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Feb 18, 2008 08:09 AM

Any recent meals at Public?

I made a reservation there for my mother's birthday in a few weeks. Rather than doing one blowout meal (at, say, Eleven Madison Park), we're doing a few meals over a few days. On her birthday itself we're eating at Falai.

So, pros & cons of Public?

If more cons than pros, any other suggestions? We're looking for something Gramercy southwards, roughly same price range as Public or below, and any cuisine except Italian and Indian. My first choice was Allen & Delancey, but it's booked up.


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  1. Public is great, but very eclectic New Zealand/Med/Asian, as I'm sure you know. I liked it, but my sister, with a simpler palette, not so much. The design of the place is what gives it the WOW factor, and deservingly so, the food is also good. However, I don't know how telling it is that even after eating there a few times, I can't remember one dish that stood out.

    Another strong suggestion is Rayuela in LES. Their decor is also sleek, not as architectural like Public, but their food is excellent!!! It's Pan-latin (Spanish/S.Amer). A few dishes I'd rec'd - crispy seafood (very, very light fried), tuna wrapped roll, duck and their seafood stew, and their small cheesy flour bread rolls are to die for. Also, if you and your mom like cocktails, you'll love this place. My friend had the rose petal martini and I had their Torrontes wine (best white by the glass). You may also want to check out Orchard in the LES.

    In my humble opinion, all these places (food wise) are better than A&D (also been there). So you're not missing out on much, except maybe some pretty good pricey food and a scene. Good luck!

    PS. YOU MUST TRY THE PASSION FRUIT SOUFFLE AT FALAI! It's like passion crystals melting in your mouth. And if you like red wine, try the Trimbilin (sangiovese, under $45). You'll love it. Great to hear you're going there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: viniferaNYC

      Public decor IS fantastic, but go for drinks or brunch even. This place is worthless foodwise (except for brunch!) in my opinion. All smoke and mirrors, but no substance behind the style. My friend and I got the beet risotto (bland) and an entree which was so forgettable that I can't recall it. We ended up at Cafe Habana down the st b/c we were still hungry. Horrible. Do try to go anywhere else (including Clinton St. Baking Company for dinner) over Public. What a disaster.

    2. yeah, i ate there last friday. thought the food was pretty awful. the beet risotto mentioned below was hated by the three people around me that ordered it. my fish was totally boring as well. two thumbs down.

      1. The only pro about public in my view is the monday room-though the plates are tiny wine-bar-tapas size so if you're looking for a big meal it may not be ideal.
        you have quite a few better options around there-the orchard and rayuela were mentioned above and are a gazillion times better,