If you’re looking for a casual restaurant in Miami serving up shareable comfort food, The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions (@TheFederalMia) is your spot!
The restaurant is located in a small strip mall on the happening Biscayne Boulevard strip where many other bustling restaurants are located.
There are some tables outside if eating on a patio is your preference but I loved the vibe inside the restaurant!
*I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the photos. It was a little dark and we were too eager to dig in! They really don’t do the food any justice!*
Their menu is divided into several sections, smaller plates (shareables), Federal bites and big plates. The menu consists of so many mouth-watering choices. I can guarantee you’ll have a difficult time narrowing down what to order. They also serve brunch on weekends and I heard they do a damn good one. I’m already looking forward to my next visit.
We started off with some Jumbo Cheese Biskits – Vermont butter, honey apple cider glaze ($5 each). I love biscuits and the ones at the Federal didn’t disappoint. These jumbo biskits were light, fluffy and moist. I just wish they were a little more cheesy since they were labeled “cheese” biskits but nevertheless still delicious.
Up next was the Jar O’ Duck – with charred fluff, candied sweet potato ($12). I really enjoyed the silky smooth duck rillette which wasn’t too salty like many rillettes can be. Spread over a crostini and paired with a bit of charred marshmallow fluff for some sweetness, it was a delightful bite! If you run out of crostini, they’ll gladly bring you more.
Something that piqued our interest was the Buffalo Style Pig Wing – with blue cheese mousse, pickled carrots & celery ($6) which came with one meaty “wing.” I believe it was braised shank meat which was moist, tender and crisp on the exterior resembling a fried buffalo wing. I personally wasn’t blown out of the water by this one (and felt it was a little pricey) but Mike on the other hand, couldn’t stop raving about it. So, you be the judge!
For some more meat, we ordered the Steak Tartare – chipotle, honey jalapeno, quail egg, crispy onions ($12). It wasn’t a boring steak tartare at all. The flavour was on the sweet side from the honey and had just the right amount of kick to it. I’ve got nothing but love for this steak tartare!
You can’t come to Florida without getting Stone Crabs ($35). Stone crabs themselves aren’t very large and only the claw is eaten – after the claws are removed, they actually grow back. You’ll see stone crabs served a lot in Florida – they’re easily identifiable by their beige/reddish colour and black tips.
It was my first time trying stone crabs and it left me wanting more! The meat was incredibly fresh and so sweet and flavourful on its own, the accompanying tartar sauce wasn’t even necessary. It’s a lot of work to get at all the meat inside the shell but it’s well worth it.
We couldn’t resist ordering the South West Mac & Cheese – three cheeses, roasted pablanos, chipotle biskit crumbs ($9) which turned out to be one of the best mac & cheese dishes I’ve tasted. They were very generous with the cheese. It’s always a good sign when you get a long string of cheese following your scoop. You know what I’m talking about!
The pasta was cooked al dente and the biskit crumb topping provided that much needed texture contrast. The roasted poblanos give it that nice little kick – mac & cheese for grown-ups!
Even though the mac & cheese gave us our dose of carbs, I had to order the Wet Fries – with smoked chicken, bbq, Monterey jack cheese & cilantro ranch ($12). Sounds good, eh? They were ridiculous! The bbq sauce was sweet, tangy and simply perfection. Like the mac & cheese, they weren’t skimpy with the cheese at all. From now on, I want all my fries served “wet”.
The only dish we ordered from the “Big Plates” section of the menu was the Federal Lamb Burger – Monterey jack, grilled pickled onions, pretzel bun and fries ($17). We added a duck egg for an extra $2.50 cause why not, right? We’re on vacation!
Despite how full I was already, I really enjoyed this burger. The patty had great flavour – it was perfectly seasoned and cooked to a perfect medium rare like we had asked. I haven’t seen pretzel buns used very often with burgers so this was a welcome change. A much better burger than the one we had at Le Tub Saloon.
I ordered some greens to make us feel a little healthier, the Crispy Brussels Sprouts – molasses vinaigrette, sweet and sour apples ($7). We were presented with a large bowl of addictive Brussels sprouts. The bowl was placed right in front of me and I couldn’t stop eating them! They may look a little burnt but they were just wonderfully caramelized. These are the greens you’ve gotta go with if you’re a Brussels sprouts fan.
If you have Foursquare, take advantage of the Federal’s special – each person who checks in gets a free dessert! I was expecting a scoop of ice cream but you actually get to choose any of the desserts on their menu (including any specials of the day). So if you don’t have Foursquare now, it’s definitely worth getting just for this alone!
Our first dessert was one of the specials of the day, the Twisted Banana Split. The base of it was buttermilk cocoa which was a little on the crumbly side. It only came with some whipped cream but I think adding some ice cream to it would’ve made a world of difference. Unfortunately it was my least favourite dish of the evening.
The second dessert, the Jar O’Smore – dark chocolate pudding, graham crackers and charred marshmallow fluff ($8), was redemption! I liked that the smooth dark chocolate pudding wasn’t too sweet and the charred marshmallow and graham cracker crumbs really made it seem like you were eating a s’more. A great way to end the meal!
Having our first meal in Miami at the Federal, they set the bar pretty damn high! I loved the chill vibe, fantastic servers and most importantly the incredible food. I can see myself back here on my next Miami trip!
At a glance:
• Serving up shareable comfort food plates
• For my first dinner in Miami, they set the bar pretty damn high
• Great relaxing vibe, fantastic servers and incredible food
• Check into Foursquare and get a free dessert
• Located in a small strip mall on Biscayne Blvd between NE 51st and NE 52nd
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4.5 stars
• Service: 4.5 stars
• Atmosphere: 5 stars