That rumor from yesterday is now confirmed: Jeff McInnis, former Top Chef contestant and chef of Miami hot spot Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, will open Root & Bone early next year in the old Mama's Food Shop space. According to Food & Wine, he's teaming up with Janine Booth, who's about to make her debut as a contestant in the upcoming season of Top Chef. The two plan to serve upscale versions of Southern classics, like brisket meatloaf with smoked plantain cream, and Carolina Gold rice risotto with pickled egg yolk. McInnis says he'll be playing around with some variations on the fried chicken that earned him his reputation back at Yardbird.
Just last year, McInnis and Yardbird's co-owner John Kunkel were out scouting locations in Brooklyn for a New York outpost of their hit southern-style restaurant. But then McInnis left Yardbird in July, saying he wanted to spend more time with the family and "get back to why I fell in love with this industry in the first place." Now he's striking out on his own in NYC, and there's no progress to report on the Yardbird expansion.
Update: John Kunkel tells Eater that he indeed still has plans to open an NYC location of Yardbird, and is "getting closer to a location but just [hasn't] found the right space yet." He also shares the news that the restaurant will open new locations in several other cities "soon."
· Jeff McInnis Lands in NYC [F&W]
· All Coverage of Yardbird on Eater Miami [~EMIA~]