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Public, Hearth or DBGB??

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I;'ve had to re schedule and now have reservations for next Wednesday at the above 3 places after CH guidance. It's for a staff dinner for 6 -- a casual group -- 2 are in their twenties, one in 30's, and 3 of us older ones.
We want them to feel like it's a special dinner -- great atmosphere and good food, with some excitement in the ambiance. Ideas?? And dishes?? Thank you.

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  1. My vote's for Public, of the three. Second place Hearth. DBGB I'm not the biggest fan of. I just posted about why in another thread and I don't feel like reiterating it all again here, so feel free to read my blowhard opinion about halfway down ths page: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/822783

    Public has the "hippest" vibe/ambience, and the most adventurous food. Hearth is more traditional, but also very good. Depends on what kind of mood you want to set, really. Won't have a bad meal at either, really. DBGB has what I think of as a "fake hip" vibe - it's a corporate midtowner's imagination of what "downtown cool" is like.

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    Hearth
    403 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10009

    Public
    210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

    DBGB
    299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

    2 Replies
    1. re: sgordon

      Your description of DBGB, for me, is most accurate -- nothing exciting about the scene nor moreish about the food.

      1. re: Nancy S.

        i agree that DBGB does not sound right for this dinner: either Public or Hearth are prob more what the OP is looking for for a "special dinner"...

        but i do like the bar at DBGB because they have great bartenders, not-too-dark/not-too-bright lighting, a solid selection of wine by the glass, and the oysters have always been high quality...the vibe can vary: it can sometimes get mobbed w/ a combo of tourists/bachelorette-parties/afterwork-yuppie-robots and feel like hell...but other times it's a very pleasant hang...and if you're at the bar w/ someone you enjoy being physically close to, the two-seater barstools allow you to tune everyone else out remarkably easily...i was there a few weeks ago, and my female friend and i got there at 9:30 when it was packed, grabbed a barstool, drank wine and ate oysters&sausages, and before we even realized it, it was 12:30 and we were closing down the place...

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        DBGB
        299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

    2. id probably say that hearth has the better food, public has the better atmosphere. id skip dbgb entirely.

      i love hearth and terroir even more but hearth's dining room is not lively. i think its original intentions was to be a fine dining restaurant in the east village. the food is great but the dining scene has changed and it doesnt really have a lively crowd or interesting space.

      public is a beautiful space. the crowd can be mixed...some corporate, some chicks from long island or murray hill...but the food surprises me everytime i go there.

      -----
      Hearth
      403 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10009

      Public
      210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

      Terroir
      413 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009

      DBGB
      299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

      1. Thanks to all of you so much. This has been really helpful. It sounds like Public will have the best atmosphere for our group. Hearth sounds very good too, perhaps for another occasion. And Simon, your experience at DBGB makes it sound like fun for that kind of meal.

        I think our staff will enjoy the hipper vibe at Public - it will be a treat for them. And the menu surely is adventurous. I've read some of the other threads about it; I was a little thrown by biondanonima's dinner review, but most of you seem to like it a lot. If you have any favorite dishes, please pass along. Kathryn had earlier on suggested the foie gras. Any other positive or negative takes on dishes are welcome.
        Thanks again so much!

        2 Replies
        1. re: twochesters

          We love Public and I think it's a really good choice for the group you described.

          Menu favs:

          Snail and Oxtail ravioli (I really loved this dish), grilled kangaroo, the fried Hama Hama oysters, beet gnudi

          -----
          Public
          210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

          1. re: Spiritchaser

            Thank you, Spiritchaser. I'm glad you think that Public is a good choice for us, and many thanks for telling us about your favs.

        2. I wanted to thank everybody as well for the cautionary notes on DBGB, including sgordon's other thread. They were very helpful in making a choice.

          1. Thanks to everyone who helped me with this! This dinner was a big success. The place was very pretty. We had I think only round table there, which was perfect.
            And there was no tradeoff on the food. Everybody ordered different dishes and each one seemed really pleased. I shared two appetizers -- the kangaroo and the scallops -- and then two mains -- the duck, and the snail and oxtail ravioli. All were really good and I agree with the opinions I had been given in advance.
            We all shared a few desserts for the table. I thought they were less memorable than the other courses, but okay.
            Although everyone was full before that, we ordered desserts to have things to put candles in for our birthday guest. When I called that afternoon to point out that we had one, the gentleman who answered, who turned out to be the manager, told me that it was already notated on the reservation. I told him it wasn't possible, and it turned out that the holder of another reservation, whose name was uncannily like mine, who also had a group of 6 coming at the same time, had phoned in a birthday. They were seated right behind us. The manager found our phone call as funny as I did, and when our check arrived, he had comped one dessert, calling the credit "Public Love" -- very sweet.
            Again, thanks to all helping hounds -- it was a lot of fun.

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            Public
            210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

            1. Best food will be at Hearth for sure. DBGB was forgettable. Public is unique with great cocktails to boot. But if you want to eat well go to Hearth.

              1. Very good to know about Hearth -- thank you.