Miami's Top Five Gastropubs
|Salad at The Local|
Except sometimes the line between a gastropub and not-a-gastropub can be thin and near invisible.
A place like Clarke's, for example, serves good fare with viable beverages, but it's really just a pub with good food. Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant serves decent fare and distinctive beer, but it's a brewery & restaurant. Elwood's Gastro Pub has the name pat, but the menu is not much different than at T.G.I.F. Sra. Martinez proffers small plates of chef-driven fare with select beers and wines, but it's a tapas joint -- which is sort of like a Spanish-style gastropub but it still doesn't count. Primo Pizza makes pizza, which has nothing at all to do with this except I'm feeling hungry and gastropubs, it might be noted, do not as a rule deliver.
So now that I've cleared things up, let's take a gander at Miami's five finest gastropubs:
|Rock shrimp tempura at Pubbelly Sushi|
We'll be honest: Our inclination was to leave this number five slot blank, because while Pubbelly Sushi, as well as the same team's Barceloneta, satisfy gastropub requirements, the latter's Spanish roots steer it towards the tapas category and the former serves sushi and is too similar to Pubbelly -- which is already on this list. So let's just say Pubbelly Sushi carries 14 brews, half of which are Asian imports, has a quirky wine list with about a dozen choices for $40 or less, proffers twelve select sakes, and serves cool food in a casual environment. And we'll add that we like it a lot and that this town that evidently doesn't have nearly enough gastropubs.
|Good brew and chew on tap at The Local|
The chef/partner at this chef-driven cafe, Alberto Cabrera, left at the end of January in order to pursue his own frita shop. Luckily he left the beer list behind, which was recently named one of the 10 Best Beer Menus In America by Esquire magazine. The twenty or so draft pours include Brooklyn Brown Ale, Cigar City Maduro (from Tampa), and Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale, which is extremely challenging to pronounce after you've had a few. Great bottles on hand as well, and food at this 50-seater is ambitious for sure. Diners can start with artisanal American cheeses before moving on to items such as duck rillette with red wine jam, and dark wedges of grass-fed flank steak jerky.