Some menu items should come with instructions. Such is the case with one of the dishes on Public House’s new fall menu, citrus brined chicken breast with lime sweet potatoes and adovo brussel sprouts. To introduce its fall menu on Nov. 29, Public House paired each dish with a beer from its tap list. In this case I chose Ommegang Duvel Rustica, a strong pale Belgian ale. On its own, the chicken breast couldn’t stand up to the beer, but when it’s eaten slathered with the sweet and spicy pureed sweet potatoes, along with a bit of the savory Brussel sprouts, the beer/food pairing approaches the sublime.
Public House, the unofficial pub home of the 2012 World Series champion San Francisco Giants, is determined to establish itself as a fine dining destination during the off-season and prove that there’s more to the pub/restaurant than burgers, sliders and wings. Public House has all the ingredients to do make a go of it: a wide assortment of food-friendly craft beers; a talented chef, Chris Wade, and a kitchen eager to work beer into the dishes; an attractive, comfortable dining room (not the madhouse it becomes during Giants games); and an easily accessible location in an up-and-coming part of the city.
Such transformations don’t happen overnight, however, and establishing a rapport between the kitchen and the beer takes time. Even at this early stage, however, Public House is showing some promise when it comes to conjuring up the sort of comfort food that meshes so well with dreary late fall/winter nights. Along with the chicken breast, another cold-weather standout on the new menu is braised boneless short ribs with roasted potatoes, baby carrots and pearl onions, braised in and paired with Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA.
For dessert, Public House features a beer float with North Coast’s signature Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. It’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. Or you could settle for a warm and toasty beer, like Sierra Nevada’s collaboration Ovila Belgian-style quad abbey ale.