By grace.g.yang ยท May 11, 2009
Under: Brunch,Dinner,Nolita

A while back, my friend mentioned this great restaurant in Nolita that also had an outpost in London, where she lived and worked for a while. We’d been planning to go Public for a while, but scheduling in NYC for four people is pretty much impossible (especially when two of the four work in finance). I decided to go on my own (with a different friend) and ended up making a dinner reservation. We pretty much knew what we were going to order – one appetizer to share and two entrees (which we’d share as well). We started with Grilled New Zealand venison on a coriander falafel with lemon tahini sauce and green pepper relish:


The flavors of the venison weren’t very fresh and the meat was very rare (to the point that the center of the venison was still pretty cold). Also, the portions were extremely tiny and pretty expensive ($13 for that!) The waiter kept asking if we were finished before the plate was empty, something that REALLY annoys me (can you please not hover?!) We finished our appetizer and waited for our main courses to arrive.

We actually ended up waiting about an hour for our main course (about 45 minutes into our wait, a waiter brought over another venison appetizer, meaning there was some kind of mistake in the kitchen and they thought we hadn’t been served yet). I asked the waiter if he could check on our orders and he said he was checking, but everyone around us was served (even though they had arrived after us) AND one table had the exact same order as us and had gotten served first!

An hour later, my friend’s Spiced Berkshire pork loin, warm guindilla chili-spaetzle salad, nashi pear compote, and crispy salsify arrived:


And my Roast lamb sirloin on crispy goats cheese polenta with saffron braised baby vegetables and harissa aioli arrived:


I actually didn’t have the opportunity to try my lamb because the pork dish was completely cold and we had to return it to the kitchen. Our waiter refused to admit that there was a mistake, even though the manager came over and explained to us the situation, and tried to blame the wait on our pork dish (because it had to be cooked to a certain temperature). I was SO hungry and SO tired of waiting that I didn’t bother waiting for the next pork dish to be “fired up” in the kitchen. We actually walked out of the restaurant and headed to Pearl Oyster Bar (where we had cod and lobster rolls and I forgot why I was so angry an hour earlier).

The manager of Public e-mailed me and apologized for the situation and invited me (and a guest) back for brunch. I decided to accept his apology because I was kind of interested in their brunch options, so I invited David to brunch on Valentine’s Day (is there any better way to spend Valentine’s day than with your brother?)

Public is pretty packed for brunch on the weekends and luckily we had a reservation for noon. David and I arrived a little after noon and were seated immediately. We ordered some bloody mary’s and mimosa’s (guess who ordered which drink) because they came with a brunch special (a brunch dish and a drink for under $25).

My bloody mary:


I haven’t had much experience with bloody mary’s, but this one was really spicy and delicious (and who doesn’t love a salt and pepper rimmed glass?)

There’s also a self-serve table of preserves and scones:


David took an Irish soda bread, which we shared, but I didn’t find it that appealing, especially since it was really dry.

The waiter brought along some fruit with Greek yogurt and mint while we were waiting for our main dishes:


This was probably the best dish of the entire meal, which is kind of sad considering Public is a Michelin starred restaurant!

I ordered the Banana stuffed French toast with bacon and maple syrup because I read a lot of great things about it:


The dish wasn’t completely coated in the egg batter and tasted like a banana sandwich that was drenched in maple syrup (I also really dislike it when restaurants add maple syrup for you). David didn’t mind the dish, but I thought it was pretty gross and didn’t even bother finishing it (you know it’s bad when I don’t finish a dish because I’ll eat practically anything!)

David ordered the tea smoked salmon with spinach & poached eggs on toasted sourdough with yuzu hollandaise:


Too much hollandaise (which wasn’t good) and the salmon was good, but didn’t taste good with the hollandaise sauce.

Overall, I was disappointed with the restaurant’s food and their service (also, their tables are so close together that a woman knocked over my hot tea all over my dress during brunch). I’m really glad the meal was comped because I wasn’t really happy with the food during either meal and I don’t see myself going back.

Reader Comments

Blasphemy! Haha, (aww, I made it into a post!) you know I’m going to defend this place like my mother…I freaking love love love the Providores too much to not love Public. I’m glad you made it though. Let’s hang out soon.

Written By Felicia on May 11th, 2009 @ 10:58 am

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