It’s been a comfort food kind of week. A cold wind blew through town, pushing out the warm temps that enabled bike rides and smiling. Guess winter wasn’t ready to let there be a new sheriff in town just yet. And, as a result, I had a couple too many donut days in a row (most notably: Do-Rite’s almond-flavored Boston cream).
The much-needed comfort continued into the weekend at Friday night dinner. Alex and I were looking for a spot of good eating before my evening out at a button party, and we found it at the Publican.
We arrived early, and, sans reservations, we were quickly seated at one of the long communal tables. The scene was calm, but buzzing—there was a definite hum of anticipation, from the happy hour crowd to the wait staff.
Soaking up the vibe, Alex and I perused the small yet encompassing menu. I love places that force him to share each dish with me, and Publican’s family-style service does just that.
We started with a half plate of aged Serrano ham, served simply with bread and goat butter. The ham was briny, wild, and meltably thin.
Next came the Brussels sprouts salad—shaved thin and raw, with tangy red onions and rich, creamy burrata. It’s cold farm comfort, without anything nasty in the woodshed.
The meal ended with ribs, “country style,” with grilled onions, spicy sweet potatoes, and crunchy peanuts. Alex ordered frites on the side to round out the meal, but I thought they crossed the tracks into the wrong side of salty town: they were almost inedibly over seasoned.
The ribs, though, were delicious. Solid flavor from seasoning and the perfect amount of char, without overpowering the taste of good juicy meat. It’s the kind of balance you strive for every time you grill. (...we don’t own a grill.)
Still, I feel qualified to state that Publican serves up pure, homey satisfaction. Comfort accomplished.