The Local Craft
I've been to this place a half dozen times and it is the real deal. The food is fantastic and the beer selection kicks major ass. So far I've enjoyed:
grass fed beef jerky (da bomb!)
bread in a bag w/ bone marrow butter
fried clams (with bellies!!) w/ fried lemon rind & thin sliced cornichon (mimics the flavor of tartar sauce w/o the mayo which is pretty frickin sweet)
frisee salad w/ lamb lardons, toasted almonds, and fried egg
Korobuta pork shank
Shrimp & grits
Chicken thighs w/ dumplings (had this last night and it was awesome)
The place is small and has a few high tops and a bunch of tables. The bar actually came from the old Press Room on Miami Beach. Bartenders and servers are very good and really nice. Kitchen can be a little slow when it gets packed but it's improved on every visit. Strongly recommend checking it out. I rarely ate in the Gables before they opened.
Had the chicken wings last night and they were awesome. They had a nice glaze that was spicy with a hint of sweetness. A lime crema added some cooling flavors too. They also had a rigatoni pasta w/ oxtail & pea tendrils that was fantastic. It gets finished with bone marrow butter. Rich dish but delicious.
I also tried a sour beer last night. Can't remember the name but they will be getting it on tap within the next week or so. Interesting flavor, somewhat cider-like. Can't say I'm a huge fan of sour beer (that was only my 2nd experience and the 1st wasnt great) but it was interesting for a change.
The chef at The Local has an interesting background for a guy doing a gastropub:
Duration Place City Position
2010 - Present STK - Miami Miami Beach Chef de Cuisine
2009 - Present Cook Restaurants LLC Miami Chef & Partner
2008 - 2010 V&E Restaurant Group Miami Corporate Consulting Chef
2005 - 2008 Karu & Y Miami Executive Chef
2003 - 2003 La Broche Miami Chef de Partie
2000 - 2002 Norman's Coral Gables Chef de Partie
1999 - 2001 Baleen Restaurant Miami Executive Sous Chef
Aside from a visit in their first week open (with B.M.), I was there for lunch earlier this week (yes, they've now opened up for lunch) and second that emotion. The jerky is a great snack, and they had a good selection of sandwiches for lunch (I got a banh mi with pork meatballs and chicken liver mousse) as well as some more substantial selections from their dinner menu. Very good, crisp fries served with all the sandwiches.
I've only got a limited sample size so far, but first impression is that the Local is doing the "gastropub" thing better than anywhere else I can think of that's tried to do it in Miami.
As for the name: the sign has "The Local" in big letters, and "Craft Food & Drink" in smaller letters. Yes, their twitter feed is "@thelocalcraft" but the website is "www.thelocal150.com". The full name with their State of Florida filings is "The Local Craft Food & Drink," which is a mouthful. So considering that "the local" is Brit shorthand for "the local pub," I'm calling it "The Local" until instructed otherwise.