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

e ass of lamb, yes, at $23) served medium rare, sliced into medallions set on top of a mattress of fried goat cheese polenta, dotted with a cool and creamy yogurt mint sauce. Though the fried goat cheese polenta was a bit greasy, the dish is well conceived, as the chef is aiming (successfully, I might add) at teasing and playing with every taste bud – with contrasting levels of spice, temperature and texture. This technique is also at play in an inventive bar snack, a Spanish tortilla made with sweet potatoes, feta, smoked paprika and a lemon raita ($8). While I think the dish could benefit from being served warm, as it would be at a tapas bar in Barcelona, I liked the idea of it. The combination of sweet, salty and smoky flavors is clever, and spirited—a nice twist that wakes up this Spanish classic, and makes us pay attention.

Here’s the thing. While I don’t like every dish on the menu at Public, I like Public a lot. The restaurant has a killer design, and the room heats up with a swanky, hip energy making it an easy place to have drinks and linger over a bite at the bar. I especially applaud the kitchen for creating a menu that is one of the most bold and exciting reads in the city. Even if you don’t end up liking everything you taste, the kitchen shows us food that is new and fresh and it forces us to take chances and live a little outside the walls of the familiar.

Public, 210 Elizabeth Street, b/w Prince and Spring, 212-343-7011.

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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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