Dined on May 6th.
Public kitchen + bar is located in the St. Paul Lowertown neighborhood. The restaurant overlooks Mears Park. In the last couple of years, Lowertown has quickly become one of the hottest neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. The city is now home to the newly opened CHS field (home to the St. Paul Saints) and countless of new bars and restaurants.
First Impressions: Our favorite newlywed couple, Paul And Angie had secured a table outside. We dined on the sidewalk patio overlooking Mears Park, great view. The restaurant is in the historic former Noyes & Cutler Building, nestled between Barrio and Handsome Hog. Stepping inside the restaurant, I was impressed with the chic, wide open dining room space. If you are not feeling the dining room, you can head downstairs to their cocktail lounge that boasts a large bar, which serves classic cocktails and small plates.
We were presented with a patio and dinner menu as we sat down. From the patio menu, we noticed the cheese curds ($8), Fulton Lonely Blonde beer batter, Wisconsin cheese curds, served with a spring onion jam. These were definitely not your typical greasy state fair cheese curds. They tasted very different, but had a nice flavor to them, including the subtle undertone of beer. Our one complaint was that there was too much bread and not enough cheese. The onion jam that accompanied was delicious. Once we dipped those puppies into the sauce, we devoured them. Delicious if you like to try something new, but if you are looking for cheese curds like you are used to, I would say skip them.
Again, from the patio menu, Sarah ordered the Walleye Tacos ($10). The best part of these was the flavorful sauce. It had a little sweet, a little spice to it and was just the right amount to ensure the fish flavor stood out. The grilled tortillas were a nice touch, adding a bit of char flavor. Sarah said she would go back for these.
After much thought, I decided on the Public Burger ($14). Great choice. The burger was topped with cheddar cheese, pork belly, house barbecue sauce, cornichon (French pickles), and served with fries. The burger was absolutely delicious. It was cooked perfectly, juicy, and emoted great flavors. I think it is one of the best and should be on your list.
Paul and Angie ordered the Salmon ($26) and the Polenta Cake ($16) respectively. They both enjoyed their meals.
Verdict: Public Kitchen + Bar was a nice surprise. We were worried when we read some of the reviews, but the restaurant met and exceeded our expectations. The wait for our food took awhile, however the waiter was attentive, we had drinks and were sitting outside, so it went almost unnoticed. We had a great dining experience and we will definitely go back.
229 E. 6th Street
St Paul, MN 55101
Sunday 11 AM-10 PM
Tuesday – Thursday 11 AM-10 PM
Friday – Saturday 11 AM-12 AM
Happy Hour | M-F 3 PM-6 PM