I was so excited when Swine Southern Table and Bar opened in Miami (Coral Gables) right off of Miracle Mile. I have been feeling like Miracle Mile has been a little blah, really needing some life and pizazz injected into it. Miracle Mile mostly consists of bridal boutiques, jewelry stores, and small mom-and-pop specialty shops selling things from wigs to spy gear. Swine is the sister restaurant of Yardbird. Both restaurants are owned and operated by the 50 Eggs restaurant group. I had high hopes when Swine opened, and generally I really love a few of their menu items.
The interior of the restaurant is carefully thought out, just like Yardbird. The designer used vintage and found objects to give the place the right amount of Southern and upscale chic charm. The building is extremely narrow, and has little natural lighting or air flow. Their signature smoky scent pervades the air inside and immediately outside the building. I do not naturally adore smoked food. Sure, I enjoy it every now and then, but for everyday smoked food can be intense. The problem with Swine is it isn’t a place I could eat at every day, and I think that is an intrinsic flaw in the restaurant design. When coming up with a concept, you want people to want to come to your place every day and become regulars. This food is just so particular, strongly flavored, and full of fat, that I just cannot imagine eating here on the regular. Also the drinks are VERY expensive. An Old Cuban Martini is $18. I mean EIGHTEEN DOLLARS!? This is the Gables not South Beach for god sake. The price point doesn’t match the neighborhood, in my opinion, and the pours aren’t impressive to boot. I was also disappointed with the BBQ Bone Marrow priced at $18 which seems like such an insanely small portion for the price. Don’t get me wrong- the marrow itself is rich, creamy, and divine- but expect each person in your party to get just tiny nibble.
Okay- sorry for being so critical…the food here is actually really good. To start off- when at Yardbird eat the biscuits and when at Swine order some Homemade Jalapeno Cornbread for $9 and slather it with butter. After the cornbread move on to the Crispy Pork Caesar $17, which was truly deliciously sinful- for a salad- I mean the dressing was rich, the cheese sharp, and the pork crispy fried with crunchy chicharrones adding fabulous texture- what more is there to love? The only thing that Swine is truly worth coming to for is their extra tender, smoky, melt-in-your-mouth brisket. The ½ Pound 14-Hour Smoked Brisket served with the sliced white bread and pickled onions and cubed cheese for $28 and the Slow-Smoked Brisket Steak with grits, cheddar, and pickled corn relish for $29 are heavenly. The brisket is exceptional and a must-have each time I visit. We have also ordered the ½ Rack of Ribs for $26 stacked and very smoky with sticky bbq sauce served with more of their amazing homemade pickles.
For lunch try The Swine Burger $16 which came stacked high looking like you needed the skills of a snake to get a proper bite! The Southern Fried Chicken Breast Sandwich $14 was crispy and juicy. The Slow-Smoked Brisket Sandwich $16 is piled HIGH and oh-so-tender. Just like Yardbird the Mac & Cheese $10 is perfection with big, fat, soft noodles soaked up in all the cheese sauce juxtaposed with its crispy top layer. My biggest criticism is for the Country Fried Bacon and Waffles $26. The ‘country fried bacon’ was extremely fatty thick cut bacon that seemed under-cooked with large white fatty chucks hanging limp and wet with crumbly breading falling off. The waffle was lackluster and cold. This menu item really did not impress. Also from a service standpoint- I think it makes no sense to have a big, clunky, wooden ‘plate’ that a server cannot elegantly clear from the table. Our server fumbled to slide this off because the ‘plate’ didn’t have a natural rim.
That was another critical server rant- but I do enjoy coming here Monday nights for the live jazz music and bourbon specials- I just can’t come here too much because the food is so rich and distinctly flavored. Their cocktails are delicious and thoughtfully made, but perhaps too expensive and short-poured for my preference.
The best, most amazingly awesome thing about Swine (beside their pumpkin old-fashioneds) has to be their Warm Sticky Icky Bun with sweet potato pie ice cream and candied crunchy bacon topped off with maple-bourbon toffee syrup. This dessert caused a legitimate family battle- as in full-on crazy fight! My younger-dessert-fiend-brother nearly brawled with everyone for encroaching on ‘his’ dessert. It is that good people. It is amazingly delicious^10- to be exact and scientific. This is the only dessert I’ve had here although the Swine Shake for $6 with Left-Hand Milk Stout, salted-caramel ice cream, and candied bacon really tickles my imagination.
During the week it is totally worthy to come here for their amazing happy hour deals, Monday-night live music, and the busy weekend rush. Other than Friday and Saturday the business here has really slowed down and getting a table is pretty easy. I think if they made their menu a little more everyday friendly than their business might increase. Also the drink prices must go down, they are exorbitant without reason.
2415 Ponce De Leon Blvd • Coral Gables, FL • 33134 • (786) 360-6433