June 4, 2012
- outdoor dining
Fresh, creative seafood that doesn't hold back.
Some of the coolest bathrooms I've ever seen. The outdoor patio was a bit loud, but nice on a sunny day. The inside is spacious.
Attentive, helpful and knowledgeable about the menu.
- Wine / Cocktails:
Some of the best brunch cocktails.
After months of salivating over the delectable reviews already posted here on FoodMafia.com, I finally saved up some money to spend on a well-needed girlfriend's brunch. My partner-in-crime, Mary, and I decided to meet at the Publican after a long year apart. We caught up on boys, travels, and internships over this fantastic brunch.
We perused the menu for a long while as our waitress answered all of our questions with stand-up answers and suggestions. I finally made a decision and ordered the Soft-Scrambled Egg Focaccia while Mary ordered the Soft-Shell Crab. We decided to go big and order a side of bacon to share, because I normally don't like bacon, but the waitress promised we had to sample their specialty. Because no brunch is complete without some creatively crafted drinks, I ordered the Gin & Treuse while Mary ordered a classic Bloody Mary (how fitting for her name!)
We received our drinks in no time at all. My Gin & Treuse was a refreshing mixture of Hendrick's Gin, gree charteuse, cucumber, lime, and Fentimen's tonic. It tasted like a spa, truly refreshing and a good subtle drink for a Saturday morning. Mary's Bloody Mary was a spicy mix of Tito's Vodka (my college favorite), Publican mix, housemade celery bitters, and a beer back.
As soon as I set eyes on the food, I fell in love with this place. The sailor-style shirts for the waitstaff wasn't so bad either. My Focaccia was a generous triangular cut of the Italian, cheesy toast with an even more generous heap of softly scrambled eggs, spring onions (deliciously carmelized), royal trumpet mushrooms & chorizo. I don't typically like sausage (I suppose I'm selective about pork meats), but the chorizo was spicy and perfectly seasoned to an almost bacon-like texture. The mushrooms also added a special richness to the dish. All of it combined with the crunch of the focaccia bread made for one complex and satisfying plate.
The bacon was actually a fried up pork belly, and it fell apart at the touch of the fork. It was chock-full of juice and cooked to perfection. I don't even like bacon, and I could eat this all the time.
Mary's soft-shell crab came served over a bed of cream polenta, which I mistook for grits (that's how rich it was) upon first glance, a fried egg and green harissa drizzled over the top. There were also some pickled asparagus to balance out the herbs in the harissa, which I had never seen before. The crab was succulent and fresh, and the combination of textures in the dish created an inviting meal. We were both so obsessed with the other's choice that we decided to eat half our plate then switch.
Sharers make the best of friends, indeed.
Focaccia, Soft-Shell Crab, Oysters, Bloody Mary