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  • Post #241 - November 8th, 2011, 1:05 pm
    Post #241 - November 8th, 2011, 1:05 pm Post #241 - November 8th, 2011, 1:05 pm
    Huge fan of the Publican's brunch. One big plus to point out - - they accept reservations for Sunday brunch, unlike a lot of popular brunch spots around town.

    Ronna
  • Post #242 - November 8th, 2011, 3:51 pm
    Post #242 - November 8th, 2011, 3:51 pm Post #242 - November 8th, 2011, 3:51 pm
    REB wrote:Huge fan of the Publican's brunch. One big plus to point out - - they accept reservations for Sunday brunch, unlike a lot of popular brunch spots around town.

    Ronna


    Agreed. That is a HUGE thing to me, and a big part of why The Publican is my favorite brunch spot. I'm not a morning person at all, and having to get up, then NOT eat before heading out into the world is torture to me. Hearing the words "Bongo Room" makes me twitch. Being able to sit right down and order a Publican Mimosa significantly dulls the pain of brunch for me. Against all better judgement I've also gone a couple times without reservations (the food is that good). If you get there right at 10 you'll usually be seated very quickly.

    Everything on the brunch menu is great, but what is wonderful is how well they do the simple things. The orange juice and the waffle are the best I've ever had. The Country Fried Ham is also outstanding.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #243 - December 18th, 2011, 9:51 pm
    Post #243 - December 18th, 2011, 9:51 pm Post #243 - December 18th, 2011, 9:51 pm
    Still haven't been for brunch (boooo!) but the wife and I did stop in for drinks the other night before our reservation at Next. We had a couple of seasonal draughts that were both tasty. I ordered the De Ranke Pere Noel, which was a hoppy but balanced brew that I enjoyed quite a bit. She ordered a La Moneuse Speciale Noel that blew me away. I loved the robust aroma, hearty body and slightly tart finish. It was harmonious, complex and satisfying. I also had a small pour of some of the recently-released Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade 107, which was so new to the Publican it wasn't even on the menu yet, though, the bottle was sitting on the back bar and it was offered to us. It was one of the smoothest bourbons I've had a in long time. I've had it before but due to its limited availability, it's been a couple of years and I'd forgotten just how much I like it.

    I hear the Publican's New Year's Day brunch is supposed to be quite the throwdown and am considering checking it out.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #244 - December 19th, 2011, 1:58 pm
    Post #244 - December 19th, 2011, 1:58 pm Post #244 - December 19th, 2011, 1:58 pm
    Back from the "Seven Fishes" dinner last night, and although no single dish would appear on my "Best of . . . " list (altho two--the chitarra with saffron and clams and the who whole snapper cooked in aqua pazza and dressed with sweet pepper and pomegranate--came close), the whole surpassed the sum of its parts and the meal ranks with the best I've had in Italy. If this special meal is any model for their NYD brunch, I doubt that you'll be disappointed.
    "The fork with two prongs is in use in northern Europe. In England, they’re armed with a steel trident, a fork with three prongs. In France we have a fork with four prongs; it’s the height of civilization." Eugene Briffault (1846)
  • Post #245 - January 4th, 2012, 4:52 pm
    Post #245 - January 4th, 2012, 4:52 pm Post #245 - January 4th, 2012, 4:52 pm
    What better way to open 2012 than with a visit to my favorite restaurant of 2011 . . . finally, for brunch! For New Year's Day, friends suggested having brunch at The Publican, which was a great idea. In spite of the big holiday crowd, it was a gen-U-ine throwdown. When I made the reservation, I was asked if I wanted the Grand Seafood Collection, which was only available via pre-order. I said yes and once we were seated, that's how our meal began . . .

    Image
    Grand Seafood Collection
    The tower is brought to the table unassembled. Here, the top tier gets put in place amidst some "oohs & aahs,' and looks of wonderment from tatterdemalion, Pigmon and MasterEgg.


    Image
    Grand Seafood Collection
    A look from slightly above.


    Image
    Bottom Level
    East Coast Oysters and West Coast Oysters with Smoked Roe


    Image
    Middle Level
    Cold, boiled shrimp, littleneck clams and crab


    Image
    Upper Level
    Crab, Whole Lobster and Razor Clams

    Honestly, the seafood was even better than it looks in these shots. It was pristine from top to bottom. trixie-pea declared that every meal should start with a seafood tower like this one, a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. :D

    Image
    Razor Clam
    This was sensational -- sweet and slightly briney with a perfectly tender chew.


    Image
    Cracked Crab on Crackers
    Prepared lovingly by Trixie-Pea for others at the table to enjoy.


    Image
    Bloody Mary and Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza
    I'm not normally a bloody mary fan (or a vodka fan) but I had to have one. I loved the spiciness and the house pickles. As for the beer, I had 3 of them, so I guess they were ok. :wink: Earlier, I had an Allagash Curio, which was also very tasty.


    Image
    Frites with Fried Eggs
    These were sent to the table by the kitchen and they were as great as ever. The frites were invitingly crispy on the outside and tender within. The eggs were just full of intense, egg flavor, which was true of all the eggs we were served at this meal.


    Image
    Hoppin' John | duck confit, black-eyed peas, cabbage and rice
    A great rendition, with perfectly cooked components, including light, fluffy rice and black-eyed peas, which really made the dish a huge success. The duck confit was as good as any I can remember having in a long time.


    Image
    Smoked Sablefish | fromage blanc, cucumber, radishes, beets and Sam's 3-seed bagel
    A stunner. The fish was sweetly smokey, delectably oily and it broke apart easily with the touch of a fork. I loved the toasted bagel, too.


    Image
    Maple-Glazed Pork Shoulder | sunny side up egg, rapini, grits and pickled red onions
    Great balance here as the not-too-sweet shoulder married up nicely with the pickled onions. I also loved the grits, which were perfectly cooked and full of flavor. The rapini was a great accent of bitterness.


    Image
    Burton's Maple Syrup-Braised Publican Bacon
    Are you fracking kidding me? :lol:


    Image
    Braised Lamb | fried egg, golden turnips, chickpea flatbread and piri-piri
    Tender and very flavorful lamb. Nice heat and great flatbread, too.


    Image
    Bucatini Alla Carbonara | bacon, egg and parmesan
    Expertly cooked pasta and an extremely flavorful 'ragout' made this dish a winner. My son allowed me one bite and even then, he wasn't happy about having to share. :wink:


    Image
    Spicy Pork Rinds
    These were also sent out for us by the kitchen and they were tasty as always. I didn't use up a whole bunch of real estate on them, as I've had them many times before and the table was filled with items I'd never tried before.


    Image
    Pecan Sticky Bun


    Image
    Blueberry-Almond Coffee Cake
    Both desserts -- comped by our server -- were very tasty but I basically had a bite of each, as I was really maxed out by that point. About 2 hours later, I was wishing I'd brought them home!

    As Trix said during our meal, New Year's Day brunch is one where places can (and often do) easily phone it in. Instead, the kitchen at the Publican was serving delicious, imaginative, and memorable dishes. As has always been the case with my experiences at the Publican, ingredients were not only distinctive but also of superior quality. I was struck by how great everything we ate was and also by how many more tempting items were on the menu that we didn't even get to try. I also have to say that service was nothing short of phenomenal. I know I wouldn't want to work as hard as these folks did on New Year's Day and I truly admire their professionalism.

    So, not only did I finally get to the Publican for brunch, it turned out to be a fantastic way to start 2012 . . . spending it with my family and great friends, enjoying awesome food. My only concern is that I've already had my best meal of 2012 because it'll be hard to top this one.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #246 - January 4th, 2012, 4:58 pm
    Post #246 - January 4th, 2012, 4:58 pm Post #246 - January 4th, 2012, 4:58 pm
    Ronnie, I share your sentiments, as I had just about the exact same meal there on New Year's Day as you. Sadly, mine was lacking the Seafood Tower which had run out before we arrived, but I'm glad to be able to enjoy your beautiful photos of it! I think you've covered all of the ground, but it really was a wonderful way to ring in 2012.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." Leo Durocher
  • Post #247 - January 4th, 2012, 5:02 pm
    Post #247 - January 4th, 2012, 5:02 pm Post #247 - January 4th, 2012, 5:02 pm
    Ronnie, what/from where are Sam's bagels?

    Great looking brunch, by the way!
  • Post #248 - January 4th, 2012, 5:06 pm
    Post #248 - January 4th, 2012, 5:06 pm Post #248 - January 4th, 2012, 5:06 pm
    Darren72 wrote:Ronnie, what/from where are Sam's bagels?

    Great looking brunch, by the way!

    I do not know. That's the menu description. I meant to ask but forgot. I'll find out and report back asap.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #249 - January 4th, 2012, 5:08 pm
    Post #249 - January 4th, 2012, 5:08 pm Post #249 - January 4th, 2012, 5:08 pm
    Ursiform wrote:Ronnie, I share your sentiments, as I had just about the exact same meal there on New Year's Day as you. Sadly, mine was lacking the Seafood Tower which had run out before we arrived, but I'm glad to be able to enjoy your beautiful photos of it! I think you've covered all of the ground, but it really was a wonderful way to ring in 2012.

    I thought I saw you but wasn't entirely sure and didn't want to bug whoever it was, in any case. I was glad I got the heads up on the Seafood when I made the reservation. I made an executive decision to order it for 6, which turned out to be a very good move.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #250 - January 4th, 2012, 6:30 pm
    Post #250 - January 4th, 2012, 6:30 pm Post #250 - January 4th, 2012, 6:30 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Darren72 wrote:Ronnie, what/from where are Sam's bagels?

    Great looking brunch, by the way!

    I do not know. That's the menu description. I meant to ask but forgot. I'll find out and report back asap.

    =R=

    From my "source" at the Publican . . .

    "Sam's bagels are house-made by our pastry chef, Samantha Radov."

    They were very well-made. I thought they had a great texture and a flavorful chew. We were all a bit surprised to see them arrive at the table already toasted but with seeded bagels, that's usually my preference, since the toasting of the seeds adds a lot of complexity to the overall flavor and that generally pairs very well with smoked fish, which it did in this case.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #251 - January 4th, 2012, 6:37 pm
    Post #251 - January 4th, 2012, 6:37 pm Post #251 - January 4th, 2012, 6:37 pm
    Thanks!

    The proportions and color look spot on. Hopefully these will be available at Publican Quality Meats.
  • Post #252 - January 4th, 2012, 7:49 pm
    Post #252 - January 4th, 2012, 7:49 pm Post #252 - January 4th, 2012, 7:49 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:From my "source" at the Publican . . .

    "Sam's bagels are house-made by our pastry chef, Samantha Radov."

    They were very well-made. I thought they had a great texture and a flavorful chew. We were all a bit surprised to see them arrive at the table already toasted but with seeded bagels, that's usually my preference, since the toasting of the seeds adds a lot of complexity to the overall flavor and that generally pairs very well with smoked fish, which it did in this case.

    Can they be purchased to go, at least as long as Kaufman's is still closed? :D
  • Post #253 - January 4th, 2012, 10:54 pm
    Post #253 - January 4th, 2012, 10:54 pm Post #253 - January 4th, 2012, 10:54 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Image
    Bottom Level
    East Coast Oysters and West Coast Oysters with Smoked Roe


    I'm wondering if it was a conscious decision on the part of Publican to use the smoked roe exclusively on the West Coast oysters? If so (and I'm betting it was), I'd love to hear their reasoning behind that decision (I completely agree, fwiw).

    Sensational brunch. The bacon was truly off the hook.

    Significantly more enjoyable than any other outing I've had there.

    Happy New Year, all.
  • Post #254 - January 5th, 2012, 5:36 pm
    Post #254 - January 5th, 2012, 5:36 pm Post #254 - January 5th, 2012, 5:36 pm
    Hey Ronnie, those pictures are un-believe-able. We are going on Sunday now :-)

    The "bacon" was the smash hit on our last visit to brunch. Publican kindly brings in high chairs for Sunday brunch and our 2-year-old devoured that bacon. We're going to have to order two this time.

    And the Publican bloody Mary is what got me drinking bloody Mary's. I could do without the beer chaser myself, but the drink itself is perfection in a glass.

    Thanks for the report.
  • Post #255 - January 6th, 2012, 4:09 pm
    Post #255 - January 6th, 2012, 4:09 pm Post #255 - January 6th, 2012, 4:09 pm
    Wow Ronnie, those pictures are quite stunning.

    Can I ask how big your party was and whether or not the Grand Seafood Collection was priced for everyone?
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  • Post #256 - January 6th, 2012, 4:18 pm
    Post #256 - January 6th, 2012, 4:18 pm Post #256 - January 6th, 2012, 4:18 pm
    incite wrote:Wow Ronnie, those pictures are quite stunning.

    Can I ask how big your party was and whether or not the Grand Seafood Collection was priced for everyone?

    Thanks. The GSC was $30/person and I pre-ordered it for all 6 of us in our party but my understanding is that I could have ordered it for fewer people and we would have been served a smaller one.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #257 - January 6th, 2012, 7:29 pm
    Post #257 - January 6th, 2012, 7:29 pm Post #257 - January 6th, 2012, 7:29 pm
    PIGMON wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Image
    Bottom Level
    East Coast Oysters and West Coast Oysters with Smoked Roe


    I'm wondering if it was a conscious decision on the part of Publican to use the smoked roe exclusively on the West Coast oysters? If so (and I'm betting it was), I'd love to hear their reasoning behind that decision (I completely agree, fwiw).

    Sensational brunch. The bacon was truly off the hook.

    Significantly more enjoyable than any other outing I've had there.

    Happy New Year, all.


    Im not sure, but my guess is that since east coast oysters are known to be higher in salinity, maybe they decided that west coast could take a boost of salt....
  • Post #258 - January 8th, 2012, 10:57 am
    Post #258 - January 8th, 2012, 10:57 am Post #258 - January 8th, 2012, 10:57 am
    That tower of seafood looks amazing! I've been to the publican a few times at the end of last year; once for the Belgian ale dinner week or whatever it was, and again for the feast of the seven fishes. The place never ceases to amaze and the fishes dinner was a bargain (I think) at $55/person if I remember right. My favorite part of the lineup was the whole snapper, delicious! I haven't been back for brunch in a while but will make sure we do next weekend as. We used to drop in when they first started the brunch menu without a problem getting a table or making a reservation an hour before, but now I can never get a table so I'll book out in advance :)
  • Post #259 - August 25th, 2012, 1:23 am
    Post #259 - August 25th, 2012, 1:23 am Post #259 - August 25th, 2012, 1:23 am
    Went for dinner at The Publican on Tuesday July 17th (a little late, I know), but had a great meal. We had an 8:00 reservation for 6.

    My only two complaints, which I'll get out of the way early is that they gave me the wrong beer. I ordered an Apocalypse Cow and got a different Three Floyd's beer. I didn't even notice until a sip or two in, and I enjoyed what I had, so I didn't complain. I'm there for the food anyways. Also It was surprisingly noisy (I thought Schwa and Girl and the Goat were quieter). We were at the communal tables so maybe that had something to do with it. But at 8:30/ 9:00 it quieted down, so again, nothing that bad.

    The food was outstanding. From what I remember we shared the blood sausage, pork rinds, corn cauliflower, scallops, salmon, beef, pork belly, and almost every dessert they had. The salmon and the corn (GET THE CORN) stood out to me. it's easy to compare to Girl and the Goat due to the meat-fish-vegitable menu breakdown, family style servings, and location. So I will say that the food was as good here as Girl and the Goat but I prefer the ambiance of G&G. However I will definitely be back.
  • Post #260 - August 15th, 2013, 3:11 pm
    Post #260 - August 15th, 2013, 3:11 pm Post #260 - August 15th, 2013, 3:11 pm
    Damn! The Publican remains firmly and enduringly at the top of my list of favorite Chicago restaurants. I had a meal here a few weeks back that set the bar even higher than it had already been set. The creativity and culinary vision in this kitchen is in a league of its own. Several of the items we ordered -- Mackerel, Porchetta, Short Ribs, Beef Heart Tartare, Plums, Romano Beans, Smoked Arctic Char -- were among the best things I've eaten this year. The dozen immaculate raw oysters we had to start were phenomenal, too.

    Throw in one of the finest, most interesting beer lists in the city -- thank you, Michael McAvena -- and supremely friendly service, a small but extraordinarily curated selection of whiskeys, and The Publican is essentially a can't-miss stop. They take some risks and not everything succeeds 100% but even their "failed" experiments are better than the "successes" a lot of other places routinely serve. I feel fortunate to have this place right here for us.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #261 - August 15th, 2013, 3:31 pm
    Post #261 - August 15th, 2013, 3:31 pm Post #261 - August 15th, 2013, 3:31 pm
    I need to get in there for dinner, we hit it for brunch a couple of times a month. If you haven't been in recently, the brunch menu has been updated a bit. Eat all of it. Everything. Amazing. Sorry to be short on details, I'll try to post with more regularity, but I've yet to have even a single bad bite of anything here.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." Leo Durocher
  • Post #262 - August 15th, 2013, 3:37 pm
    Post #262 - August 15th, 2013, 3:37 pm Post #262 - August 15th, 2013, 3:37 pm
    Ursiform wrote:I need to get in there for dinner, we hit it for brunch a couple of times a month. If you haven't been in recently, the brunch menu has been updated a bit. Eat all of it. Everything. Amazing. Sorry to be short on details, I'll try to post with more regularity, but I've yet to have even a single bad bite of anything here.

    I need to get there for brunch again soon. I was told that they are now open for brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays, and that the menu is different on each of the days.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #263 - August 16th, 2013, 10:34 am
    Post #263 - August 16th, 2013, 10:34 am Post #263 - August 16th, 2013, 10:34 am
    At last Sunday's brunch, we had the Maple Sausage Corn Dog - waffle batter, grilled peaches, lemon whipped cream. Sausage, by PQM of course, was fat and juicy, the surrounding waffle batter was crisp and sweet but not anywhere close to cloying, and the grilled peaches and cream were the perfect complement. Highly recommend. No pics, unfortunately - consumed much too quickly for that to occur.

    shyne
  • Post #264 - August 16th, 2013, 4:03 pm
    Post #264 - August 16th, 2013, 4:03 pm Post #264 - August 16th, 2013, 4:03 pm
    I love Publican so much, but the last couple of times I went the service was really lacking. Granted, we were a large group, but it was off-putting. Didn't affect the food at all, of course.

    PQM, by the way and on the other hand, still has some of the best service in the city. So nice and so helpful there.
  • Post #265 - January 13th, 2014, 6:52 pm
    Post #265 - January 13th, 2014, 6:52 pm Post #265 - January 13th, 2014, 6:52 pm
    Was curious if anyone's been here lately -- any recent must-haves? Thanks.
  • Post #266 - January 13th, 2014, 10:51 pm
    Post #266 - January 13th, 2014, 10:51 pm Post #266 - January 13th, 2014, 10:51 pm
    We were there on NYE, where they were offering the a la carte menu. Frozen night, so we were looking for heavier fare, and the mixed lamb and the goose breast entrees were outstanding (as always, very robust flavors). We topped it off with a very good vacherin for dessert, (very good not so much for the vacherin, where the meringue was a little tough, but for the outstanding scoop of buttermilk/pomegranate ice cream). One minor complaint, we found all the items on the charcuterie tray to be excellent (as expected when you're affiliated with PQM), but the "full" tray, at $25, seems to be designed for two, and we found the offerings to be a little sparse (as unexpected when you're affiliated with PQM); we also had to request bread, and, keeping with the theme of scarcity, we received two slices.

    Still, Publican continues to remain high on our "recommend to friends and vistors" list.
    "The fork with two prongs is in use in northern Europe. In England, they’re armed with a steel trident, a fork with three prongs. In France we have a fork with four prongs; it’s the height of civilization." Eugene Briffault (1846)
  • Post #267 - January 14th, 2014, 12:37 am
    Post #267 - January 14th, 2014, 12:37 am Post #267 - January 14th, 2014, 12:37 am
    Get the chicken it is outstanding.
  • Post #268 - January 14th, 2014, 10:14 am
    Post #268 - January 14th, 2014, 10:14 am Post #268 - January 14th, 2014, 10:14 am
    PETA put up a billboard across the street from Publican this week. I'm not sure if it was directly aimed at the The Publican or just the meat packing district in general, but it prompted The Publican to post their approach to sustainable meat on their Facebook page.

    "At Publican Quality Meats, we eat meat," the message reads. " ... We choose to eat meat, but acknowledge that death as respectfully as possible. We deal with farms and purveyors where animals are free-range, uncaged, fed natural diets, are given no antibiotics or steroids and are slaughtered as humanely and painlessly as possible. But they ARE slaughtered. There is a death."


    I think the staff at The Publican did a great job of presenting their views, and not just lashing out at PETA. If PETA does intend the billboard to be aimed at people dining at The Publican I think they've made a big mistake. The time that I am least likely to consider becoming a vegetarian or vegan is after a meal at The Publican.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #269 - January 14th, 2014, 2:18 pm
    Post #269 - January 14th, 2014, 2:18 pm Post #269 - January 14th, 2014, 2:18 pm
    Just another article on the same topic Take Part
    "The only thing I have to eat is Yoo-hoo and Cocoa puffs so if you want anything else, you have to bring it with you."
  • Post #270 - January 14th, 2014, 4:02 pm
    Post #270 - January 14th, 2014, 4:02 pm Post #270 - January 14th, 2014, 4:02 pm
    I think it also makes PETA look like they have a very superficial understanding of meat eating ethics. A place like Publican, as they say in the rebuttal, is unusual in the US in that they serve tripes, kidney, and all the other parts that most Americans reject. Compared to most burger joints, a place like the Publican also has a much greater attention to quality, humane raising, etc. There are better places to picket...

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