1418 20th St., Miami Beach
It’s such a wonderful feeling when you not only dine at a restaurant that’s been on your wish list forever, but it exceeds any and all expectations you might have originally harbored. That’s the best way to describe our dinner experience last weekend at Pubbelly, the Asian-fusion gastropub from Miami’s lauded Pubbelly Boys (José Mendin, Sergio Navarro and Andreas Schreiner).
My husband and I enjoyed the ideal date-night dinner setup by ordering off the Miami Spice menu. I mean, you can’t really go wrong when you can pick a total of seven small plate dishes to share. But that’s not to say it wasn’t incredibly difficult selecting only seven, when the menu teemed with delectable choices.
The incredibly attentive service from the staff throughout the night was rivaled only by the insanely flavorful, exquisitely presented and expertly crafted fare dished out of the kitchen. My Ouija cocktail not only looked beautiful garnished with a red flower, but also delivered delicate flavors of sake laced with pineapple. The cod croquetas (offered on-the-house) offered a warm, crispy start to the meal, while the lemongrass romesco sauce enveloping the Japanese amberjack exuded bright, bold flavors.
I’m still daydreaming about the dates avec chorizo, which were robust, sweet morsels packed with tangy goat crema, wrapped in salty bacon and swimming in spicy tomato sauce. Creamy burrata stole the show in our hearts of palm salad — and with only two shortrib gyoza dumplings included in our portion, we were left craving more of their meaty-truffle essence. That desire was somewhat satiated once we devoured the most rich, tender pork cheeks.
I will admit the shrimp bolognese, which happened to be the one dish on the menu that most intrigued me, could have used a dash of peppery spice for my taste. On the other hand, our smore’s bites dessert (bourbon pudding, marshmallow, graham crumble) knocked the socks off both me and my husband (or it would have if I weren’t wearing sandals). It was, and I quote him verbatim: “one of the best desserts I’ve ever had.”
With so many amazing choices on Pubbelly’s Miami Spice menu, we might have to book it back again to Miami Beach before the end of the promotion. Miami Spice lasts until September 30 — for more info and to view menus you can go here.