Co-owner and head chef Chris Hirsch prepares dinner orders for customers on a Friday night at Scully's Tavern in Kendall. : Allison Diaz / For the Miami Herald
Daily specials such as St. Louis baby back ribs, Alaskan snow crabs, prime rib and grouper fish and chips plus the complete array of bar food.
Matthew Byrnes U/Miami News Service
It's an Irish tavern, complete with beer, a bar and billiards . . . and brie, escargot and oysters florentine.
Head chef and co-owner Chris Hirsh couldn't resist including a few fine French specialties on the menu when he and his wife, Cass, opened Scully's Tavern in 1989.
"When we were getting started, taverns and sports bars were the big thing, " Hirsh said. "I wanted to have a tavern with food that is more upscale because that is what I'm trained in."
Hirsh said he had worked for a variety of fine restaurants in Miami before he ventured out on his own. The bulk of his training, he said, was at Chez Vendome, a French restaurant in Coral Gables. Using his experience, Hirsh gradually developed a menu containing some items that are more typical of a five-star restaurant but offered for much less than five-star prices.
"In the beginning the menu was more traditional, but it gradually grew in creativity, " Hirsh said. "I like to think I'm educating consumers in the area a little bit at a time."
Over the years, a lot of Kendall residents have taken notice. But after the tavern was featured April 14 on the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, even more people have begun to take notice.
"We are getting a lot more people coming in from all over, as well as people from our own neighborhood who weren't aware of the food we have until seeing the show, " Cass Hirsh said.
Kendall resident Stacy Eldredge is one of them: "I drove by this place all the time but just thought it was a regular bar until I saw the show."
On the show, the tavern's episode was entitled, "Something Different." The Hirshes not only have put a copy of the show on the restaurant's website, they also put an autographed poster of Guy Fieri, host of the show, right by the kitchen door.
In business for nearly 20 years, the restaurant has preserved its past with of pictures, memorabilia, and old aerial photos of the Kendall area that are posted throughout the tavern's mahogany interior, which Chris Hirsh handcrafted himself.
'SEALED THE DEAL'
By day, Scully's eclectic menu and daily specials are definitely the main attraction of Scully's, but by night the tavern offers a few more things that may interest regulars and customers who want a typical bar experience.
Scully's offers bar food, including an assortment of burgers, hot dogs, nachos, chips and salsa.
"We saw that they had fried green tomatoes and escargot, and that sealed the deal, " said Lee Troike, who drove out from Cutler Ridge to visit Scully's with her husband and aunt.
There's live music on the weekends, karaoke on Thursdays, and Wednesday is "bike night." The roomy tavern also includes plenty of seating at the bar and at tables.
"I've been to a lot of birthday parties here, " said Caroline Bradford a 16-year patron of Scully's. "I always enjoy the food and the live band on weekends."
The Hirshes say the venture has been successful.
"I'm very proud of what we have done here, " Chris Hirsh said. "My wife and I have stuck with this place through the good and tough times. We have touched a lot of people and made a lot of friends. It's been a journey."
Reviewed on May 10, 2008