This month, The Confidante Hotel on Collins and 40th rolled out some new programs that were part of a welcomed revamp at the mid-century modern hotel. Bird and Bone is the new restaurant on the hotel grounds. You will also find a wellness program that includes ocean-side yoga classes, bootcamp and more. The wellness program is complimentary for hotel guests and $20 otherwise. The hotel, which is part of the Unbound collection by Hytatt, boasts retro, vintage charm. Think Americana meets Art Deco.
Eager to try out Chef Richard Hales' newest venture, Bird and Bone (mostly because I love Blackbrick, his other successful Miami restaurant), we made our way to Miami Beach to try out some country cooking and cocktails from Nina's House.
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The restaurant has an outdoor dining area filled with string lights, patinaed mason jars and wooden beams. The fare is traditional country cuisine served with imagination and heart. The ambiance is great, especially in the patio area. All poultry is organic and all meat is responsibly raised. The entrees and sides are large, ensuring that you don't leave hungry. The prices are reasonable, for a restaurant that's located in a hotel on the Beach.
Our dining experience began on a sour note, with our server informing us that while the menu featured stone crabs, pork ribs, and several draft beers, they were out of them. Not a great way to start a Friday night meal. Also, thinking that this would be one of the busier nights, stocking your mains should be a priority, right?
|Outdoor dining area at Bird and Bone|
Appetizers: Having read great reviews about the Cheddar and Chive Biscuits ($8 for four), we knew we had to try them. They were served in a cast-iron tray which gave us high hopes that they would be melty, gooey and hot...they weren't. They were room temp. They still tasted great, with a good mix of texture and seasoned, soft dough. They were served with a side of sweet and tangy strawberry preserves.
|Cheddar and Chive Biscuits at Bird and Bone|
Next, we sampled The Jars ($25), a creative appetizer and a good way to get a variety of flavors going, all at once. This was composed of freshly toasted Masa Chips, and three dippers: ricotta cheese, avocado and egg salad. I love the idea of having three options for dips! These were very good and great alternative to basic chips and salsa. The ricotta was fresh, the avocado had a delicious sweetness and the egg salad was topped with cured ham crumbles. The portions were large, so we needed an extra order of chips with ours. We waited 15 minutes for the second order of chips. We were told that they're made-to-order, so there's a bit of a wait time associated with them. The second batch of chips was piping hot, and liberally seasoned.
|The Jars at Bird and Bone|
For our entrees we chose The Hot Nashville Chicken ($23) and the Duck ($32). Although we waited significantly for them (30 minutes plus), they were delicious. The chicken was served on a bed of white Zak the Baker bread, drizzled with Florida Honey and house mustard, topped with pickles. The flavor was wonderful! The seasoning of the Nashville Chicken was enough to make me go back, despite the obstacles (wait time) and growing pains (discrepancy between the menu and what was available, waiters bringing us food, not knowing what the dish was) at this restaurant. The seasoning was perfection. The breading was crispy, with a slight stickiness that was heaven. The chicken was also very juicy and tender. This was my absolute favorite of the night. Amazing stuff.
|Nashville Hot Chicken at Bird and Bone|
The duck was the same high quality as the chicken. Pure comfort food. Also fried, the breading was light and perfect. The meat was very flavorful, and not gamey, just really well seasoned and well cooked. These two dishes were large and worth the money - you could easily share an entree and split some sides, and be set.
|Duck at Bird and Bone|
|Duck at Bird and Bone|
We paired our fried goodness with White Corn Grits ($8) and Mushrooms topped with Fried Kale Chips ($8). The grits were served in a heaping pile, and were hearty (definitely enough to share), but again, served room temperature - not hot. I would recommend the grits but not the mushrooms because they were served in a gravy that was a bit watered down, and lacked flavor.
|White Corn Grits at Bird and Bone|
My recommendation? Go with a laid-back attitude; don't schedule anything after dinner, be willing to wait a bit, because the star on the menu, the Nashville Hot Chicken, is worth it.
After dinner, we headed to Nina's House, a bar inside a 1930's house, located behind the restaurant and hotel. Nina's House is not only a bar! You can also get your taco fix while sipping on cocktails made from fresh juices. This was a great way to end the night. The interiors were spot on, and it just had the coolest vibe and people. The DJ was spinning awesome music (insiders say Thursdays are their best nights). Find a comfy spot in a lounge chair, nestled in the back, order The Globetrotter, and zone out.
|The Globe and The Globetrotter|
TFE Disclosure: Our dining and cocktail experience was on the house.