Best Of

Best Restaurant in Soho

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When chef Brad Farmerie’s brother asked him to leave London for New York City and help design firm AvroKO open a Soho restaurant, Farmerie threw a bunch of ideas at the wall, and Public stuck. “On paper, it was a bad idea,” he told the Voice last year. “Here were guys who’d never built restaurants, and I’d never lived or worked here. I’d also never been a head chef.” But he had a vision for antipodean cuisine that was novel in New York, and diners quickly embraced it, even as Farmerie challenged them with ingredients common in Australia and New Zealand but virtually unheard of here. “We had kangaroo on the menu, but no beef and no chicken,” he recalled. “People thought it was for shock value. We probably sold one kangaroo a night. Now it’s one of the most popular items on the menu.” In the intervening twelve years, Public has become a mainstay of downtown dining, and AvroKO an international restaurant group. At night, the high-ceilinged dining room glows and hums as patrons tuck into kangaroo carpaccio and venison loin, the meats matched to a stellar collection of antipodean wine. But we might very well prefer the place at brunch, when a breeze wafts through the massive front windows and mornings start with Turkish eggs and yogurt, quinoa pancakes, or avocado on toast. 210 Elizabeth Street, Manhattan 10012, 212-343-7011, public-nyc.com

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