There is something very special happening at Dadeland Mall and it has nothing to do with shopping. Earl’s Kitchen and Bar has arrived and people are going gaga for it. we were invited in on a Monday night to sample their Fall Menu and the place was packed! Earl’s is an incredible and unique spot. It is a franchise chain of restaurants that started in Vancouver as a family owned burger and beer joint. Earl has taken its craft to the stratosphere and now has 65 restaurants across the continent. This is not a typical franchise though, all of the ingredients are baked in house, menus vary according to regions and they have contracted some of the best chefs and mixologists from around the world to create an extraordinary menu.
Earl’s Kitchen and Bar’s drinks intertwine ingenuity, quality ingredients, cheekiness as well as straight up tastiness. Earl’s Beverage Director, Cameron Bogue, formerly of the famed Boulud Group has curated a festive line of drinks that are delectable twists on some old classics. The Mad Hatter is a hilarious Alice in Wonderland inspired libation with skyy vodka, st. george poire williams, black tea, kaffir lime and coconut water. The warm alcoholic tea is perfect for our frigid winter nights. The Cabin Fever served in a 1980’s camping cup with a pinecone possessed a beautifully unique flavor. It was made with crown royal, tawny port, ginger, pineapple, fresh lemon and moondog bitters. They have also cultivated a superb line of non-alcoholic craft sodas for both kiddies and adults. The Lemongrass Orange Blossom Craft Soda with lemongrass syrup, orange blossom bitters, fresh lemon juice and soda was our fave.
For its fall menu Earl’s has launched what they call the Chef Collective. They have hired expert and celebrity chef consultants to work together to produce phenomenal new dishes. Our own Celebrity Chef Jeff McInnis, who started the exquisite Yardbird Southern Table and Bar is a part of this collective. You can meet all the Collective Chefs in the video below.
Chef Jeff Mcinnis is unfortunately up in NYC now at the incredibly popular Root and Bone, but thankfully we can taste his food at Earl’s anytime. Jeff has concocted some deliriously insane BBQ Pork Buns with hoisin hot sauce, cilantro and roasted peanuts. He told us that it took awhile to perfect this recipe and we can totally understand why. The buns are velvety soft and bursting with foodgasmic juices. The peanut chunks mixed with the BBQ twang will mesmerize your mouth. There are very few things better than hot, steamy, soft, delectable buns and Jeff’s are the best we ever had. People at the table were frantically searching for any extras that were foolishly left behind.
The Vietnamese Spatchcock Style Chicken was another killer dish. This oven roasted half chicken had a splendid lemongrass glaze, a spicy peanut sauce and a daikon cucumber salad. The lemongrass glaze combined with the banging peanut sauce was a brand new and terrific flavor. I’ve never seen so many foodies picking carcasses clean and scarpetta-ing leftover sauce off their neighbors plate.
The Butcher’s Cut Steak was heavenly as well. This 10 oz Manhattan cut striploin was cooked immaculately and addictive when paired with the fresh grated horseradish. The truffle fries were outstanding and were pounded relentlessly at the table when doused in the garlic aoli. The mashed potatoes were a tad sweet and beyond creamy.
The Chocolate Hazelnut Bar hit my sweet and salty spot. It was comprised of salted caramel, hazelnut crunch and served with vanilla bean gelato. The texture of the chocolate hazelnut bar was soooooo satisfying. Every bite of the rich dark chocolate had an immense hazelnut crunch packed into it. The salted caramel had the perfect touch of salt to contrast the sweet.
Earl’s Kitchen and Bar is a sensational joint. The food and service were impeccable and the venue had a modern artistic vibe and decor, as well as a huge patio to enjoy. Next time I need to go shopping, I will make a special out of the way trip down to Dadeland just to be able to eat and drink at Earl’s Kitchen and Bar.