Himmarshee Bar & Grille was a downtown institution for 14 years, a sophisticated, pre-theater alternative to pub grub on Second Street. But after the economy crashed, many diners began grazing on appetizers and skipping pricey entrees — spending less, sharing more. So on Sept. 1, owner Dave Nicholas jumped onto the small-plates bandwagon with both feet, transforming Himmarshee into the hipper, more casual PL8 (pronounced “plate”) Kitchen featuring skewers, sliders, snacks and brick-oven pizza along with items like cod tacos and mac and cheese du jour that you can pair with wine (there are 55 by the glass, $7-$20), craft beer and spirits. The atmosphere is casual, with a young, friendly staff and there are many hits on the eclectic new menu by Nicholas and chef Brandon Whitestone (Chef Allen’s).
Ambience: Nicholas revamped the decor, with industrial grays replacing the warm orange tones. One of the more interesting design features resembles a tree trunk with branches stretching to the second-floor loft, an ingenious sculpture by Miami artist Gerry Stecca made of more than 6,000 wooden clothespins. On these balmy nights, patrons are grabbing sidewalk tables for prime people-watching. Sit back and chill. Dishes come out when they’re ready, so expect a parade of plates, none more expensive than $12.
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