Yardbird Plucks the Former Pinot Brasserie Spot in the Venetian

The fried chicken at Yardbird

The fried chicken at Yardbird

Back in March when I visited Miami, I met some Las Vegas food and beverage industry ex-pat friends for Sunday brunch. Of course, I was in their city, so I let them pick the spot. (A story on the symbiosis between Miami and Las Vegas had brought me East.) My experience at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar was one of the highlights of a trip filled with great restaurants, but my time there was for pleasure and not for work—and with no discernible Las Vegas connection, it didn’t make the final draft of my story.

Four months later, it’s just been announced that Yardbird will be migrating west to the Venetian in the former Pinot Brasserie space. Here are some things to look forward to about the restaurant:

1. The Bloody Marys are strong enough to kill a Las Vegas hangover.  They’re also a great way to pass the time while waiting for your reservation. My favorite was the namesake Mary topped with olives, limes, pickles, pickled okra and bacon, and served in a quaint glass jar.

2. The brunch will become one of the most sought-after seats in the city. (Refer to No. 1, as even with a reservation, this is a place where you should expect to wait for a table.)

3. The fried chicken will blow your mind. It’s their specialty, along with other Southern faves such as the fried green tomato BLT and shrimp ‘n’ grits. My favorite interpretation was Mama’s Chicken Biscuits, a fried-chicken “slider” with pepper jelly sandwiched in a buttermilk biscuit.

4. The cocktail program will inspire reverence. Just one of the ways is with its commitment to hand-carved ice, a trend popular in mixology bars from coast to coast that has yet to catch on in a big way in Las Vegas.

Yardbird lands in early 2015.