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Dining

Public House boasts more than great beer

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Good luck figuring out what to order. The menu at Public House is stacked with favorites beautifully done.
Photo: Beverly Poppe

In today’s hyperactive foodie universe, when TV shows are dedicated to finding that one life-changing bite, a single outstanding plate of food might be enough to land any restaurant on the must-try list. Here in Las Vegas, we’ve got enough hype—we don’t need it on our plates and forks. What we do need: chefs and restaurateurs who confidently choose a style and hammer at it relentlessly with skill, passion and creativity. In short, we need more joints like Public House.

The menu at this dark, comfortable gastropub consists only of foods you love to eat (French fries, oysters, cheese, bacon, steak), prepared to maximize their simple deliciousness. There are touches of sophistication, but enjoying hearty food and drinking lots of beer are top priorities. This is a place to get lost in for a day.

The Details

Public House
The Venetian, 407-5310.
Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight.

Much has been made of the beer program at Public House, and it is impressive, but let’s not take away from how good this grub can be. Good luck choosing opening-round bar snacks; there are too many tasty options. Welsh rarebit (beer and cheddar toast), is even better than it sounds, especially paired with a plate of house pickles. Everybody loves devils on horseback (blue cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon), but I recommend expanding into charcuterie or shellfish. Consider the heavenly crispy oysters, fried delicately and served in their shells with foie gras and cider gastrique. Other small plates include poutine, grilled octopus and a rich egg-and-gravy dip for crusty hunks of bread.

You’re already full, but after a few more brews you’ll be tempted to try the splendid pub burger ($16), beer-braised short ribs ($29) or pasta with mussels, lobster, octopus, tomato and pesto ($26). There are steak frites, lamb pierogies done as a play on shepherd’s pie and juicy fried quail done as a play on chicken and waffles.

In about a year, Block 16 Hospitality has opened Holsteins, the Barrymore and Public House, all more interesting than they need to be. We are lucky to have these chefs and restaurateurs with skill, passion and creativity—guys who know one great dish won’t cut it.

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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