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Q&A with Chef Jose Mendin of the new Pubbelly Sushi Market

In Aventura Mall Pubbelly Sushi Market recently opened on the first level of Aventura Mall’s Nordstrom Wing, offering sushi rolls, seafood and meat entrees, a variety of beverages and more. Founded by The Pubbelly Restaurant Group, Pubbelly Sushi is led by five-time James Beard-nominated chef, Jose Mendin. Collectively known as the Pubbelly Boys, Mendin and his partners successfully operate six food and beverage concepts including Pubbelly Noodle Bar; Pubbelly Sushi (Miami Beach, Brickell City Centre, Casa de Campo, American Airlines Arena); Food Republic aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's Escape ship; Pubbelly Station and Pawn Broker in the Langford Hotel; and the recently opened PB Ysla in Puerto Rico. A native of Puerto Rico, Mendin was born into a culinary culture as the child of “food enthusiast” parents and a great-grandmother who was a cooking instructor. We recently spoke with Mendin to learn about his background and what Aventura Mall visitors can expect at the new Pubbelly Sushi Market. Chef, what’s your earliest food memory? My mom stewing her red bean casserole in the kitchen. How’d you learn to cook? I started cooking for myself in college. Then I took a job in a restaurant in Puerto Rico and quickly learned the basics. After that, I went to culinary school at Johnson & Wales. You’re originally from Puerto Rico and have worked in Spain, London, Chicago and Las Vegas. Why’d you choose South Florida for your home base? I moved to Miami in 1998 and fell in love with it right away; there is no other place I’d rather live, besides my hometown of San Juan. The weather, multicultural setting and everything about this city makes it my home. Where did the name Pubbelly come from? I was playing with words for the name of our restaurant and combined the word PUB from gastropub and BELLY from Pork Belly, which I used a lot in my original menu. When I said the name, my partners loved it and we thought it was catchy.     Read full article    ...

Miami’s Best Eats and Drinks This Week: Sushi Maki, Tuscany Thursdays, and Sorso Pop-Up

By Clarissa Buch for Miami New Times   Happy Monday, Miami. Enjoy what’s new in town, from the openings of Pubbelly Sushi Market in Aventura and Sushi Maki in Coconut Grove to Tuscany Thursdays at Commonwealth, World Malbec Day, and Matador Bar’s Third Thursday Takeover Series.   Pubbelly Sushi Market at Aventura Mall Instead of offering tables, chairs, and waitstaff, the Pubbelly Boys’ fourth sushi spot is a grab-and-go version of the company’s signature gastropub. The space caters to busy shoppers or those who prefer take-out rather than dine-in. The menu ($2 to $16) offers a selection of salads, sushi rolls, and sashimi, as well as speciality plates such as tuna pizza drizzled with garlic aioli and truffle oil ($16) and shrimp ceviche taquitos stuffed with avocado mousse and red pico de gallo ($12). New to the menu is a selection of poke bowls, including salmon kimchi ($12) and tuna with sesame sweet soy ($8). The small industrial-designed space, located on the first floor near Gucci and Nordstrom, features a narrow bar with a handful of metal stools. Otherwise, the space is largely standing-room-only. Outside the shop is a public seating area.   Read full article...

Pubbelly Sushi Opens Grab-and-Go Market at Aventura Mall

By Clarissa Buch for Miami New Times   Four months after opening Pubbelly Sushi inside Brickell City Centre, the boys are back with a fourth location and an updated concept: Pubbelly Sushi Market at Aventura Mall. Instead of offering tables, chairs, and waitstaff, the Pubbelly Boys’ newest spot is a grab-and-go version of the company’s signature sushi gastropub. The spot caters to busy shoppers or those who prefer take-out rather than dine-in. “We chose the Aventura Mall as it is one of the busiest malls in Florida,” chef/owner Jose Mendin says. “We were looking for a place where we could showcase our product in a new way that would reach people from different countries and cultures.”   Though service is meant to be fast, Mendin assures quality is not compromised. “We are still very dedicated to good service and ingredients,” he explains, “while also delivering the fun, approachable, neighborhood vibe that Pubbelly Sushi has come to be known for.” The menu ($2 to $16) offers a selection of salads, sushi rolls, and sashimi, as well as speciality plates such as tuna pizza drizzled with garlic aioli and truffle oil ($16) and shrimp ceviche taquitos stuffed with avocado mousse and red pico de gallo ($12). New to the menu is a selection of poke bowls, including salmon kimchi ($12) and tuna with sesame sweet soy ($8). The small industrial-designed space, located on the first floor near Gucci and Nordstrom, features a narrow bar with a handful of metal stools. Otherwise, the space is largely standing-room-only. Outside the shop is a public seating area.   Read full article    ...

How To: Miami, the City of Parties

By Francesca Colturi for The Daily Campus   I recently visited Miami, Florida for the Spring Break of my senior year. Some of my friends and their friends gathered together to find an affordable Airbnb to house all 10 of us. We flew from LaGuardia to Fort Lauderdale to save some money, and then we stayed in North Beach to avoid the overbooked hotels and split Ubers to visit South Beach, a.k.a. the party zone. There’s a lot to do all over Miami, but I can only recommend the best of what I saw, and this is what I think you should see, do and eat:   Places to Eat: Pubbelly Sushi This restaurant is so yummy and has a great happy hour special. The drinks and gourmet sushi rolls are so much cheaper. The beef tartare roll comes with a poached-egg-and-truffle dipping sauce, and the octopus ceviche roll was so fresh it made me want five more. The specialty drinks were also influenced by Latin American and Asian cuisine with ginger, jalepenos and sake.   Read full article    ...

Popular Deering Seafood Festival ‘friend-raiser’ sells out a day early

By Jesse Scheckner for Miami Herald   The annual Deering Seafood Festival has grown steadily over its 13 years, each iteration outdoing the previous in scope and attendance. But this year’s event on Sunday marked a first for the festival, as tickets sold out a day early and Deering Estate Foundation membership sales were temporarily halted to prevent overcrowding. “We do great every year, but this was the first time we’ve ever sold out prior to the day of the event,” said Dave McDonald, president of Deering Estate Foundation. “That’s a tremendous accomplishment for the whole event organization team, including almost 300 volunteers, who do it out of love for this property and this event.” An overcast morning sky turned sunny and clear Sunday as steel drum band Pan Paradise (later relieved by rockers Mr. Nice Guy) played to an audience strewn across the large field on the estate’s eastern end. Every hour, Virgin Islands stilt walkers and Bahamian junkanoo musicians paraded through the crowd, engaging attendees in song and dance. Local restaurant tents populated Seafood Alley along a walkway bordering the field. A northward path led to a variety of vendors, Artists Lane (hosting works by local artisans) and the Li’l Shrimp Kids Zone play area featuring a carnival ride, rock climbing wall and nautically themed bounce houses. A pontoon boat, the Pelican Skipper, took casual seafarers to and from Chicken Key across Biscayne Bay. “This event is the Deering Estate’s annual ‘friend-raiser,’ and we use the allure of Caribbean music, entertainment and seafood to bring people through the gates of this historic park,” said Mary Pettit, Deering Estate Foundation executive director. “Once they come, they realize, ‘Wow, what an amazing place.’ They learn a lot and we make friends that are not only seafood festival goers, but they become members and supporters.” A jellyfish water bottle sculpture along the bridleway leading to the main fields marked entry to Deering Discovery Cove, an environmental education area where roughly a dozen booths were set up by groups including Florida International University’s Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program. In the back, two open cabins housed Hands-on-Scales, a reptile...

Pubbelly Sushi Heads to Downtown Dadeland, and More News You Might Have Missed

By Olee Fowler for Eater Miami   A roundup of news stories from the past week   — Love Panther Coffee but hate waiting in line? Good thing, there’s now an app for that courtesy of local startup SpeedETab. — Pubbelly Sushi is continuing its sushi domination of Florida heading to Kendall this summer in Downtown Dadeland, right after it opens up in Aventura. — Mdough, Miami’s original cookie cup has officially released it’s latest creation: a guava and cheese pastelisto doughie, made with Versailles pastelitos naturally. Available every Wednesday and Thursday on UberEats.   Read full article    ...

MIAMI

In Dats   EAT   Mandolin Aegean Bistrot A family-run Greek bistrot in a 1940s bungalow Pubbelly Sushi An Asian-inspired pub serving incredible fresh fish and craft beers Zak The Baker A breakfast and lunch favourite, with heaven-sent sandwiches!   Read full article    ...

The Best Restaurants for Every Budget in Miami

By Michelle Muslera for Zagat   Miami’s culinary scene boasts so many great eateries, it's easy to find a quality spot no matter the budget. Whether you’re planning a romantic date, a power lunch or Sunday brunch, there’s something in the Magic City for every wallet. Here are our top picks for each occasion.   Sushi Moderately priced: Pubbelly Sushi Doesn't seem to matter if it's a Monday or Friday, this Asian gastropub with locations in Sunset Harbour and Brickell is always slam-packed, so it might be a challenge to find room inside or out. Patience is rewarded with fan favorites like the big eye tuna ($16) and rock shrimp tempura ($19).   Read full article      ...

Haute Shopping: Inside the New Brickell City Centre

By Paige Mastrandrea for Haute Living   It’s finally here. The long-awaited Brickell City Centre from Swire Properties is finally open for business, after undergoing years of construction, planning and hard work to create the final masterpiece that has, at last, graced Miami’s downtown Brickell area. What was once an underused, worn-down center of closed stores, chain restaurants and construction sites is now Miami’s newest shopping mecca, filled with every luxury store one could imagine, as well as a handful of bespoke boutiques and haute dining destinations. For those in the downtown area and even throughout Miami, the Brickell City Centre gives us something we’ve long been craving since the inception of the storied Bal Harbour Shops: our own shopping mall. However, it’s not simply a mall. The innovative design is unique and one of the first of its kind, transforming Brickell into a sustainable consumer hub: Besides being LEED registered, the project also features a $30 million CLIMATE RIBBON™ trellis soaring above it that acts as an environmental management system, able to use nature to cool the outdoor air and enhance consumers’ experience on-site.   Before you shop ’til you drop, make sure to try out one of the mall’s new haute eateries ranging from healthy bites and juices at Dr Smood, farm-to-table fresh lunches from American Harvest or a quick seafood fix at the legendary Luke’s Lobster. For more of a sit-down dining experience, visit Pubbelly Sushi at its newest location, which features the same dishes you know and love from the original Sunset Harbour locale, situated in a hip and funky dining setting with great music. Another must-try is Big Easy Winebar & Grill, a gorgeous eatery with an inventive South African-inspired fusion menu and a serious wine selection. Coming soon, be sure to look out for Tacology, a new taco establishment on the fourth floor; the 38,000-square-foot La Centrale—imagine Miami’s own Eataly, just a bit smaller—and the highly anticipated, iconic Casa Tua Wine Bar located within the Saks department store. And of course, for some luxurious and relaxing entertainment, the upcoming dine-in Cinemex movie theater is sure to be a...

The Best of the “Unofficial” South Beach Wine and Food Festival events

By Becky Randel for The New Tropic   On Thursday the South Beach Wine & Food Festival kicks off its 16th year of bringing celebrity chefs, world-class eats, and many drinks to Miami Beach.  The festival, which brings in 65,000 people, has gotten so large that much like Art Basel,  a ton of “satellite” events have popped up around town for people to enjoy outside of – or in addition to – the main attraction. While many of the city’s top chefs are taking part in official festival events, they’re also throwing their own parties and bringing in chefs from around the country to cook inside their Miami restaurants. Jose Mendin, founding partner and executive chef of The Pubbelly Group, is hosting four events in total, and told us that as a local, he loves to fully utilize this time of year by adding unique experiences to people’s visits. He especially likes to take friends, other chefs, and festival visitors to other part of town so they can see Miami beyond the festival.     It works out: local restaurateurs can show off their eateries to the culinary royalty and out-of-town chefs, while residents are happy to commemorate closer to their homes, extend their foodie evenings into the wee hours, and potentially pay a few less dollars to take part in multi-day festivities. “For us on the beach, it’s great to see people come in before or after an event. It brings excitement in the restaurant. Usually on the night of our event, there are other guests who are coming to eat at Izzy’s anyways, or coming back from Tacos after Dark, Burger Bash, or Oyster Bash, and they just want to stay and continue with great food, drinks, and a good time,” says Jamie DeRosa of Izzy’s Fish & Oyster (see info on his event, below). The satellite events also allow chefs to join in even if they don’t meet festival requirements on issues like seating – Mendin of Pubbelly says there’s a 100-seat requirement that his restaurant doesn’t meet, which is why he does his own events at his restaurants. Here are some of the best “unofficial” parties and...