210 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 343-0918

I love good food. I really do. And I love original food. Good, original food. I can't tell you how boring it can be sometimes when you go into some restaurant and they just rehash the same maple pork chop or applewood smoked whatever that everybody else seems to have. That's why God invented Public. Well, maybe not God. Someone invented Public. I didn't pay too much attention to the press release when they got their Michelin Star. In any event, Public is the kind of restaurant that, if it were cheaper, I'd eat at every day. Every goddamn day. It's that good. Good drinks, good service, good food, good atmosphere, good food, and, of course, good food. 

Public was one of the original moody, speakeasyesque restaurants when it opened back in the day along with Rye and Employees Only. Now, maybe it seems to blend into the crowd; the older brother, as it were, not all too different from the restaurants that opened from the trend that it helped to create. Where Public does stand out is the menu; rarer, exotic meats.

After a couple of drinks at the recently departed Painkiller, Myna and I wandered a few blocks west for some much needed dinner (and more drinks). Public has four dining areas. A small one that I've never seen anyone in and assume is for private groups, a smallish outdoor area, a main dining area (see pic), and the bar area. This is not a teeny bistro. If you're like me and could do without communal tables, then you'll probably find your first few minutes sitting down irritating. Technically, you get your own table, but it'll be so close to the table next to you that you feel as if you have virtually no privacy. That said, the nice thing about Public's atmosphere is that there's enough conversation going on that no one really is paying attention to anything you're saying. This isn't Sons of Essex, where they mask your conversation by drowning you in hip hop so loud that the people in Hoboken can hear it. At Public, people are just talking, not paying attention to you.

Everything that night was fantastic. I'll just get that out of the way up front. Everything. Myna ordered Grilled Scallops in a sweet chili sauce, with creme fraiche, and a green plantain crisp perched atop. I'm finding that the more I eat good scallops (not the rubbery pieces of crap I grew up with), the more I like them. In fact, in the last year, I don't know that I've had a bad scallop. But this was the best. My appetizer was the Grilled Kangaroo. I couldn't pass up a chance to try kangaroo. It was served on a coriander falafel with a lemon tahini sauce and a green pepper relish. The kangaroo meat itself was incredible. I don't know what I was expecting, but what I got was a meat that tasted like super-tender beef. Filet mignon that had been massaged for an hour. You should eat at Public just for this dish.

With the appetizers being so good, our entrees had to pass a high bar. Thankfully, they passed with flying colors. Myna's Szechual Crusted Tenderloin and Roasted Belly of Berkshire Pork was so good that she still tells me how good it was. "It melted in my mouth! Tell them that when you write this up." It came served with braised daikon, pickled baby carrots, and slow poached egg in a truffle dashi broth. I liked it, too, but I preferred my Grilled New Zealand Venison Loin with Cabrales dumplings, oyster mushrooms, and salsa verde. Again, I had to go with the more obscure meat. I'll pick the venison if I ever see it on a menu each and every time. If the kangaroo was like beef that never worked a day in its life, the venison was more gamey and a little denser, but not by much. The chef used a bit too much salsa verde (I left most of it on the plate) and the dumpling was a bit too chewy, but everything else was so delicious that I barely noticed.

Two appetizers, two entrees, two drinks, tax and tip came to about $170.

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