by Steven Doyle
A visit to the old Fat Rabbit location, now home to a very upgraded and very stylized adult restaurant PL8 that seems to wish to break the pub feel of Uptown that appears to be adulting more and more with each new concept that moves in. PL8 is a dizzying malange of menu items that may have you questioning the direction of the restaurant until you learn that the imported chef Long has worked across the globe and is adept at cuisines such as Malaysian, Indian, Mediterranean and much more. This reflects on the menu and once tasted you will get it.
The atmosphere is grown up and we were told that they are no longer open late nights, so this fits in with the very bright look of the white wood floors and emphasis on local art, which all is for sale. Think of Pl8 as a galleria with a cool menu.
Let’s focus on the food.
We started with a warm salad, the Brussels Sprout Caesar which was surprisingly delicious. The fact that it was warm served with a Caesar dressing threw us off for a moment, a taste sensation that was unfamiliar, but it was thoroughly enjoyable. I would add a rack of grilled shrimp or chicken if it were a luncheon.
Tacos make an appearance on the menu, and they are superb. Perhaps because we enjoyed the myriad of choices that ranged from lobster, crab and even a pastor that was a table hit.
The chef makes his own breads in house and this comes in handy for the what the menu labels as a Foccaceria. Consider these flatbreads. The Carbonara with fresh mozzarella, a sunny egg and smoky bacon should not be missed. Other entries in the flatbread selection is a nice feta and spinach version which is one seriously awesome combination regardless how you may make it.
We adored the mussels which were served Thai-style with a curried coconut sauce that had us spooning the sauce long after the mussels were gone.
Making an showing n the menu are a few specialized fishes with you would be hard pressed to find in the neighborhood: Butter Chicken and Pad Thai. The Butter Chicken is velvety smooth with a hint of curry and tender chicken that will have you moaning. Order this.
Also check out the lamb chops. Cooked better than perfect medium rare with a nice spice rub. This is definitely the star of the show.
Cocktails are not an afterthought and the wine list is very tight and well afforded.
PL8 is a fun escape from the usual in Uptown, and will give you a journey across the culinary landscape for an interesting a diverse lunch or dinner with art.