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D'ya love short ribs? Then get thee to The Public!

Eugene Park | Sep 19, 200506:08 PM

Greetings all. Been a bit remiss in reporting on some of my dining in the past couple of weeks, so I'll be writing a series of reports. Stay tuned, as one will be about an amazing food/drink deal.

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of eating at The Public for the first time since they opened under new ownership. I sat at the small bar on the ground floor, which is designed as a lounge space with couches and low tables. I did peek upstairs, which is laid out with more traditional restaurant tables (traditional, that is, for a trendier-type restaurant environment). The overall atmosphere is casually "cool", and is perfect whether you're starting a night of frivolity, or just kicking back and unwinding from a long day.

OK, enough with the background filler. I'm writing this post b/c of one thing - the braised short ribs I had were INCREDIBLE. The portion I was served was monstrous, with just the meat portion (bones excluded) probably weighing in at close to a pound of beef. I've had braised short ribs at lots of places, but this portion was the largest single-serving I've ever had by far.

The Public's version of braised short ribs is not "fall off the bone" tender, which too often results in the meat flavor becoming subdued by the braising sauce/liquid IMO. Rather, it's of the style that I prefer - - which is a hearty, meaty flavor that requires the usage of a fork and steak knife. I didn't ask where they sourced the beef for this dish, but I'd guess that it's organic and possibly grass-fed. It didn't have that grain-fed flavor or texture, and was "chewier" and "meatier" a la grass-fed beef.

It came with a potato puree which was delicious with the port-cabernet sauce that covered the short ribs, pearl onions (fine) and baby carrots (good, but not enough of them), but the highlight was obviously the ribs themselves. My portion could have easily fed 3 people, which means I was pretty darn stuffed when I finished it all.....lol.

I started off with the heirloom tomato salad, which was more like arugula salad with heirloom tomatoes. With the hickory bacon and capers, it was more like a deconstructued BLT sandwich, sans the bread. Not a bad starter, but I wished I'd tried the Early Girl & Golden Jubilee tomato soup to really satisfy my tomato jonesing.

The only other quibble I had with the meal was that the glass of Rioja I ordered was too cold for the flavors to come through. I resorted to cupping it with one hand thruout the meal until it had warmed sufficiently.

Joe Bob, er me, says check it out......=-D

Link: http://www.thepublicsf.com/menu.html

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