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When Lake Highlands neighbors Lauren and David Taylor decided to open a restaurant with partner Timothy Summers, they were determined to create a concept distinctive and eye-catching. As my Tennessee granny used to say, “Butter my butt and call me a biscuit. They plumb pulled it off, y’all.”

FireBird Fowl officially opened Monday in Uptown, and the menu is singularly bird-themed. In the mood for ostrich lasagna? How about duck tacos or chicken fried emu? Bless your heart, sugar. You’re in luck.

Tennessee, as it happens, figured prominently in their original plan.

“We were planning to open a Nashville hot chicken joint,” says David. “Unfortunately, everyone had that idea all at once, and now there’s one on every corner.”

FireBird Fowl features three lovely patios on two levels near the Crescent – upstairs is “The Nest” and outside is “The Coop.” The menu includes goose, quail, turkey, chicken, emu, duck and ostrich in creative dishes. David is creator of DizziBrands, which specializes in alcohol-infused ice cream, popsicles and other treats. FireBird offers flavors including bananas foster and vanilla bourbon for dessert. Wine and specialty cocktails continue the bird theme.

“We have a really fun menu, with flavors from everywhere,” says David. “Everything is ranch-to-table, although we call it ‘branch-to-table.’ We have a huge bar with high energy. It’s not fine dining, but it’s enjoyable upscale.”

You’ll find the FireBird Fowl menu here.

David and Lauren say they’re excited to welcome their Lake Highlands neighbors to their new restaurant home. They’re even hoping daughters Ally Niemann, a junior at Lake Highlands High School, and Lily Niemann, a freshman, can recruit some of their friends and acquaintances to join the team.

“The toughest thing about opening FireBird has been finding staff in this tight employment market,” says David. “I’ve got an incredible bar staff and kitchen staff, but I need to hire more waiters and waitresses.”

The most rewarding thing about finally getting the doors open is seeing the reaction of surprised and satisfied customers, David says.

“I love watching people’s faces as they try new foods. They don’t know what to expect, so this is an education compared to, say, going to a new Mexican restaurant. Our food is so unique and fun that people just light up when they try it. We have an ostrich queso and a Cornish game hen tikka masala that are delicious, and people wonder why they haven’t tried this before.”

“People in Lake Highlands should spend money in Lake Highlands,” continues David, “but FireBird Fowl is a fun place in Uptown for a date night or a great spot if you’re stopping on your way home from downtown. The food is unlike anything else.”

FireBird Fowl is at 2816 Fairmount.