Several weeks ago, as many of you know, was Passover. A time to remember the story of the pilgrimage out of Egypt, to deny all bread products, and to keep Kosher. Naturally, this was a great time to try Pubbelly, a menu heavy-laden with pork. It was one of the last places on our “to do” list and, since dates avec chorizo and several other offerings are leaven-free, we headed to the beach. Faced with an hour-long wait and people pouring out of the Pubbelly empire’s smallest, yet most successful spot, we grabbed some drinks at B&B (next time, we’ll go to Barceloneta for drinks first). Only to later discover that the wait was shorter than expected and we lost our table. Twice. Nonetheless, the host was super accommodating and gave us a great table almost immediately.
We started with a 2009 Argentinian Malbec, with its sweetness somehow complimenting each spicy, citrusy, crunchy, and salty dish we ordered.
What we ate:
- Duck a l’Orange, duck leg confit, potato, spinach, tangerine, shitake.
- Dates with chorio, stuffed with goat cream and bacon. These little guys have recently been popping up on most menus, typically in the form of lackluster one-bite wonders. Pubbelly does it well, with giant, warm dates enveloped in crispy, caramelized bacon. Hello, lover.
- Burratina with papaya, bean sprouts, green apples, soy & jerez vin (it looked a lot prettier than this when it was served to us, but we couldn’t help diving in before we snapped a picture). With an array of sweet & salty flavors, crunchy & creamy textures, and contrasting temperatures (cool cheese atop a warm salad), this was one of the best dishes we’ve ever had. Anywhere.
- Kobucha pork belly with butterscotch miso and corn powder (four hearty servings of (arguably) the best part of the little piggie).
- House made gnudi with braised short rib, pumpkin, shitake, spinach, parmesan, and black lager jus.
- Octopus a la plancha with chorizo, potatoes, piquillo, yuzu, and dried soybeans (the sauce is insane – even the non-octopus lover of the table (Stef) was just eating the sauce with a fork). The octopus was super tender with tiny bits of crispiness from the slight char.
We skipped dessert and instead headed to Barceloneta for some after dinner dranks. After a round of lychee martinis & some delicious concoction made with cardamon, the clear winner of the bunch was a spin on a gin & tonic, made with cucumber, mint, and guindilla pepper. It left a burning sensation on our lips well into the night, but it was well worth it. (That’s what she said).
Pubbelly more than exceeded our expectations. A few weeks later, and you can still hear us “ooh” and “ahh”-ing over that fabulous burratina. Not only was the food exceptional, but the feel of the resto itself was special. Many restaurants try to evoke a feel within their spots that are “neighborhood-y.” Pubbelly does this with flying colors. Even as a place to see and be seen, it successfully keeps a low-key vibe. Once finals are over, expect to see us there more often.
-Stef & Shari