Miami's Top Five Gastropubs
|The Federal's fisherman's chowder|
This is the latest in a welcome rash of hip, casual neighborhood restaurants to open over the past year. The Federal's food is as distinctive as can be, from jar-o-duck with sweet potato and marshmallow fluff to Buffalo-style pig wings to sweetbread with biscuits & gravy. Some half-dozen pints of draft beer include Avery Brewing Company's IPA and Summit Red Ale. A similar number of bottled brews include the Golden Monkey Tripel from Colorado. Over 100 wine selections are culled exclusively from family estate producers.
|McBelly at Pubbelly|
It was our pick for Best Restaurant in South Beach last year, and chef/partner Sergio Navarro was recently nominated for Best Chef South by the James Beard Foundation. Yes, the small-plates menu of 30-plus Asian-accented items are fresh, creative, and flavor-packed. The $6 McBelly, for instance, packs the fatty pork into a bun with pickles, shaved onions, and kim chee barbecue sauce. Bowls of ramen, plates of imported Spanish hams, raw bar items, duck-and-pumpkin dumplings. Yum. On the pub side: more than a dozen bottled beers, 14-ounce draughts, a couple of dozen boutique red and white wines.
|Haven's Swedish meatballs with cremini mushrooms.|
This is not your daddy's gastropub. For one thing, your daddy never had a gastropub as they weren't invented yet. But Haven is unlike anybody's gastropub, mostly because of the ambiance: wraparound LCD screens immerse diners in scenes of snow-capped mountains and other visual wonders, a thousand or so ice-cube lights line the ceiling, the Siberian white-onyx bar changes colors, and, if you stay long enough, an electric late night crowd ambles in and turns the wattage up even more. Granted, this is not the typical environment we think of in terms of gastropubs, but it's local, has fantastic and creative and uber-ambitious food by chef Todd Erickson, and beers, wines, and cocktails match the quality of all else -- the last come smoking from liquid nitrogen. This is a gastropub for sure -- only it's the next generation gastropub.
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