Charlie Bird Roast Chicken with Crispy Bit Salad
Charlie Bird is fantastic. Period. With a goal of being a neighborhood place in it for the long play, Charlie Bird is an oasis of great food, including delicious and inventive roasted meats, salads, seafood, pastas, and a truly kick-ass wine program.
Chef Ryan Hardy's business card humbly says "Cook", a heart-melting distinction in an era of chefs-as-brands. Wine director Robert Bohr, one of Charlie Bird's partners, along with sommelier Grant Reynolds, have created wine options that truly delight: a recommendation one evening of Vinatigo, a delicious wine from the Canary Islands, was spot-on, and there are rare and expertly chosen options in a broad and fair range of price points. At the bar, the cocktail menu features "shameless plugs" by friends of the house sommeliers and beverage directors at other restaurants, providing a welcome laugh.
The room design is light and warm, lots of wood, with an unobtrusive neo-industrial feel, with boom box prints on the wall and cocktail menus on the coasters. The noise levels are a relief — no shouting or lip-reading necessary, and the lighting is flattering and well-considered. For more intimate parties, Charlie Bird now also offers a private dining room, which can seat up to 14 guests, tucked away inside the restaurant, where all aspects of an experience can be customized.
What an absolute joy to find in 2014, that a quote from a 2012 document still holds true, with such charm: "Food without ego, service with charm, perfectly roast chicken and crazy good wine."