When Public Hotel opened in the Lower East Side a few years back, the luxury, modern hotel, from renowned hotelier Ian Schrager, quickly became the go-to for the stylish types of lower Manhattan. It’s fitting, of course, as Schrager, the founder of Studio 54, is responsible for ushering in the advent of the boutique hotel, as well as launching the renaissance of South Beach, Miami, through his renovation of the Delano in the 1980s.
Public Hotel is visually stunning — avant-garde, stylish, and chic, with the highly Instagrammable backlit staircase, a gorgeous rooftop, and a focus on sophistication, simplicity, style, and tech. It’s a go-to for cocktails, drinks meetings, and remote work days — with lightning fast wifi and a calming aesthetic. The restaurant, a partnership with the delightful, Michelin starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the chef behind Mercer Kitchen, ABC Kitchen, ABCV, ABC Cocina, and many, many more.
Public Kitchen’s sleek, sophisticated aesthetic and light, airy vibe make it a fitting destination for both a hotel breakfast, or a destination brunch. But, this is definitely not a roll-out-of-bed, casual destination, as everyone in the room has that laid back, stylish vibe about then.
The menu at Public Kitchen is inventive, with creative flavorings, impeccable plating, and healthy options, as well. You’d expect nothing less from chef Jean-Georges, of course.
Our meal began on a high note with the spring pea potstickers, served with mushrooms, and a soy lime ginger sauce. The perfect combination of flavors for a simple yet decadent result is just what we’d expect from one of our favorite chefs.
We also shared the tuna tartare, presented in an innovative fashion with ginger, yuzu, and crispy, fluffy puffed rice. The fish was fresh, chopped finely and topped with thinly sliced radishes for an extra, fresh crunch. This is a great, healthy, and shareable dish to kick off brunch.
Another healthy option is the vanilla chia bowl, served with dates, cacao, brazil nuts, and sliced purple grapes, for a surprising touch. With a clean and simple base of chia pudding, this dish pulled together interesting, complementary flavors of cacao, nuts, and grapes for each intriguing, flavorful bite.
The must-order for local New Yorkers and visitors alike is the Russ & Daughter’s smoked salmon platter, from the namesake local purveyor of fish. The freshly smoked salmon was served on a platter for a DIY bagel and lox, with a toasted everything bagel, tomatoes, capers, diced red onion, and cream cheese. This was a great opportunity for my visiting guest to enjoy a little taste of New York, and for us to share in the New York bagel and lox experience.
The Bitches say: 4 Champagne flutes
A chic place to see and be seen in the Lower East Side with great cocktails and clean, hearty, albeit uninventive new American fare.
Public Hotel serves brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.