We had a reservation for 8:30 on a Saturday night, and despite the snow that had passed through earlier that day the place was quite packed. We ended up having to wait about 30 minutes for our table—which we spent perched at the bar. Thankfully, they promised to make up for the wait with some free appetizers.
The inside is basically an embodiment of the name—light fixtures looking like nests or eggs, various murals of tree branches and a flock of birds. We were seated upstairs (next to likely the cause of the wait—a huge group of about 20).
Almost immediately the server brought us another round of drinks our two complementary apps—the duck meatballs and wings. The meatballs were moist and served in a pool of delicious curry.
Even better I thought were the wings, triple-fried Korean style to be sticky and crispy.
We indulged on a third app just because we had to try it—the ostrich tartare. We weren’t sure if it would be similar to a steak situation but it was actually more like a pate spread, held together with a quail egg yolk and served with duck fat crackers.
From there we moved on to the “Big Birds,” as they call them. I opted for the roasted guinea fowl with purple sweet potatoes onions, and a mandarinquat (literally mandarin + kumquat) gastrique. The breast was basically a chicken breast, but was at least very moist with a fatty skin. The thigh and leg were the best parts—nice and crispy. Guinea fowl, as Wikipedia has now told me, is a gamebird in the same realm as a grouse or pheasant.
Kevin went for the fried chicken, mainly because it came with a butternut squash mash we had both eyed as a side. He asked for it spicy (you can request this), and although it wasn’t as spicy as he wanted, it was delicious anyways, and not at all greasy. The mash was amazing. The only issue was we wanted more of it! The little slaw was good too—not mayonnaise-y but vinegary, which we prefer.
Somehow, we still saved a smidgeon of room for dessert. We went with the server-recommended chocolate ice cream cake, and holy crap it was good. Sometimes even really great restaurants just don’t have good desserts, but not so here. It was so damn good we finished every last bite.
Overall we had a great meal at The Bird. Despite the wait for the table, the service was great and we were glad they made up for it. They didn’t rush our meal along at all and let us finish the early apps before even making any further choices. I will definitely be back—next time I think for the brunch.
The Bird is located at 1337 11th St. NW (Corner of 11th & O). Reservations recommended.