During the day, the brick exterior, flowerboxes, and porthole windows of PM Buenos Aires Fish & Steak House, fronting a broad sidewalk, offer terrific curb appeal. At night, the glowing yellow light fixtures and the sounds of happy diners on the terrace behind the lush vegetation are irresistibly seductive. At the head of historic South Miami Avenue, lined with large and lovely homes, PM Buenos Aires is one of the standout restaurants in the exploding Brickell neighborhood.
The evening was a bit too chilly to sit out on the romantic terrace, so the host led me into the tremendous byzantine interior that can best be described as industrial chic: wood floors, an iron spiral staircase leading up to a catwalk and second-floor seating, a curved bar with an alabaster top. Yellow light fixtures circling the entire height of supportive columns and lanterns hanging from the high ceiling cast a warm glow throughout, and background Latin music plays just loud enough to enjoy without having to scream to your tablemates. Enlarged photos of the gritty manufacturing sections of the Puerto Madero barrio in Buenos Aires (hence the “PM”) adorn the brick walls and provide yet another visual engagement as you await your meal, served at an appropriately relaxed pace by the polished raven-haired wait staff — all male, all Latino (not a blond in sight), and most probably doing some modeling on the side.
Popular with locals right now, it’s bound to benefit from the pervasive construction of glittering high-rise office buildings, condos, and hotels around it that will usher in new waves of residents and travelers alike — at least those who could afford it. PM Buenos Aires is on the higher end of an already pricey city, but after savoring a three-course meal here, you won’t care what the bill totals.
Try This: From the long list of cocktails, select the “Buenos Aires” — a concoction of pear vodka, fresh lychee pureé, mojito syrup, and fresh mint. A tempting assortment of appetizers runs the gamut from soups to salads to all kinds of fish tartare, carpaccio, and sashimi, but you can’t go wrong with the staple empanadas, either the fresh tuna or the ham and cheese. For your main course, there’s the highly recommended sea bass in a smooth soy sauce with asparagus and shiitake mushrooms, but carnivores will love the perfectly prepared and seasoned 14-ounce skirt steak. Accompany the latter with the cream cheese soufflé potatoes or the baked wild mushrooms with garlic and parsley, glazed in olive oil and a three-cheese gratin (or both). If you can still manage dessert, try the wonderful alfajor, a crisp puff pastry layered with caramel, covered with pecans, and sprinkled with powdered sugar.