http://thepublicanrestaurant.com/

I went to this restaurant after a coworker said he had a great meal there.

o.o  I have coworkers now. This is weird.

He also told me that their spicy pork rinds were featured on an episode of the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”, so of course I had to try those. They turned out to be very disappointing, but they were the only disappointing thing we ate there out of about 6 dishes, and everything else was pretty fabulous. I didn’t like them because they had a texture like those puffed up Chinese shrimp crackers. Or a really airy Cheeto. So basically they were dry and crunchy and could have been a prepackaged junk food. They were also dusted with cheese powder, so they were even more like Cheetos.

So as I was saying, everything else was really delicious. I think my favorite thing was the chicken liver pate. It was served on toasted bread and topped with honey mustard and spicy greens. The pate was amazingly smooth, and made mesmerizing swirls on the bread. Once you take a bite it just melts away, reminding you just how much butter is in this stuff, but it is sooo worth it. Tied for first place dish was the smoked arctic char on toast with pea puree, micro-greens, and tiny little sun gold tomatoes that were like sweet jewels that burst in your mouth.

Runner up dishes: Pork rillette with cherry compote, suckling pig. The suckling pig was incredibly moist, the composition of flavors wasn’t my favorite but there’s no denying that it was well executed. The rillette was one of the few good rillettes I’ve had, the cherry compote was marvelous and we scraped the bowl clean with the awesome complimentary bread.

The Little Gem Salad with crispy pork ear was not very good. The pork ear was beyond crunchy, it was too hard, and devoid of flavor. It wasn’t good as a textural element either because the pieces were too big, and too hard to break up. The lettuce and veggies were good though.

Dessert was black pepper panna cotta with blueberries, basil, and toffee sauce. The panna cotta was too firm, but the combination of blueberries and basil was surprisingly good. The toffee sauce was magnificent, it’s too bad they forgot to bring it to us and none of us remembered to ask for it until the panna cotta was almost gone.

As we were finishing our meal the person sitting next to us got a huge steaming pot of mussels. They smelled so freaking good, I will have to go back and get some. Soon.

Verdict: Fabulous.