There is no reality in hospitality without people to create the interaction. Of course, beautiful spaces and well-curated scenes are part of it, but ultimately it’s the people you engage with that make the difference in your experience. The entire staff of Public was lovely. However, two specific moments during my visit created a lasting memory for me.
Upon entering Public, I was initially Trade by the tiers of Dahlias bursting with a vibrant warm fall pallet. The faint aroma of Cinnamon Projects Incense is noticeable only after crossing the threshold. Front and center was a brass Shinola brass bicycle. One of four ever created and so exquisite, I instantly thought twice about the bike I keep in my flat. Hector Perez, Trade’s boutique manager was extremely welcoming. Casually chic with black and gold frames, Hector gave the type of greeting where you know he’s not just sales clerk, but genuinely friendly.
I didn’t browse long before discovering Trade’s selection of Byredo fragrances, where my nose led me to Bal D’Afrique: A vetiver that time travels back to Paris when art, music, and culture revolved around Moroccan culture and “avant-gardism of the 1920’s”. After stargazing while thumbing through Ian Schrager’s retrospective, Studio 54, I found the perfect shades: a pair of Brody’s from the exclusive Mykita collaboration with Bernhard Willhelm. Hector even let me test out my handles with Trade’s signature black and white basketball! Let’s just say I may not be the first round draft pick this year, but I am a huge fan of this slam dunk concept boutique.
It was later in the evening while dining in Michelin Star Chef, Jean George’s Public Kitchen the second moment of magic occured. Public Kitchen's inspiration stems from the accessibly of global fare in NYC. There’s something for everyone on the menu and as promised, the experience of Executive Chef, Thomas McKenna, does serve some of the best dishes New York City offers. I noticed the marble counters and wood-burning ovens just before the courtyard entrance in the back of the room while taking a seat in one of the banquettes. I chatted a bit with Matt Colidonna, Sommelier and Beverage Manager of Public Kitchen Matt shared with me that while there are items on the menu that are often seen in Manhattan restaurants, The Chef’s spin called for a few personal recommendations:
The Butternut Squash and Basil Potstickers were drizzled with the perfect amount of soy, lime, & ginger and did everything but disappoint the taste buds. Burrata with Hazelnut Gremolata, Fresh Figs, Tarragon and beer vinegar raises the bar a bit on what you would expect from a casual dining experience. I haven’t quite decided on my favorite dish, but the Black Truffle Pizza with a fresh Farm Egg oozed over the perfectly charred pizza crust surely commands attention.
Some may call dinner choices a bit of a “carb fest”. I’d call it a flavor fest and recommend everyone take a trip to Public Kitchen and indulge. Follow my Instagram for more posts on my experience at Public and other experiences in hospitality.