Southern hospitality, fried chicken and waffles and down-home cooking made their way to Las Vegas with the opening of Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, a Miami import, at the Venetian Las Vegas.
The most important thing to know: There are four types of fried chicken on the menu, including Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken that's made using a recipe passed down from owner John Kunkel’s grandmother.
As a kid, she would pack this dish up for the car ride home from South Carolina, but Kunkel says he usually ate it all before hitting the end of her driveway.
Fried frog legs, deviled eggs piled high with double the egg yolk and redneck caviar (also known as smoked trout roe), fried bread and butter pickle spears, and a fried green tomato BLT stacked high bring the Southern spirit to this restaurant.
For Vegas, the second location for Yardbird, Harrington introduced an 18-ounce smoked Niman Ranch tomahawk pork chop, presented at the table whole and then sliced in the kitchen, as well as a barbecue chicken fitting for any long summer night in the backyard.
And then there's the ice -- five different types carved by hand.
Each is specific to a cocktail. So a 2-inch block goes with the Watermelon Sling with whiskey, while the Yardbird Old Fashioned, a Southern spin on the classic but with bacon-infused Buffalo Trace bourbon and maple syrup, gets a 2-inch sphere.
More than 100 whiskeys, all from the United States, make the list while Nevada craft beers such as Sin City Brewing Co.’s Never Pass Up a Blonde and Joseph James Brewing Co.’s Icky IPA sit on the draft pulls.
On tap for the weekends, brunch with big waffles, chicken biscuits and a quiche of the day every Friday through Sunday. Try the maple glazed bacon doughnut or chocolate chunk sour cream coffee cake to get rid of that Vegas hangover in a snap.
Yardbird sits along restaurant row between the Venetian and Palazzo in a setting outfitted with wood reclaimed from old barns, pickled vegetables in jars, chicken wire windows and a chalkboard with drawing by Harrington himself over the open kitchen.
Kunkel unleashed 75 pieces his collection of John R. Hamilton black-and-white photography from the 1940s to ’90s to decorate the walls. So don’t be surprised to see a young Clint Eastwood in the bathroom or a Paul Newman in a hallway.