Status: Charging ahead towards a mid-October opening, Pubbelly, the Asian-inspired gastropub in the Sunset Harbour 'hood of South Beach, says a press release, "Is sure to dazzle diners with an eclectic, 1-2-3 mix of northern Asian cultures, Puerto Rican sass and Spanish flair; but don't call it fusion." Despite its diminutive size, Pubbelly aspires to pack a powerful culinary punch with not one, but two chefs--Jose Mendin and Sergio Navarro, both hailing from La Broche, Nobu, Sushi Samba and Mercadito. The owners' philosophy? "Three guys fulfilling a dream of opening a restaurant and sharing the passion they have for food and beverage with others. Andreas, José and Sergio have created a menu and a venue that is 100% representative of who they are as individuals and where they have been in their lives; they promise to keep it 'legit.'
The pork-belly-heavy menu pays homage to the chefs' "affinity for 'lechón,' a staple ingredient in Puerto Rican cuisine and an homage to their heritage while at the same time, "promising not to scare away diners with vegetarian or pescatarian inclinations [by offering] an array of fresh raw bar items." Then there's the beer: "about 20" including Delirium Tremens, Morimoto Soba Ale and Ayinger Brauweisse and a wine list of 100 labels all under $80 a bottle. Oh, and a rotating list of sakes, too.
Pubbelly is also keen on "proving that great food can be (and should be) provided at reasonable prices," therefore keeping menu items "on the affordable side of the spectrum with appetizers ranging from $5 to $18 dollars and entrees capping out at $25."
Signature dishes include: Potted Rilletes--duck confit & pork belly in soy onion marmalade
Pork Belly Dumplings--Scallions, su-shoyu, and sesame oil
PubBelly Ramen-- Pork Belly, shoulder, lemongrass broth, poached egg.”
Fresh Jonah Crab Claws--Yuzu dijonaise
Hiramasa--Baby sprouts, spicy broth
Crispy, spicy, lemongrass Brussels sprouts
Grilled Shishito peppers, pistachios & Maldon salt
Spicy nasu miso, sesame, scallions