Downtown Miami Dining Adventure by the Pubbelly Boys
By Lena Katz for Local Luxe
Everyone in Miami with any grasp on the culinary or social scene knows of the Pubbelly Boys, and loves their restaurants. People rave about the original Miami Beach location and inquire of newcomers: have you had their brunch? Have you been to Pubbelly Sushi yet? And if they work or live anywhere near downtown, they’re heading to the historic Langford Hotel to check out their latest, PB Station.
This buzzy new place, with its contemporary American menu and professional-looking crowd, could easily exist in DC, Boston or San Francisco. And that’s before you see the SF, Boston and Los Angeles signage on the wall. The design is supposed to evoke an old-school train station, but it’s actually in a former bank building, and you get a sense of lingering grandeur.
The noise level stays at a happy medium; people are clearly having a good time, but not trying to talk over each other. The space isn’t very echoing, and thus feels intimate in spite of its high ceilings. Unlike a lot of Miami venues, people are not here to put on a show. They’re here to eat, and to appreciate what they’re eating.
Pubbelly food is very inventive without being too far out or pretentious. Chef Jose Mendin has an interesting angle into American gastro-pub cuisine, thanks to his Puerto Rican upbringing. Early stints with Nobu Miami and London certainly instilled an expertise with seafood—but his own style has nothing in common with Japanese. He’ll take a dish you’ve had many times, and put a spin on it you’ve never thought of before. PB Station is the only restaurant we’ve ever seen that makes all its charcuterie out of seafood—Octopus pepperoni, rock shrimp mortadella. To see it on a plate, you would not know it wasn’t meat. Other appetizer standouts include yellowtail ceviche taquitos, French onion soup dumplings and an outstanding octopus Bolognese over cavatelli pasta—that again, you would not guess wasn’t normal beef Bolognese.