The Pubbelly Empire has really expanded on South Beach. Whether you are looking for Spanish tapas (Barceloneta), sushi (Pubbelly Sushi), or Italian (Macchialina) they've got it covered. The original, and my personal favorite though is Pubbelly, a gastropub in the back corner of South Beach. As a gastropub, this means they tend to offer not only quality selection of food, but also a pretty reasonable assortment of alcoholic beverages. The beer selection is quite cleverly fleshed out with more unique offerings than most places, and they've also got a fair amount of wines ranging from fresh and crisp whites to bolder more robust reds, along with some sake cocktail options. The cuisine skews heavily towards the pro-pork side, and many of the dishes have a tinge of Asian influence (dumplings, udon, miso, etc.). While vegetarians might be able to find a couple of choices, they definitely cater to the carnivore. It is most similar to a Spanish tapas style meal, and accordingly, they best option to to indulge in a couple of the small plates.
For no explicable reason, I waited far too long to check Pubbelly out. Then as part of our summer dining series (an informal dining group of friends), we decided to make it part of our rotation, being fortunate to dine with a seasoned veteran. We were also lucky to have a beer expert in our midst who knew exactly which options on the menu would work best with the meal. We started with a Buffalo Stout from Brouwerij Van Den Bossche, and then we later opted for an Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel by Brauerei Aying Franz Inselkammer, both of which were very easy drinking choices. The decor was fairly simple, with brick walls and wooden tables.
First up was the bacon wrapped dates, a classic tapas staple. Ok, I've had them a million times, and every restaurant in town seems to exploit this basic and addictive dish, but they really are pretty foolproof, and Pubbelly amped up the flavor with a bit of chorizo zestiness and some silky goat cream. Slathered in a luscious sauce and wrapped in bacon, you can not go wrong!
1418 20th Street
Miami Beach, FL 33139