Swine Southern Table & Bar: Hogs, Barn Wood, and Barbecue in Coral Gables
Young and handsome servers roll up their sleeves, revealing bulky wristwatches that glow yellow and blue. They shout over rock music turned just a little too loud and rave about cocktails infused with fresh chilies and herbs. They arrive at your table carrying smoked spare ribs piled like Jenga blocks on a wooden cutting board. And then, in a low tone, they warn you about the bacon. At Swine Southern Table & Bar, it's employed as if it were salt.
billwisserphoto.com Burnt ends at Swine Southern Table & Bar.
Swine belongs to John Kunkel, a shrewd businessman who sold his fast-casual chain Lime Fresh Mexican Grill to Ruby Tuesday for a handsome sum last year. He and his crew, called 50 Eggs, are behind Yardbird Southern Table & Bar and Khong River House -- two South Beach spots that exemplify the saying "with it." Located in a boutique-spangled strip on Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Swine is a pork-themed place that mimics Yardbird's chicken fare.
Kunkel's kitchens have range. They turn out fried chicken, crawfish pots, boat noodles, and duck curry. They vary like James Bond movies. Settings change, and so do names. Character, however, remains the same: casual, light-hearted, and original places that are also smart.
Elegant traditions would be out of place at Swine. The restaurant doesn't take reservations, and waits can get awfully long. But the waitstaff makes up for it. They shoot you a text when your table is ready. Can't find the restroom? Ask the curly-haired, bubbly
hostess. "I'll show ya," she said on a recent busy Friday night before escorting me there.