The restaurant was packed that night so we ate at the bar, which I would recommend if you're not having a formal night out. The meal somehow still felt intimate even though we were seated at the bar. The restaurant evokes a feeling of being in an old municipal building, with library card catalogues used as dividers and menus resembling old office forms. It looks cool, but there's a total disconnect with the cuisine. That said, I enjoyed Public's Australasian-inflected cuisine. Johan had pan-seared New Zealand snapper on wasabi-boniato mash with poached conch, pickled ginger, and yao choy. The snapper was perfectly flaky and extremely flavorful. One bite of it made me swear I'd be back to order the dish for myself! I picked the roast duck breast with grilled peach chutney, taro root pancake and green mango-jicama salad. I loved how the rich flavor of duck was tempered with the sweetness of the grilled peach chutney and the crisp freshness of the green mango-jicama salad. The taro root pancake, I was not a fan of, but I never really enjoyed taro anyway.
Where: 210 Elizabeth Street. Tel. 212.343.7011. Reservations are recommended.