Yes, I know you should new give restaurants time to work out the kinks before paying them a visit but as soon as I saw the new menu for Pacific Time in the Miami Design District on Menupages I wanted to go right then and there.
It's in the old Piccadilly / The District space and they've cleaned the space up tremendously (the Plexiglass bar from District is gone, shucks). The space is clean and airy with amber lighting and a large, open kitchen visible from almost every seat. There's a long bar with stool tables as well which makes it a perfect happy hour destination.
The wine list is extremely reasonable. Whites are mostly on the lower end of the price scale and there's good values on reds as well. I guess it's going with the revised Pacific Time concept of it being a mid-priced, casual place vs. the higher end, South Beach PT. The menu starts with small plates (around 10 or 12) then on to a few entrees (about 4) and sides. We started off with the grilled cuttlefish salad and the grilled sardines on panzanella. What we got was a grilled cuttlefish salad where the cuttlefish was cut in rings and laid on top of lettuce instead of cellophane noodles indicated on the menu. Turns out they’d changed the preparation but not the menu. The menu is only 2 days old. As for the sardines, they started off good, but then I got this harsh, pungent taste. It was like fresh horseradish mixed with wasabi. It was strong enough that my eyes were watering and the top of my nasal passage was on fire. I asked the waitress to check if there was some type of horseradish on this dish and she said no after inquiring with the kitchen.
On to mains. My fiancée ordered the bbq rib small plate which came out cold so she returned it for a fresh one. The ribs were good, but I’ll always compare small orders of ribs with those at River Oyster Bar and River’s were way better. My entrée of salt and pepper skate was good. It was the whole skate wing as opposed to half of the wing separated from the cartilage so it was thicken than I was used too. The salt/pepper seasoning reminds you of the classic Chinese salt/pepper preparation but was tempered by a parsnip puree with finely diced green apples. It was missing the capers which the waitress insisted did not come with the dish (though the menu said otherwise).
We ran into some friends who were both disappointed with the menu changes. Both came in to get the dishes they loved at PT in SB. We, on the other hand, liked the new small plates additions but felt they could beef up the entrees (possibly with the missing dishes from the old PT). We’ll definitely be back after the kinks are hopefully worked out because there were tons of small plates we wanted to try that we didn’t have room for (I’ve never passed up sweetbreads on a menu but I was in a fishy mood last night). Glad to see PT back in town (and especially on my side of town).