Last night, lovers of swine and cocktails gathered at Pubbelly for a special evening that brought together Bar Lab boys Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta with chefs Jose Mendin and James Seyba.
The one-night only Miami Spice pop-up, dubbed Pub-Shaker was a preview of sorts of what's to come once the new restaurant at the Broken Shaker opens later this fall. There was not an empty seat in the house.
The Bar Lab boys manned the bar, ensuring every libation was properly garnished and balanced. The botanical pulled lemongrass and tarragon from the Broken Shaker garden and mixed it with fresh lulo, citrus and and dry gin.
Here's to wishing that this Gulf Coast kamasu "poke" seaweed toast with ginger, orange blossoms and pickled sea beans somehow makes its way onto the Pubbelly menu. It was a great first bite and briny start to the entire meal.
Jamie's house-made whipped organic cow milk ricotta had Kendall (yes, that Kendall) mangoes and tabasco peppers from the Broken Shaker garden.
The best dish of the night was a do it yourselfer. Suckling pig from Mary's ranch cooked to crispy perfection and served with seared brioche, Homestead pickles and a spicy barbecue mustard sauce that should be packaged and sold by the pint.
"Ratatouille" dumplings with Homestead eggplant, summer squash, tomato amazu (a Japanese sweet and sour sauce) and baby zucchini.
"Po' boy" dumplings packed Cape Canaveral royal red shrimp in a pillow of delight and served with bacon pickled corona farms okra. Although they were definitely shrimpy, I found them delicious.
You know there was bound to be belly in one form on another. Gochujang lamb belly was decadently fatty and served with calabaza coconut puree that had added heat to it.
More belly, except this time it was Jackman Ranch wagyu beef belly with daikon sauerkraut and mustard jus.
Two words: baked Alaska. OK, more like four words: pecan pie baked Alaska. 'Nuff said.
When was the last time you saw push-pops? How about fresh strawberry and guava push-pops? Hopefully last night. As the dude who exited the restaurant as we were licking on these bad boys best put it, "Bro, that was so good I didn't even notice the rain." It didn't rain.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha