Happy Hour Hunt: JB Kitchen & Bar in Brickell

The Place: JB Kitchen & Bar
1250 South Miami Avenue, Miami
305-415-0070 / jbkitchenandbar.com

The Hours: Thursdays and Fridays, 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

The Deal: $5 Moleca Lime Caipirinhas on Thursdays and $5 DonQ Mojitos on Fridays. There was no happy hour menu for food (orders were made off the appetizer's menu.)

The Digs: JB Kitchen & Bar is Brickell's latest mix-and-mingle spot for the financial district banker or the local high-riser. It sits on a corner lot with shrubbery enclosing a lounge-like balcony area. The happy hour includes a live DJ outside, which cannot really be enjoyed thanks to the recent cold. Inside, the space is separated into bar and dining areas. In-counter lighting gives a warm touch.  A high column sits smack in the middle of the bar, with flat screens adorning the top of each side. The TVs are more like decor then tools for sport-infused debauchery. Deep blues add to the warmth of the space, especially once the lights dim and the candles are brought out. Two pieces of photography art on the far walls were interesting (one of a woman smoking a cigar, the other of what seems to be a woman vogueing), but felt like they belonged in a hair salon.

The Verdict: The truth is, I'm rooting for this place, but it hit and missed. On the up side, the bartender took his time making the caipirinhas. I personally like my caipirinhas sweet, but my friend found them too sweet and the bartender promptly remade his. JB provided excellent service, with equally friendly and professional employees. The fried yuca ($7) was our first dish and it was crisp on the outside but still flavorful throughout. It came with two delicious dipping sauces that disappeared quickly. The artichoke & spinach dip ($10) was also very good, but we ran out of chips before dip. The shrimp tempura ($9) stood out the least; it was just, well, shrimp. Though the food satisfied for the most part, the lack of happy hour menu and solo drink special don't make me want to return right away. Overall, the ambiance works but the happy hour is just not that happy.

Overall grade: Incomplete.


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