The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions
5132 Biscayne Blvd.
When I first moved to Miami in 2013, I pored over every “best of” list in the city in order to build my ultimate Restaurant Wish List. I quickly noticed that one name appeared to be included in nearly every one of those lists, and that place was The Federal.
Dubbed a “modern American tavern,” this casual joint gives a nod to classic Americana culture — from the kitschy knick-knack décor to the comfort-food-filled menu and the husband/wife team in the kitchen. Judging by all of the accolades, they must know what they’re doing. A visit by Food Network’s Guy Fieri for a spot on his Diners, Drive-ins & Dives. Voted among “Best Biscuits in the US” by Food & Wine magazine. And tonight, the Federal team will appear as a finalist on Bravo’s Best New Restaurant hosted by Tom Colicchio (of Top Chef fame).
As with most television shows, our dining experience at The Federal featured a lineup of some background characters studded with a couple of star performers. The locavore-centered menu sources ingredients from Florida farmers and producers, while leaning in a small plate direction. Our server suggested my husband and I share three or four dishes.
The collard greens, while meaty and silky from the fried egg topper, could have used a bit more spice for my liking. And although the galbi short ribs were forgettable, there were two dishes that played outstanding leading roles. I’m talking about the thick-cut bacon, which acted as a seriously salty, indulgent snack. Oh, and their signature buttermilk “biskit.” Imagine the fluffiest, cheesiest, sweetest (see: honey-apple cider glaze) buttermilk pillow from heaven — simply divine.
It’s always tough to judge a restaurant by just one visit, but that’s the pressure The Federal will be under tonight when big, bad (bald!) Chef Colicchio enters their doors. Let’s hope The Federal brings its best face forward for this primetime debut. Regardless, I look forward to a return visit for what (among other things) we all know Miami does best … brunch!
Watch The Federal compete against Swift’s Attic of Austin, Texas in the “Shared Plates” episode of Bravo’s Best New Restaurant at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, January 28.