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First Look: The Publican

By Jacy Wojcik in Food on Oct 15, 2008 5:27PM

2008_10_boudin_blanc.jpgArguably the most anticipated restaurant of the year, The Publican finally opened its doors before they were torn down by the hungry, excited masses. We were initially surprised there wasn't a wait, being 8:00 on a Saturday, until we saw the space. Eyeballing it, The Publican is about the size of three avecs and although we were seated immediately, the German-style beer hall was full of people at long wooden communal tables, small groups at pig pen-esque private booths, and others just sitting at the bar for a drink.

The menu, as rumored, was heavy on seafood, pork and carefully selected craft beers from around the world. Highlights were the boudin blanc with roasted cherries, frisee and hash browns, the duck and pork rilette, mussels and (YES!) pork rinds. Lots of delicious pork rinds with cider vinegar. Skip the underwhelming desserts and try another beer from the list of over 100 to choose from. The well-trained staff is eager to recommend one if the list overwhelms you. Oenophiles take a breath: wine is also available.

The Publican is located at 837 W. Fulton Market. Phone is 312-733-9555. Photo courtesy of Andrew Huff via flickr.