Pubbelly Sushi {restaurant review}

It’s Wednesday but I’m still on a high from a wonderful weekend full of sun, laughter and relaxation.  Oh, and a few mojitos.

It was honestly exactly what Big Guy and I needed.  A weekend away from reality that recharged our batteries.  In true Emily fashion I did as much research as possible (around food and drink) when it was set in stone that I would be meeting Big Guy in Miami to celebrate our anniversary.  Sometimes his work schedule isn’t so bad.  wink wink.

I have a “secret” list of restaurants that I want to visit all over the world.  But I did not have one restaurant in Miami on the list.  Don’t worry, I dug a little bit and we had a great weekend of eating and drinking.

Pubbelly Sushi was a definite eating spot for the weekend the moment I stumbled across their menu.

Pubbelly Sushi is the second restaurant by the Pubbelly Restaurant Group and takes inspiration from the original gastropub in its style and ambiance. We refer to the restaurant as a sushi tavern and the cuisine reflects both rustic and creative sushi preparations and classics interpretations.

I seriously wanted to order everything on the menu.  And while we didn’t order everything – we tried so many small plates – our favorite way to eat.

To start:


miso & pistachio

I’ve been kind of obsessed with the idea of roasted shishito peppers since I found out they were a hybrid of a bell pepper and jalapeno.  One in ten of these bad boys is spicy.  We lucked out and didn’t burn our mouth on any of the peppers but we literally wanted to lick this little cast iron clean.  The sauce was out of this world.


asian pear, garlic, cherry tomato, yuzu soy, hot sesame oil

Absolutely delicious.  But incredibly hard to eat with chopsticks.  Just being honest.  I wanted a little more heat from this dish but I loved all the textures.

Round Two:


bibb lettuce, tomato, bacon, blue crab tartar sauce

I have to be honest – not our favorite roll.  It reminded me a lot of chicken salad.

pork belly

bbq pork belly, kimchee coleslaw, fried clams

Such a unique roll.  I adored the pork belly flavor and texture – it was perfectly cooked.

Round Three:


spicy tuna, “arroz pegao,” truffle oil, sea salt

Hands-down, my favorite roll of the night.  A little “patty” of rice is fried for the base and then topped with the spicy tuna.  So, so good.  I can’t even describe the flavor.  But the tuna was so fresh and melted in your mouth.

lobstah roll

yuzu & celery

On the menu there was a section for “New England Style Rolls” which meant they were served on a bun instead of rice.  I was obviously intrigued and this was the roll we decided to try.  The roll was soft and doughy while the lobster mixture was sweet and succulent and the fried “straws” on top gave it an incredible texture.  This was perfect for Big Guy and I to share (one bite each) but would be awkward for a group of folks to share.

salmon 2

crab, serrano peppers, mozzarella, crispy onions, spicy mayo, eel sauce

I simply had to try this since I probably won’t be back to Pubbelly Sushi in the near future.  Such a twist on traditional sushi.

Pubbelly Sushi was an incredible eating experience.  We were able to take our time and order several rounds of food.  Like I said, Big Guy and I love to eat this way – small plate, after small plate.  It’s the perfect way to eat your way through a menu without feeling completely miserable.

A must-try for any food lover.

And I must say, I’ve never seen nor eaten at an Asian-fusion gastropub.  Until Pubbelly Sushi.

Chocolate and Espresso Layer Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

There are no words for this cake.  

It’s everything you want in a chocolate cake and more.

It’s rich and sweet but not overly sweet, thanks to the espresso.  (And don’t worry, Marlo, it doesn’t taste like coffee at all!)

And there’s actually quite a lot of texture – especially with the peanuts on top.

And the frosting…my favorite part.

Cream cheese + peanut butter.  I’m done.  My life is complete.

But I can’t lie.  The cake takes a little time.

I actually baked the cake the evening before I planned on eating the cake.  That gave the cake the opportunity to fully cool before I wrapped it up tightly and stored it in the fridge.

The next morning, I pulled out all the ingredients for the frosting to make sure they were at room temperature.

I could not wait to dig into a slice.

I was pretty impressed since I’m more of a cook and not the skilled at baking.

Not that it matters, but it was worth every.single.calorie.



{2 years}


Life’s a long and winding ride
Better have the right one by your side
Happiness don’t drag its feet
And time moves faster than you think

(Kip Moore, Hey Pretty Girl)

Happy Anniversary, Big Guy.

The past two years have been nothing less than amazing.

I love you.

Friday Favorites

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Hello Friday!  OH, and hello to all you guys.  Can you believe that this weekend marks our 2 year anniversary?  Craziness.  Some day’s if feels as if it happened yesterday and other day’s it feels like decades ago.  But every day it feels pretty amazing to be married to someone that makes you laugh  Anyways, we’re celebrating our anniversary all weekend long with sunshine and sand but we did follow the “cotton” tradition when it came to gifts.  I got amazing new curtains for our living room makeover and he got new bath towels (hah!).

I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend and I think I’m going to go find a mojito.  See ya next week!

Favorite Lust:  I’m dying (in a good and bad way) over the print.  I simply can’t justify that amount for a piece of cloth that is going to get sandy and ultimately end up at the bottom of my beach bag.  Hey, Tory, why don’t you make a line just for Target.  (If you know me, you know I’m being incredibly sarcastic.)

Favorite Lessons:  5 Things I Learned from Working in  at Test Kitchen.  My dream job.

Favorite Wake-Up:  Havarti Breakfast Biscuits with Jalapeno, Bacon and Arugula.   This is SO happening in my house.  Preferably with a mimosa on the side.

Favorite Indulge:  Crispy Avocado Fries with Melty Cheese Dip.  Avocados are so healthy, why not trash ’em up?

Favorite Travel:  Spain is slowing inching it’s way up my list of “Travel the World” – especially after reading this article.  

Favorite Slice:  “Hot and Honey” Buffalo Chicken Pizza.  I know I’ve made pizza similar to this before but I just love pizza so much.

Favorite Flavors:  Sliders with Jalapeno Burger Sauce.  With homemade potato buns?  Stop it.

Favorite Fashion:  I’m kind of obsessing over this tank.

Favorite Sweet:  Banoffee Pie.  Just don’t tell Big Guy it’s vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free.

Favorite Buzz:  Champagne Mojito.  Weekends are meant to be celebrated and mojitos are meant for warmer weather.


Dijon-Herb Chicken Thighs

You have no idea how happy this plate of food made me and Big Guy.

Not only is it a fuss-free dinner but Big Guy got to fire up the grill and I was able to use herbs from the garden.

Soon enough I’ll be able to whip up salads like this with veggies from our backyard.

The Dijon-Herb Chicken Thighs start with a quick marinade of olive oil, parsley, chives, Dijon mustard (I used a sweet balsamic dijon mustard that I brought home from Sonoma), and garlic.  And while the chicken doesn’t require any marinade time – I decided to put it all in a large zip-lock bag about an hour before it was time to throw them on the grill.  A little infusion of flavors is always a good thing.

And for the salad, I simply sliced up a handful or two of grape tomatoes and quartered cucumber slices before dressing them with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

Before serving, I chopped up some of our purple basil and sweet basil to complete the salad.





The marinade would be great on any cut of chicken, pork chops or fish.  But you know I love a good chicken thigh.

And while the chicken could totally be cooked in the kitchen, it’s grilling season.

And if Big Guy grills outside, my kitchen stays a lot cleaner.

tuesday things.

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1.  First of all, “tuesday things” was not my idea.  I got it from How Sweet It Is.  Her blog is one of my “must read daily” blogs.  And her cookbook is pretty fantastic, too.  And no, I did not get paid to say that.

2.  I tried a new yogurt on Sunday.  So good with my homemade granola.


3.  Speaking of new things, I was at Target grabbing some necessary household items last week and decided to get a hot tea at S-bucks.  I grabbed a KIND bar because it was a flavor I had never tried.  Ended up, I was “kinded” and got it for free!  How kind is that? <— see what i did there?


4.  This past Friday night was Supper Club.  Unfortunately Big Guy wasn’t able to go with me because he was in London all last week for work.  But I’m so glad I didn’t not go because I had to go alone.  We really have the best friends ever.

5.  On Saturday I met my dear friend Kat for lunch in Raleigh at Coquette.  We don’t see each other enough and even though we email it was nice to see her in person and hear all about her upcoming wedding.  We both started with a Coquette 75 which is a twist on the traditional French 75.  I loved their version of this bubbly cocktail.  Along with our cocktails, we shared Potato Croquettes which were basically fried potato and cheese balls.  So good!  And for lunch, I went on the lighter side with a Frisee aux Lardons salad.  I can’t wait to return to Coquette and try their dinner menu.

6.  It’s a 3.5 day work week for me.  And that is all I need to get me through today.

Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza

On Saturday I made my first trip of the season to our local farmers market.  I absolutely love visiting the market.  And while I didn’t go with intentions of getting anything specific – though I was hoping to get my hands on some strawberries – I was excited about what I brought home.

English Cucumbers

Garlic Chives (!!!)


Butter Crunch Lettuce

Yesterday as I was menu planning for the week to come, the kale was on my mind.  I wanted to make sure to put it to good use.

I came across a pizza recipe that had a base of kale pesto and I knew immediately what we were having for dinner last night.

Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza it was.

The sausage is cooking in a cast iron skillet until browned and then removed from the pan and set to the side.  In the same pan, wilt the kale.  I did not add the water (the kale was a little damp from rinsing) or the sugar.

Once the kale wilts, it’s time to make the pesto.

Wilted Kale
Toasted Almonds
Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese

The crust was our go-to recipe from the Seriously Delish cookbook.  It’s honestly the best, no-fuss crust ever.

While I was preparing the pesto, Big Guy was rolling out the dough.

The pesto gets spread all over the crust and then topped with the sausage (I used spicy sausage instead of Italian sausage) and cheese.

Baked until all the cheese is melted and the crust is browned.

A bottle of red wine from Sonoma ended the weekend on a high note.

This 2012 Portalupi Zinfandel from the Russian River Valley was perfect with the pizza.  Big yet not overpowering with notes of red fruit and black pepper.

Pizza and wine.  Has there ever been a more perfect raining Sunday evening pairing?