The quiet block of 20th Street between Purdy and West Avenues in South Beach has given aspiring restaurateurs nothing but headaches. Nowadays, folks are gathering beneath Pubbelly's high loft ceilings, leaning against the exposed brick walls, and waiting for one of the three dozen seats or dozen barstools to open up. So how did the Asian-accented gastropubs's three young owners succeed where others could not? By offering fresh, creative, flavor-packed cuisine in a cozy urban-tavern setting, along with attentive service and the one thing those failed ventures did not: value. Of course, it helps that Pubbelly embraces popular dining trends such as Asian food, small plates, gastropubs, and pork belly. The small menu somehow encompasses 30-plus items, and a half-dozen of them contain belly meat from the pig. On the low end, the cripsy salmon rolls pack plenty of flavor into a small bun via a melt-in-your-mouth combination of cream cheese, avocado, eel sauce, and spicy mayo that's offset by crispy panko. It's just one of a dozen so-called small plates that anchor the bill of fare. On the pub side: more than a dozen bottled beers, 14-ounce draughts, two dozen boutique red and white wines, and a rotating list of sakes. Service is personable, and the vibe is friendly in a neighborly sort of way.
Read our full review of Pubbelly Noodle Bar.