After short stints as a Spanish tapas café and the French L'etoile, this spot on the edge of Royal Palm Place is now a gastropub with a Caribbean and Creole flair.
That flair stems from executive chef partner Brian Marcotte, who owned three restaurants in the West Indies. Most recently, he was general manager at Rebel House, where he blended food flavors into unexpected cocktails.
"I've brought my mixology back into my food here," Marcotte says, meaning he's infusing the sense of play from his libations. "You get deep, dark flavors. Everything is balanced, so it makes things easy to pair together."
For example, he pairs nutty flavors in the mushroom and burrata crostini with sage brown butter ($10) with the Numbnuts cocktail — bourbon infused with roasted pecans and almonds ($10). Another combo: candied goat atop mushroom polenta with grilled apples, a glaze of ancho chili and smoked paprika, and caramelized mezcal pan sauce ($10) with The Tucci — bourbon, smoked paprika, ancho chili and roasted jalapenos ($10).
The menu changes frequently, but you might find pesto escargot with sea-salt roasted bone marrow crostini, called Shells & Bones ($12), and The Jerk — seven-hour braised, jerked goat leg with curry nage and spicy tomato jam ($18).
Dinner is served nightly amid a dark rustic ambiance with an open kitchen. Patches of faux brick on charcoal-colored walls match the brick-fronted bar next to a second room with faux-treated beige walls. Industrial fans and misters ease the heat on the front patio. Brunch may launch in a couple of months.
Hilton Cabana Miami Beach hotel, 6261 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 786-483-1611, PubbellyBoys.com
Fans of the Pubbelly boys are welcoming their seventh concept (including pop-ups) in nearly four years. This time, it's French and their largest yet with an oceanfront bar in a new 1950s-inspired hotel that debuted last month.
"We wanted to make sure the menu offered a classical, yet approachable take on French cuisine," says co-owner Andreas Schreiner. "A nod to our commitment to modern-world dining, you'll find some more progressive dishes on the menu. From safe to adventurous, I think guests can enjoy the flavors of a brasserie done Pubbelly-style."
Breakfast and dinner are served daily, plus weekday lunch, amid an orange-and-black subtle French bistro ambiance with chalkboards, an open kitchen and pendant lighting reminiscent of floating bubbles. Breakfast highlights include smoked salmon croissant sandwich ($15). At lunch, there's croque-monsieur ($16) and a brisket-short rib L'echon cheeseburger topped with suckling pig ($22).
Dinner standouts are dates stuffed with pork and bacon ($12), foie Nutella crostini ($14) and suckling pig, called cochon de lait ($25). A three-day process perfects the crispy duck leg confit ($34), and the addictive pommes Lyonnaise is salt-baked and fried with duck fat and garlic ($10). Chocolate bread pudding with banana ice cream and peanut shortbread ($10) is a sweet ending.
Sunday brunch is expected to launch at the end of this month.
Tucker Duke's Lunchbox & Market
1101 S. Powerline Road, #102, Deerfield Beach, 954-708-2035, TuckerDukesLunchBox.com
This 6-month-old nook with a bar and high-tops has launched weekend brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
"Breakfast dishes are a great addition to our Southern-style comfort food menu and was a nice progression for us," says co-owner John Cortes.
The lineup is a mix of new dishes and signatures, such as burgers named after dogs, like the half-pound towering Tucker Duke burger with onion rings ($10) and the Mondragon loaded with bacon and fried egg ($12).
New brunch selections include Seaber's super-crunchy, Italian-seasoned chicken & waffle ($9), Toto eggs Benedict ($9), Maggie brioche French toast with pistachio custard and strawberry candied granola ($9) and King brioche with maple-glaze pork belly, banana and peanut butter ($11). Mimosas are $8 each or $15 for unlimited servings.
Summertime burgers ($9) for lunch or dinner include the Roscoe with spicy tomato marmalade, blue cheese and bacon spread, and the Lulu with berry cream cheese, bacon, teriyaki sauce, grilled pineapple and roasted red-pepper ring
A summer series that pairs limited-release beers with five-course dinners for $49 continues at 8 p.m. Aug. 5 with Funky Buddha Brewery and Aug. 19 with Funky Buddha, Cigar City Brewing and Wynwood Brewing.
Black Pearl Tavern
2948 E. Commercial Blvd. Fort Lauderdale, 954-491-7711
After a four-month closure, this sports tavern moved half a mile down the street to the former Gold Medal Wine Shop, where owner James "JB" Brown gutted it to add a kitchen, New England memorabilia, 12 TVs and mahogany tables and bar that he crafted himself.
"I desired to be more east in location," says Brown, a Boston native. "After 19 successful years in the same location, it was time for a positive change closer to the beach with a fresh new look. I hope I have another 19 years here."
Drinks are the main draw, including standard cocktails, house wines and 30 beers, with 16 crafts on tap, such as Funky Buddha's Hop Gun. The backbone of the compact menu is seven burgers ($10.75-$11.75), such as blue cheese or bacon, and five kinds of chicken wings ($10.50-$11.75), such as garlic or teriyaki.
"It's basic comfort bar food with a soup of the day, and we run a daily special, such as meatloaf or lasagna. I make sure everything is done perfect," Brown says.
Lunch and dinner are served daily. An acoustic guitarist plays during happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. weekdays when domestic beers, well drinks and wine are $2.50.