This dramatic bilevel 12th Street space has struggled to retain a tenant, but a handsome bistro makeover, the growth of Midtown Village, and the addition of talented ex-XIX chef Marc Plessis should give this newcomer a chance. Service from the Public House team still needs polish, but Plessis' accessible American brasserie fare, from a good raw bar to stellar New England seafood favorites, plus a few Southern accents, are worth a visit.
Crudo (kampachi, fluke); raw bar oysters and clams; burrata; roasted bone marrow; fried Ipswich clams; charred octopus; ham and cheese; lobster roll; Duroc pork collar; sea scallops; bucatini and clams; chicken; chocolate pot de crème.
Highlights are the champagne drinks (the melon-scented Treaty of Parish bubbly cocktail) and a small but quality list of craft beers, with great breweries like Firestone Walker, Great Lakes, and food-friendly St. Feuillien saison (surprisingly good from a can.) There's a decent whiskey selection, too, with Woodford Reserve best poured luge-style through a marrow- bone. Modest mid-range wine list is a bit of a commercial-label letdown.
Front bar area hits 93 decibels, but rear second-floor room is a slightly more reasonable 87 when busy. (Ideal is 75 or less.)
Lunch Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dinner Sunday through Tuesday, 4-10 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday, until 11 p.m.; Late-night menu Wednesday through Saturday, until midnight.