Local Empires Unite as Two of Miami’s Hippest Homegrown Brands – Pubbelly Restaurant Group and Panther Coffee – Team-Up for the Highly-Anticipated Summer Opening of L’echon Brasserie
Tackling their largest feat yet, Andreas Schreiner, Sergio Navarro and Jose Mendin, the talented trio behind Pubbelly Restaurant Group and the company’s slew of popular eateries, are gearing-up for the highly-anticipated, French done Pubbelly-style bistro, L’echon Brasserie, slated to open summer 2014 in conjunction with the completely renovated Hilton Cabana Miami Beach hotel at 6261 Collins Avenue. For the project, the Pubbelly Boys are uniting with another Miami mini-empire, Panther Coffee, to launch an exclusive blend from the homegrown company, just for L’echon.
Their seventh unique concept to open in just three and a half years, the larger, 130-seat locale is the first to include an oceanfront outdoor patio – a surprisingly unique feature in Miami. Despite the aforementioned, the brasserie will be all-Pubbelly, holding true to the staples that have put the brand on the map. A scrumptious menu of shareable plates; stellar selection of craft beers, wines and cocktails; cool, head-bopping music; friendly staff; and a hip, comfortable décor embodying the concept and it’s owners, will not be missed.
“The brasserie is our entry into one of our favorite cuisines – French,” explains Schreiner. “The three of us have always talked of owning a little French place where we could munch on things like duck confit, escargot bourguignon, and anything a la meunière. Now, with Chef Jose’s interpretation of modern and classic French dishes, we have it – and it’s truly a treat.”
Mendin’s treats are abound with an extensive menu covering breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch, featuring freshly made pastries for breakfast, house made pates, charcuterie and sausages, wood fired grilled veggies, fish and meats and more. Utilizing his talented Sous Chef, Josh Elliott (EOS, db Bistro Moderne), who joined The Pubbelly Group in 2012 at PB Steak and then Pubbelly, Mendin beautifully demonstrates his interpretation of modern and classic French dishes with signatures such as an addictive Frisée aux Lardon salad with warm bacon vinaigrette, croutons, poached egg and tarragon dressing; buttery Raie à la Grenobloise (skate wing) with capers, pistachios, cranberries, croutons and brown butter; Confit de Canard – duck leg confit, charred carrots, carrot puree and ginger; Raviolis de Lapin – rabbit dumplings with mustard crème, sauce vierge, olives, Florida basil salad and pine nuts; Modules Frites – mussels, celery, shallots, white wine, sauce beurre blanc and frites.
Beginning items including the Raw Bar or Fruits de Mer, ($3.50-$65) include a daily selection of Huitres de Jour – east and west coast oysters; Hamachi Crudo with black say, tomatoes and Florida basil; Coquille St. Jacques – Japanese citrus, turnips, verjus blanc, red grapes, black truffle and shiso; and for the ultimate indulgence, the Plateau de Fruits de Mer Cabana – one dozen oysters, half a Maine lobster, ceviche de jour, mussels and poached shrimp. Tartines ($3-$9) a decadent Foie Gras and Nutella Toast – foie mousse, pickled onions and mojo aioli; Pan con L’echon – cochinillo, pickled onions, mojo aioli; and Croque Monsieur – country ham, gruyère, sauce Mornay.
Hors d’oeuvres ($9-$19) include an homage to Mendin’s signature dates avec chorizo with Dates avec L’echon with smoked bacon, suckling pig, Florida arugula, grained mustard; Boudin Noir – blood sausage, garbanzos, spinach, pine nuts and raisins; Cervelle de Veau Meunière – pan roasted veal brains, caper brown butter, blue crab tartar sauce; and Moëlle Rôtie en Croute – roasted bone marrow, mushroom duxelle, leek fondue and puff pastry. Les Pates & Riz, pastas and rice dishes, (15-$25) include Riz aux Fruits de Mar – Maine lobster, scallops, shrimp, crawfish, coconut milk, lobster nage and cashews; and Tagliatelle à la Truffe Noire with parmesan, truffle and soy butter.
Les Plats Principaux ($19-$25) include the filling Le Burger L’echon – roasted pork, mojo onions, tarragon aioli and frites; Vavarin d Agneau – braised domestic lamb shank, flageolet beans, lamb jus and pistou; and Cochon de Lait – suckling pig, celery root rémoulade, house mustard and thyme jus. The wood fire Le Grill ($10-$110) utilizes a mixture of Alder, Grapevine, Hickory and Mesquite woods to make perfectly smoky local Baby Eggplant, served with green onion yogurt; Diver Scallops with American caviar beurre blanc; 21oz L’echon Chop – 30 day dry aged pork chop with pickled apple slaw and mustard jus; and the Côte de Boeuf – 24oz bone-in rib eye.
To bring the meal to a close Desserts ($9) from the young and talented pastry chef Maria Orantes include twists on French classics such as Crème Brulee with blueberry preserves, crème brulee foam and seasonal berries; Brown Butter Tart Tatin with Granny Smith apples, puff pastry, ricotta cream and housemade brown butter ice cream; Tiramisu Aux Fraise featuring ladyfingers, fresh strawberries, strawberry cremeux, dulce de leche mousse, strawberry dust and chocolate croquant; and a warm Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding with flaky chocolate croissant, milk chocolate custard, salty caramel ice cream and peanut shortbread.
Continuing to hold their beverage program at as high esteem as their food, The Pubbelly Restaurant Group has upped the ante again with the partnership with another of Miami’s mini-empires, Panther Coffee, who is creating a unique blend just for the property. Furthering this trend, Pubbelly Group Bar Chef and mixology maven Ashley Danella, who gained notoriety for her deliciously creative cocktail program at PB Steak, creates a tantalizing menu of hand-crafted concoctions for L’echon that aptly balance depth and character so they may be enjoyed on their own, while also possessing the delicate simplicity needed to complement a dish. “For the brasserie, I wanted to keep it simple and elegant,” explains Danella. “The drinks are strong enough to carry a bar, but they also play quite nicely with what Jose and Josh put out of the kitchen. We use select spirits, the freshest herbs and fruits, and top-quality ingredients.”
The French-inspired line-up focuses on a classic milieu of spirits such as gin, Cognac and Champagne, and demonstrates Danella’s talent, knowledge and deft touch. Options include, Cognac Sazerac – Paul Beau VS Cognac, sugar and Peychaud’s bitters, served in a chilled absinthe-rinsed glass with a lemon peel; French 75 – gin, fresh lemon juice and Champagne, served tall over ice; Champagne Cocktail – Cognac VS, brown sugar cube, bitters and Champagne; Lavender Fields – vodka, lavender, crème de violette, egg white and lemon; Corpse Reviver #2 – gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc and lemon, served chilled, up, with a dash of absinthe; Sherry Cobbler –Lustau Amontillado, fresh citrus and cane sugar over crushed ice; French Tickler – Vodka, Dolin Genepy and bubbles, over ice; and the Crux – Cognac, Cointreau, Dubbonnet Rouge and fresh lemon juice, served up. Refreshing Panther Coffee drinks, with and without liquor, for the pool and beach bars will also be on offer. Danella plans a Happy Hour, offered daily from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., in the hotel’s interior courtyard, featuring great deals on craft beers, wines and specialty cocktails, as well as small bites. Although the hotel’s pool and beaches are for guests only, an affordable membership club is in the works.
The 2,500 square-foot indoor, outdoor and courtyard space, reminiscent of the Magic City’s 1950s and ‘60s cabana years, incorporates a rustic Pubbelly look, with subtle French bistro elements. Pubbelly Group principal Sergio Navarro assisted the hotel’s design firm, RTKL, with the kitchen layout and the feel of the restaurant space. The dining room features a wood beam ceiling and white exposed brick walls, along with inherited Pubbelly design standards including rustic chairs at butcher block and large communal tables, and blackboards displaying the menus. A covered patio that overlooks the ocean offers ambient al fresco dining to the sound of crashing waves. Two waterfalls set the mood in the interior courtyard of the hotel, ideal for pre or post-dinner drinks under the stars, or to grab a coffee and croissant in the morning hours. Lushly landscaped pool decks with direct beach access and views, create an oasis among the buildings for guests who want to soak up the sun and/or fresh ocean air.
As culinary director for The Pubbelly Group, Puerto Rican born and raised chef Mendin has overseen concept and menu development for all seven concepts and serves as executive chef for Pubbelly, Pubbelly Sushi, PB Steak, Taco Belly and L’echon Brasserie. Locally, nationally and internationally recognized, Mendin’s cuisine has received numerous accolades and awards, including a being a semi-finalist for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 James Beard Awards for Best Chef: South, 3.5 stars from The Miami Herald, stellar reviews in The Miami New Times and a Best Restaurant on South Beach 2011 by the same paper.
Pubbelly Restaurant Group partners Andreas Schreiner, Jose Mendin and Sergio Navarro joined forces in 2010 to create and open their flagship concept, and the first of what has now become a mini-restaurant empire, Pubbelly Gastropub, in the then desolate neighborhood of Sunset Harbour on Miami Beach. A year later, in October of 2011, the Boys acquired the space adjacent to Pubbelly and opened Pubbelly Sushi, directly followed by the Spanish tapas restaurant Barceloneta (in November of 2011), two doors down in the opposite direction. Just seven months later, in June 2012, came Italian eatery Macchialina, from who they have recently split ways. The second location of Barceloneta opened in South Miami in November of 2012, and the group’s PB Steak opened in Sunset Harbour in January 2013, with its pop-up lunch taqueria, Taco Belly, opening that summer. Slated for an early 2014 opening, The Pubbelly Group will head all the food and beverage for the Hilton Cabana Miami Beach, including a French done Pubbelly-style restaurant called L’echon Brasserie. Because of their important part in the revitalization of the now bustling Sunset Harbour area of Miami Beach, the City of Miami Beach officially recognized March 13 as The Pubbelly Group Day. Locally, nationally and internationally recognized, Pubbelly continues to garner attention from outlets such as Travel + Leisure, The New York Times, Food & Wine, Chicago Tribune and The Miami Herald, among others.
L’echon Brasserie, located within the Hilton Cabana Miami Beach hotel at 6261 Collins Avenue, will serve breakfast daily from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.; lunch Monday-Friday from noon – 3 p.m. and dinner Sunday – Thursday from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. – 12 a.m. The pool and beach will be open from sunrise to sunset, with food and beverage service from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. The pool bar will remain open until 10 p.m. on most evenings. A French-style weekend brunch will be served every Sunday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Valet parking available at the hotel. Phone: 786-483-1611 Website: www.lechonbrasserie.com