You can imagine my anticipation when I heard the undisputed Kings of Swine, the Pubbelly boys were behind the restaurant PB Station (CLOSED)
at the new Langford Hotel in downtown Miami. Even ZAGAT said it was there most anticipated eatery to open. You can then imagine my major disappointment when I have to give this restaurant a pass rating.
Let me start at the beginning. PB Station is located at 121 SE First Avenue on the ground floor of the former Miami National Bank, and is now the new Langford Hotel. It’s a combination of two former concepts which I loved, PB Steak and PB Fish which was a popular pop up inside the old PB Steak restaurant. They are calling this a new American craft restaurant with global influences. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The restaurant looks like the inside of a train station. The walls are tiled, the floor is terrazzo and the ceilings are high. This is the nicest and most dynamic looking of all the Pubbelly restaurants, it sort of has this New York feel to it.
We should have known we were in for trouble when we arrived to an empty restaurant at 8:15 on a Thursday night.
Even though the restaurant was empty except for one other table, they tried to seat us next to the kitchen and bathrooms. We did manage to move tables after protesting. When we asked the waiter to help us with our wine selection he had no knowledge of the wines and he said there was no sommelier. He brought the glassware and dropped a few glasses on our table which broke. Listen, accidents can happen. They cleared off the broken glass and no one was hurt. We wanted a full bodied red and after a discussion with the bartender, he proceeded to pour us a fruity wine …??!! I think a steak restaurant should offer some solid full-bodied reds.
The menu is rather limited, I was surprised to see very few fish dishes, but there is quite a bit of seafood. There were only 3 steak offerings as well.
To begin we tried the local radish salad with burrata, pickled strawberries, candied walnuts in a herb vinaigrette. The salad was basically thinly sliced radishes with the tiniest amount of burrata buried underneath. Our friends ordered the Kansas City steak, but it really doesn’t say what kind of steak it was for $57. They asked for a center cut (my friend happens to be in the meat business). They were told this was not possible. They also said they couldn’t tell what kind of steak it was and found it too saucy. We had the filet mignon which came in a gravy-like puddle of foie butter. The steak was not tender and not cooked to medium but more of a medium well. The lamb chops with a roasted pepper relish were overcooked and not tender. If you are going to a steak restaurant the steak better be good considering that is what they are specializing in. I don’t indulge in red meat that often so when I do, I expect it to be cooked to a juicy perfection.
The sides didn’t fare much better. The fries were acceptable, but the baked potato was dry, the jumbo carrots in a short rib jus, herb purée and maple syrup were not that appealing and the Brussel sprouts in a salted caramel and peanuts were tasty but saucy. There were no standout dishes at all.
This is the Pubbelly boys first restaurant off the beach. Considering it has only been open a few weeks you would think they would be present to make sure things were running smoothly. I kept reading that this restaurant is like nothing you’ve seen before. Well, I hope not nor do I wish to see it again. I don’t want to hear an excuse that the restaurant is less than a month old and it still has to iron out its kinks. Sorry, but a restaurant shouldn’t bother opening until it is running smoothly. The menu was created by Jose Mendin who has been nominated four times for a James Beard award, but this menu and dinner leaves me unimpressed.
PS. The Pubbelly boys have opened their first bar/lounge on the roof of the Langford called the Pawnbroker.