I’ve been in love with southern food since a family trip through the south back in 1982. Since then I’ve had my share of southern dishes, but a recent trip to Yardbird in the Palazzo/Venetian for a friend’s birthday has given me an even greater appreciation for the cuisine.

Their version of chicken and waffles — a staple of any southern spot — doesn’t disappoint. With a thick, well seasoned outer crust coating succulent meat beneath, their fried chicken is some of the best in town. Add to that a crispy and airy waffle made from a batter with swiss cheese and finished with cheddar and accompanied by spiced watermelon and bourbon maple syrup and you’ve got a savory dish that can rival any version of this classic.

Other standouts include St. Louis style pork ribs coated with a dry rub giving it hints of sweetness, smokiness, and a restrained level of heat; smoked and roasted bone marrow balanced by the sweetness of its jam; deviled eggs thankfully light on mayo; shrimp and grits as good as you’ll find in the west; and the artfully stacked fried green tomato BLT with pork belly and house-made pimento cheese.

If those options don’t whet your appetite, check out their pot pie or the fall-off-the-bone-tender short ribs atop charred corn grits. Also, the low and slow smoked chicken salad may not catch your eye, but it’s a dish that shouldn’t be overlooked,

Desserts were equally amazing. With the bacon butterscotch cake, I’ve finally found a sweet dish that uses bacon effectively. Devoid of a cold, rubbery texture, the bacon is used perfectly to enhance the cake flavor. For traditional southern-style desserts you won’t want to miss their seasonal cobblers or the chess pie.

There wasn’t a a single bad item on the night and with dish after dish blowing me away, Yardbird has rocketed up my list of favorite restaurants.

5 Stars

The Venetian
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 297-6541

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar on Urbanspoon