Everyone's favorite gastropub, Pubbelly, is turning four this Sunday. To celebrate, the Sunset Harbour restaurant is inviting in Brad Kilgore for a special celebratory brunch that includes bacon jam, a Thanksgiving-style Benedict, and duck confit French toast. And because it wouldn't be a celebration without booze, bottomless mimosas, bloody marys, and sangrias will be available so you can toast to the last four years of pork belly ramen and duck and pumpkin stuffed dumplings.
Circa 2010 Sunset Harbour wasn't the dining neighborhood it is today. Sure, Sardinia and Burger & Beer Joint were serving hefty burgers and bows of pasta to locals, but no other place in the neighborhood (or South Beach for that matter) was proffering dates and Brussels sprouts. Today, these items are on menus all over town.
"Miami and the locals took us in and understood what we were doing," says Andreas Schreiner. "We and they played a big role in changing the scene in Miami and Sunset Harbour in general."
Four years later, Pubbelly has gone from a single pork-centric concept to a full-blown restaurant group with a Spanish tapas concept (Barceloneta), sushi restaurant (Pubbelly Sushi), and French brasserie (L'echon). Two of these (Pubbelly Sushi and Barceloneta) are right in the neighborhood. "We kinda gave the neighborhood an unofficial slogan: it's the eat out and work out neighborhood."
When asked to pick his favorite child, Schreiner didn't even need to think twice. "I love them all and try to give them the same amount of attention, but Pubbelly will always be the favorite only because it was the one where everything started. We had no money and we put our heart and soul into it and had to fight adversity every day, but it's been such an amazing intense adventure. Don't think I'll be able to choose my favorite when I have children but with the restaurants Pubbelly is the one."
Schreiner is looking forward to the next four years of Pubbelly and the development of other concepts, which includes bringing back PB Steak. "All I can say is stay tuned. I've been sworn to secrecy."
You may be able to get something out of him this Sunday when Schreiner will be celebrating with multiple toasts and glasses of champagne. "We're hoping to see a lot of people who've supported us over the years on this special day."
For the special day, chef Jose Mendin has teamed up with Kilgore, who recently left J&G Grill and will be opening up Alter, a progressive American concept in Wynwood come February. The duo will cook up a spread that includes sea urchin rilletes with bacon jam and house pickles; Australian wagyu beef carpaccio with cured farm yolk, frites, potato espuma and bernaise vinaigrette; rabbit chorizo scrambled egg mousse; smoked turkey Benedicts, pumpkin biscuits, gravy and crispy stuffing; housemade smoked pastrami with grits and egg yolk jam; duck confit French toast with foie maple caramel and banana whip pastry cream; and foie crossnut (chocolate glaze, foie gras foam, hazelnut powder).
Tickets for the communal feast can be purchased online for either noon or 2 p.m. and cost $50 a person. Bottomless booze can be added for $25. Schreiner expects the event, like all of Pubbelly's other pop-ups, to sell out. Should that be the case, their French concept L'echon is picking up where Pubbelly leaves off with a special bourbon brunch in collaboration with Craft Spirits and Beer. Three courses by chef Josh Elliot will be paired with handcrafted cocktails using Cyrus Noble Kentucky bourbon for $45.
"It feels incredibly rewarding. Four and a half years ago, when we took over the space and built Pubbelly, we didn't think we were gonna have so many restaurants and concepts in such little time but Miami is definitely becoming a food capital for the us. We're getting to the Chicago and New York level where talented chefs are going out on their own and making it happen. It's great to be a part of that."
Tickets for either feast can be purchased at pubbellyboys.com.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha