Gastropub Redux

Brickell's OTC gets a refreshing makeover

We enjoy pork belly, but maybe it's time to take a break.

Cue Jacob Anaya, the new chef at Brickell's OTC. When he arrived in October, Anaya–former chef de cuisine at Azul at the Mandarin Oriental–overhauled the year-old restaurant's regulation gastropub menu.

You can still get a terrific burger, dripping with ooey gooey Fontina ($16), and beers from the solid craft list, but you can also get imaginative, refined dishes courtesy of Anaya:

Hawaiian-inspired dishes: Anaya lived in Hawaii, where, he says, "everyone grows taro, rice and Okinawan sweet potatoes." The violet potato in Anaya's Okinawan croquettes ($8) gets a creamy roundness from pork guanciale and a hit of acid from mango-tamarind sauce.

Frito pie: Anaya grew up in New Mexico, devouring chili blanketed with "yellow cheese" out of the Fritos bag. At OTC, Anaya lays the requisite foundation of Fritos ($9), but he tops it with shreds of Wynwood IPA-marinated chicken thighs, New Mexican Hatch chiles, yellow cheddar, avocado, cilantro and tomatoes.

Would an original Frito Pie have avocadoes and cilantro?: "Certainly not!" Anaya says.

Killer vegetables sans pork belly: Quinoa hash ($8) gets crunch from corn and diced apples, and the light ponzu dressing allows the nutty flavor to shine through. Dragging grilled toast points through Anaya's charred eggplant dip ($6) is our new favorite hobby.