The Public Kitchen and Bar
Updated: Aug 12, 2019
When I asked my bartender at The Public Kitchen what his favorite entrée is, he rattled off a few classics like the NY Strip, Salmon, and Shrimp & Grits before concluding, “our cooks are pretty good at everything.” That would seem pure salesmanship at a lot of places, but at The Public Kitchen, I believe it. Because I’ve never had a bad dish there. Or drink for that matter.
With its upscale-casual atmosphere and panoramic view of Liberty street, there isn’t a bad seat in the house in this New American-styled restaurant. This visit I spent sitting at the intimate bar. First up was a cold buttered rum cocktail and brussels sprouts. The cocktail was smooth, decadent, and a nice compliment to the sprouts, which are tossed in a tangy vinegar/mustard sauce with butternut squash, slab bacon, and red onion. I recommended the dish to my neighbor at the bar and that says a lot – who recommends brussels sprouts to strangers?? Anyone who’s ever had these, that’s who.
For the main, I went with the Shrimp & Grits because as my bartender pointed out, it’s what they’re known for. I paired it with a Pinot Noir, but with all flavor from the cheddar-bacon grits, chorizo, and sherry cream, it could easily have stood up to something bigger. At lot of places offer Shrimp & Grits as a signature dish, but after having this one you’ll realize you’ve found The One and forget about those others.
A lot of places claim to be farm-to-table, but at The Public Kitchen it’s legit. No empty buzz words here.
Insider tip: The Public Kitchen does not take reservations, but you can put your name on the wait list via the Yelp web site or app.