Food & Drink

Publik Draft House

The word "bazaar" generally conjures certain images, like a clamorous Turkish market, or a popular women's fashion magazine you never, ever visit your grandma just to read the "Smart Shopping" section of. Ever. Losing that word's overtones, and now giving you drinks and dinner, Publik Draft House

The owners of Bazzaar, at the corner of the Fox Theater, have just reworked it into Publik, a 150-seat bi-level pub serving snacks, paninis, and entrees that use ingredients adhering to way-high-quality standards (e.g., locally sourced breads, beef direct from Kansas farms), in a brick-walled space ornamented with natural wood tables, antique red velvet chairs, a white-tile wall featuring a circular black/gold Roman numeral clock, and hanging light fixtures that resemble test tubes, alluding to the Publik option for health care: prescribing you booze. Eats get started with crabcakes accompanied by Bloody Mary sauce, breaded fried oysters w/ spicy aioli, goat cheese fritters, and a charcuterie selection: cacciatorini, domestic prosciutto, cornichons, and pate of the day, served w/ grain mustard, which is also perfect for putting a little extra kick in your jungle juice. More substantial belly-fillers include the classic burger w/ organic beef, and paninis like the grilled chicken w/ prosciutto, provolone, & basil, the Swiss BLT, and one with duck confit, fried leeks & Duck Porter BBQ sauce; there's also Anticucho-style beef tenderloin skewers, Georgia Shrimp & Grits w/ spicy tasso ham gravy, and parmesan polenta-sided Guinness Short Ribs, which come with one less when Marilyn Manson orders them...ewwwww

Publik's healthily full bar includes plenty of reds, whites, and bubbly, plus 11 tap brews (Lagunitas IPA, Paulaner, Terrapin...), and pleasingly permanent specials like $6 Grey Goose cocktails, and $2 PBR and Old Milwaukee -- the exact age and location of a certain grandma who's about to get a visit, seeing as you're short on skirts.