A temple to all-things-porcine and inarguably one of the hottest restaurants in Coral Gables, Swine Southern Table & Bar has been a favorite of foodies, locals and the Gables’ power crowd since it opened in 2012. The brainchild of restaurateur John Kunkel – founder of 50 Eggs, Inc., which also owns/operates Yardbird Southern Table & Bar and Khong River House – Swine is renowned for its soulful Southern, BBQ-inspired menu and lively roadhouse setting. Now, in the wake of its two-year anniversary, Kunkel and Executive Chef/Partner Clayton Miller, are rolling out new lunch and dinner menus overflowing with exciting, delicious and lighter options sure to please.
“At Swine, pig will always be king and though there are signature dishes that had to stay on the menu, we were looking to expand our offerings while staying true to the restaurant’s spirit and the soul of Southern cooking,” comments Miller. “The lunch menu is definitely business crowd friendly, designed for those looking for lighter options and we’re also very excited about the direction the dinner menu has taken. For regulars, there are ample new offerings and for the uninitiated, so many new reasons to give Swine a try.”
Swine regulars will immediately pick up on new locally-sourced and lighter menu items. Chief among these – the nightly offering of Heritage Breed Pig, raised in Miami at Mary’s Ranch. Perfect as a shared plate or a hearty dinner-for-one, a helping of Heritage ($42) features three unique cuts of hog, each prepared in a different manner based on the selection available that day. Each week, Chef Clay and the Swine kitchen team receive a fresh 50-60 pound pig, break it down into its primal cuts and begin prepping it for the week’s offerings, “Which end when the hog ends,” Miller quips. Recent variations on the whole hog theme included perfectly grilled chops, roasted leg and a juicy cut of pork belly. The plate of three comes complete with local vegetable “escabeche” and roasted pork sauce. An all-American favorite – Backyard BBQ Chicken is reinterpreted Southern-style ($26) – slow smoked, grilled for a perfect crispy skin and served with house-made BBQ sauce, roasted marble potatoes and charred okra. North Carolina Sunburst Trout ($31) is simply grilled and served with Brussels sprouts slaw and lemon cream-infused Carolina gold rice, giving it a risotto-like consistency that is lick-the-plate good. Another standout selection from the sea is the new Atlantic Swordfish ($30), which is marinated in buttermilk, grilled and served atop a ragout of South Carolina Sea Island red peas, Romanesco florets and dressed with a chicken jus. “I like playing the flavors of the land off the lighter flavors from the sea,” Miller notes of the chicken jus. “It gives the dish a depth of flavor. Swordfish is a meaty fish to begin with. The jus makes it crave-able without making it too heavy.” Additional Small Plates by sea include Wood-Fired & Grilled Octopuswith peanut hummus and sweet peppers ($16) and East Coast Oysters “On the Rocks” ($18) with house-made Swine hot sauce and watermelon mignonette.
Lunchtime diners will revel in Swine’s new offerings. Already the #1 new seller – second only to its famous signature burger – the Meat + Three ($18), the team’s nod to classic BBQ restaurant service, is comprised of one of the following proteins – 12-Hour Slow Smoked Pork Shoulder, Low & Slow Ribs or 14-Hour Smoked Brisket – plus two Fixins and cornbread.
Additional new lunch items include: Grilled Shrimp Tacos ($16) served in house-made tortillas with chimichurri, roasted tomato and charred corn; Cast Iron Skillet Seared Atlantic Salmon ($18) with zucchini and red bell pepper succotash, charred bell pepper purée and shaved cucumber; the “BLT“ ($14) made with Swine’s succulent house-crafted pork brisket pastrami, kale, fried green tomato and the restaurant’s special sauce; “Nashville Hot” Fried Chicken Sandwichwith bread & butter pickles, Duke’s mayo, lettuce and tomato, served on a big buttermilk biscuit ($12); as well as a beautiful salad of Roasted Mixed Beets ($13) dressed with pomegranate seeds, Great Hill Blue cheese, smoked yogurt, pea shoots and cornbread crumbs. Swine now offers four lunchtime salad options ($13-$14) and diners can add their choice of protein including wood grilled Florida shrimp (+$8), salmon (+$8), shredded crispy pork (+$5), pulled pork(+$6) or burnt ends (+$8).
Swine’s beverage program remains second-to-none and now features a bevy of new libations. New refreshments include Sexy Mexe (Knob Creek bourbon, Patron Silver, fresh orange, agave and lemon); Cherry Walnut Cobbler (Maker’s Mark bourbon, Drambuie, Nux Alpina walnut liqueur, cherry vanilla bitters and smoked pecans); They Call Me Mr. Bitterness (Campari, Aperol, lemon juice, egg white and grapefruit bitters) and Water Blossom (Kappa pisco, Veev acai, Avion tequila, fresh pressed watermelon, lime juice and lime zest). Of course, a number of signature favorites remain, including the Swine Old-Fashioned with bacon washed Old Overholt rye, maple syrup and homemade “Swine” bitters. The program also offers an extensive global wine list whose bold flavors harmonize with the menu’s savory, smoky flavor profiles as well as a tantalizing list of craft and specialty import beers.
With an interior that exudes the perfect blend of Southern refinement and charm, Swine delivers an authentic atmosphere and dining experience that embraces the spirit of your favorite neighborhood BBQ joint with a rustic elegance perfect for tony Coral Gables. Exposed vintage brick, hot-rolled steel and reclaimed wood from a South Carolina barn, set the tone while vintage pendant lights with Edison bulbs cast a relaxing glow. Swine seats 85 between the main and upstairs dining rooms including its communal table – one of the hottest tables in town.
Swine Southern Table & Bar is located in Coral Gables at 2415 Ponce De Leon Boulevard. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily, with brunch offered on Saturdays and Sundays. Telephone: (786) 360-6433; www.runpigrun.com
About 50 Eggs, Inc.
Founded by John Kunkel, 50 Eggs Inc. is a multi-faceted, full-service culinary and hospitality firm focused on developing cutting-edge brands with unparalleled dining experiences. As CEO of one of Restaurant Hospitality Magazine’s “Coolest Multi-concept Companies in the Land,” John owns and operates the James Beard nominated and award winning Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Khong River House, which includes its upstairs, Red Light District-inspired bar, Patpong Road, Swine Southern Table & Bar and is preparing for the January 2015 opening of Yardbird Las Vegas. 50 Eggs is also known for creating and developing the fast casual chain, Lime Fresh Mexican Grill.