Public

Restreview040202_175Public is a restaurant on Elizabeth between Spring and Prince.  I have walked by so many times but this time, we went in. 

A very groovy downtown vibe.  A big long room with banquettes against the wall across from a very long bar and tables in the front area where the window opens up to the street but is above street level.  It is a tad loud.  There is also a fantastic room when you walk in right off the main area that seats 22 for a dinner party.  That particular room has a very long table and one wall is the wine cellar.  Steel fixtures, modern lamps and great lighting throughout the entire restaurant.  I really liked the architecture.

What type of food is Public?  On their website they say free-spirited fusion.  Hmm.  I say Australia meets Asia.  An interesting combo but it really works.  The menu contains a few types of game even Kangaroo.  I admit, I wasn’t quite up for tasting that much of the outback. 

When we ordered we said we want this not she’ll have this and he’ll have this.  What was really nice is our waiter heard that and when they served our appetizers and main courses they were placed in the middle and two small plates were placed in front of each of us.  I really liked that because the food isn’t for sharing but we were. 

We began with two appetizers.  One was lightly fried oysters in a simple crust sitting on a big shiso leaf and a spicy slice of sansho pepper sliced over the top.  The dipping sauce was a wasbi-yuzi mix.  Delicious.  The other appetizer was a single marinated anchovy layered over a quinoa croquettes and a dollop of a spicy aioli sauce on top.  There were 5 of each.  The croquettes was a bit over powering for the delicate anchovy but the combinations and certainly the different textures worked.

For dinner we had grilled tandoori prawns laying over a braised Napa cabbage with sliced of Asian pear and a Punjabi cashew sauce.  Again lots of textures and flavors which worked really well together.  My favorite was the special that night.  Sliced rare duck served over bok choy and a reduced soy based sauce.  Simple and good.

Dessert was next.  Seriously rich chocolate duge cake that was served alongside a pencil like piece of salted peanut brittle served with Guiness ice cream. This was seriously rich, the cake was a bit too rich.  We also had a sticky toffee pudding with Armagnac ice ream and hot caramel sauce.  It sounds rich but it wasn’t.  Soft and sweet.  Really good.

That’s all she wrote.  Great place to have a drink.  They are open for dinner every night and brunch on the weekends.  The service was great, loved the vibe, interesting and tasty food.  We’ll be back.