: Nashville Hot Chicken.