Public House (Venetian)

Venetian (last visit: September 2012).

Not to be confused with Public House at the Luxor; it seems that, since the name is a generic term, no one can lay exclusive claim to it. In any case, this place describes itself as a gastropub.

The Menu
Lots and lots of beer - more than 200 varieties. I counted 24 taps and 3 casks. Food offerings are more adventurous than those found at a typical bar - especially the appetizers. Thus, there is poutine, foie gras, bone marrow and octopus.

The Atmosphere
I sat at the bar, so my comments are restricted to that area. At 7 pm on a Saturday, it was moderately full, and got busier as the evening progressed. However, it never felt crowded, and even the loud rock music wasn't bothersome. It's a good place you can sit around, watch one of the television sports games, and talk to other patrons.

The Food
I decided on two appetizers, figuring that would make a light meal: poutine; bouchot mussels with beer, shallots, bacon and crème fraiche. Alcohol consisted of one bottle of Sam Smith's Pale Ale.

The mussels were slightly gritty, and not especially plump. However, the rich sauce hid some of that, and there was plenty of toasted bread to sop everything up. Not good for a restaurant, but not bad for a bar.

Now, about the poutine: for the uninitiated, poutine is a French Canadian dish made with french fries, cheese curds and gravy; other stuff is sometimes added. Public House's poutine consisted of: a very large bowl of thin, crisp french fries; a small amount of gravy; two modest pieces of cheese curd; a generous amount of duck; a fried egg (optional).
This was the first time I had ever tried the stuff, so take my comments with a grain of salt*. However, I've got to believe there are better versions out there. This version was seriously lacking in cheese and gravy, yet still managed to be very salty.

*As a native of Bawlmer, Merlin, I know that french fries are meant to be served with gravy only; cheese curds are for furriners.

I liked Public House's atmosphere, and would consider returning for a beer or two. However, my first experience makes me wary of ordering food again. The problem may lie in expectations. Describing itself as a gastropub, I expected restaurant quality food; I got bar quality food. It might be best to order a small snack to go with your beer, and eat dinner elsewhere.

The Bill
The meal was $27, plus drinks, tax and tip.

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