Last Wednesday night I tried The Public House in Quechee, VT which opened just a few months ago.
From Route 4 the place looked packed, but once my date (none other than my husband) and I entered the parking lot, it was easy to see a handful of open spots, as well as additional parking in the back – great to know for game days and other popular nights.
We walked in to the host stand set between a quiet dining room and a happening bar area, the latter immediately more alluring. We were welcomed to choose our own spot, which ended up being a small rectangular bistro table among other larger bistros, booth seats and the L-shaped bar (seating 15, it was already packed). Three good-sized TVs were also situated at different sections of the area.
As we sat, our server introduced herself and handed over food menus. I was surprised by the large selection – from the night’s specials of Chili & Cornbread and Coconut Curry Soup to the regular menu’s small plates, salads and big plates (including Chicken Schnitzel and Lobster Mac & Cheese) to some seriously mouth-watering “make your own” and “house creations” options under The Public House Burger. And let’s not forget the featured dessert – S’mores Pie, served in a cast iron skillet. Whew!
It’s also worth mentioning the extensive menu of beer and cocktails including nine hand crafted martinis (the Tropical Kiss martini has my name on it for next time). Conservatively, my husband and I opted for a couple of beers, a cider for me.
For food, we kicked things off with “Load Up the Tots,” otherwise known as Tater Tots topped with smoked bacon, tomatoes, jalapenos, cheese, green onions and sour cream. Not exactly an example of health, but it looked really good. And it was. Picture a satisfying pile of nachos…but instead of cold, hard chips you get warm, soft Tots. I’ll get that app again.
For a main, I wanted to counteract the Tater Tot goodness with a Super Salad – a concoction of kale, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and other veggies with a lemon basil vinaigrette. My husband chose a house creation of The Public House Burger and a side salad. My Super Salad was good, almost too good…tasting overwhelmingly healthy without a ton of flavor. I was also disappointed that the Brussels sprouts were chopped into very tiny pieces. Regarding the burger, I heard it was tasty…which I assumed so since I wasn’t offered a bite.
Our meal lasted awhile because the service was a little slow…but to our server’s credit, she looked to be the only one on our side of the restaurant and was noticeably hustling from table to table to kitchen to bar to table.
All in all, The Public House seems like a great addition to Quechee and The Upper Valley. I liked the casual vibe, the cozy ambiance, the spacious bar and the extensive food and drink selection. I’m looking forward to returning.
Small plates, salads and sandwiches: $3.50 - $18
Big plates: $16 - $28
The Public House Burger: $10
Kids’ menu, “Just for the Littles”: $5.50 - $12