Beer is just the beginning of the Public House dining experience
By Brock Radke
Photography by Jeff Green
The newest addition to the exciting Restaurant Row at The Venetian is Public House, a finely tuned dining and drinking experience that elevates the concept of “bar food” from comfortable to transcendent.
Casual yet refined, this pub offers unlimited choices in beer, bites and the overall experience, as well as something Las Vegas has never seen before. Public House is home to the first certified cicerone—think sommelier, only for beer—in the entire state of Nevada. This knowledgeable expert, Russell Gardner, is quick to share a short lesson (like how cans are the best beer container around) and might suggest you experiment with a taste of the rotating and rare cask beer. This rich, less bubbly brew is aged and fermented again in the cask, and never filtered or pasteurized. This process leads to a smooth, more flavorful finish, and it’s the perfect complement to Public House’s hearty cuisine. Of course, the bar has a vast selection of bottles, drafts and beer blends, not to mention classic cocktails and an extensive scotch and whiskey list.
The food, created by chef Anthony Meidenbauer, is an amazingly appetizing list of small plates, snacks, salads, sandwiches and steaks that builds on the impressive beer offerings. Take, for example, the tender braised short rib, cooked lovingly in Deschutes Black Butte Porter and served with sweet butternut squash and crisp fried onions. This dish, like so many others at Public House, demonstrates the brilliant diversity of flavors born when great beer and great food come together with the great skill of a truly creative chef.
The ultimate bar snack must be Welsh rarebit, thick slices of toast drenched in a cheddar-beer sauce. A colorful assortment of tastebud-awakening, house-made pickles is another perfect way to kick start your meal. Move on to some tasty bites built for sharing: crispy fried oysters served back in the half shell with foie gras, roasted bone marrow with bacon marmalade, and then poutine, french fries with gravy, cheese curds and duck confit. These dishes go beyond satisfying, opening the door to a new universe of gastropub fare. You could customize a truly memorable meal just from Public House’s appetizers, including selections from the imported cheese shop and homemade charcuterie program, all while you sip your way through a flight of hard-to-find or favorite beers.
But if it’s a straightforward entrée you seek, head directly to the steak frites. Choose a strip, ribeye, butcher steak or buffalo strip loin and indulge in sublime meat-and-potato goodness. There are also seafood options, including Strozzapreti pasta chock full of lobster meat, octopus and mussels mixed with tomato and pesto, pierogies made with juicy lamb in the style of traditional shepherd’s pie and a playfully delicious twist on chicken and waffles. This version uses buttermilk-fried quail, a tastier and more tender bird, paired with bacon-braised kale and thin, crisp waffles with a maple glaze. It’s just one of many highlights at Public House, a dining experience that seems to be constructed solely of greatest hits.
11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat. 702.407.5310