Jose Mendin knows good food. As director of culinary operations for the Pubbelly Hospitality Group, the chef oversees some of the most popular kitchens in town — an impressive array that includes Pubbelly, Pubbelly Sushi, Barceloneta, Macchialina, and PB Steak. Here, in his own words, are his favorite restaurants in town.
1. DB Bistro Moderne: "The charcuterie board is my favorite dish in Miami or anywhere."
2. Nobu, Makoto, and Zuma: "These are all great examples of modern Japanese cuisine. They think outside the box and are full of flavor. I can't pick one, so here it is: Nobu, for its new-style sashimi; Makoto, for its tuna air bread (I can eat 100 of those); and Zuma, for the baby chicken, one of the best dishes I've ever tasted."
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3. Barceloneta: "Even though I'm a partner there, it is where you will find me every Sunday for brunch. Chef Juliana Gonzalez has to be one of the best chefs in Miami."
4. Hillstone in Coral Gables: "There is something about the consistency of service and food that I love. My favorite dishes are the hickory burger and the crabcakes."
5. Eating House: "Good technique, fun food, and bold flavors. Yep! I like the Cap'n Crunch pancakes."