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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American Soho Moderate Great

Public is the new Nolita hot spot from New Zealand chefs Peter Gordon and Anna Hansen, owners of The Providores in London. The pair have brought their head chef Brad Farmerie over the pond to the US to develop the New Zealand-meets-the-globe menu, and brought in the cutting edge team at AvroKO to build and design the space. Allow me to say thank you to Gordon and Hansen for bringing their talent to us.


Public is not your average new restaurant. Indeed, I was so intrigued, I went twice this week. The room is hot. No, really, it was very warm. But aside from the temperature, it is hot in terms of design, food, and crowd as well. The name Public derives partly from the design that incorporates interesting “Public Buildings” elements to the space like card catalogues from libraries (remember those from elementary school?), and walls of gilded mailboxes for guests to store their wine. The room has a very sleek feel, but it is not cold or austere. It manages to be cool, but to retain an earthy rusticity and a definite warmth. There are long bare lightbulbs that give the room a nice glow, and dark wood paneled walls, set against flagstone flooring. The bar area is large with more casual tables set up for walk-ins, while the main dining room consists of two rows of chocolate-fabric covered banquettes, and tables lined with white linen cloths that run lengthwise down the center of the table, allowing the espresso-toned wood to show up in stripes on either side.

As for the food, it is great to see a menu filled with many ingredients that I have never heard of, nor have never encountered on the same table, let alone the same dish. It’s quite a read. There is an entrée entitled “chestnut risotto cake with pickled butternut squash, pinenuts, manchego cheese, shimeji mushrooms and rocket ($18),” and an appetizer called “deep-fried minted mozzarella brick pastry with crispy Jerusalem artichokes and chipotle corn relish ($9 small/$18 large).” Come again? Aside from feeling no urge to order either of these dishes, I also felt the need for more punctuation in their titles, that were each a paragraph long.

But I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. I really like Public. The chef is taking chances and making us try things we aren’t comfortable with. At some point in time, whether it is with respect to food and wine, to a career, a relationship, or whatever, you have t ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Soho :
+ Balthazar   + Savoy   + Blue Ribbon   + Lupa   + Public   + Kittichai   + Lure Fishbar   + Barmarche   + Porcupine-- CLOSED   + Ama   + La Esquina   + Jerry's- Closed Now   + The Tasting Room   + Papatzul   + Shorty's.32   + The Monday Room   + Ed's Lobster Bar   + Aurora   + Provence   + Tailor   + Hundred Acres   + Delicatessen, By Guest Reviewer Julie Besonen   + The Mott   + The Dutch   + Cherrywood, by Guest Reviewer Dara Pollak   

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