Every time we head out to Temecula there is a Gastropub restaurant that I always say I want to check out, but we never make it into downtown because we always preoccupied with our wine country plans… Recently I found out that the restaurant is also located in my own backyard in South Orange County in the city of San Juan Capistrano. I was fortunate to be invited in to share a review with all of you and Public 74 Gastropub certainly did impress!
When you arrive at Public 74 it is an interesting entrance because when you enter the shopping center you have to swerve around to go to the top of the parking lot. Public 74 is located in the corner and it has a nice view from above.
Something I personally loved about Public 74 is that all of the food is seasonal, “farm to table” and the menu is consistently changing. Chef Gerry Kent only uses fresh wild-caught seafood, high quality meats, & locally grown produce. Public 74 also has a wide variety of hand crafted beers and local, as well as imported wines.
On this lovely evening in late June, I decided to start my meal with a cocktail and my husband opted for a beer. The cocktail I selected was called the Public Defender ($12) and it was made with cucumber infused gin, St. Germaine, agave, and lemon juice. It was light and refreshing and it paired nicely with our appetizer.
My hubby chose a beer called, Left Hand Hard Wired Nitro Coffee Porter which was from the Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado. This beer had 6% alcohol content and came as a 20 ounce serving. My hubby seemed to like it and I thought it had a nice flavor as well…. a little heavy for me, but I would not be a good one to judge because porters are not really my thing. I definitely tasted the coffee flavor on this one though and I do love coffee! 🙂
For an appetizer we had the Infamous Goat Toast ($12) which consisted of a griddled sour dough panini stuffed w/ herbed goat cheese & finished w/ sweet roasted tomato & balsamic reduction. Yum! This was one of my favorite dishes of the evening! I loved this plate and wished I did not have to share with my husband.
For my main course I chose a lovely glass of full bodied wine, an Alexander Valley, 2013 Syrah ($12) While I selected a very light dinner entrée, this wine paired well even though it was a little heavier. With notes of vanilla and silky tannins, it went nicely with my salad. 🙂
For dinner I ordered the Cucumber and Tomato Carpaccio dish and I decided to add chicken for an extra charge $11 (price with no added meat) My lovely farm fresh salad consisted of a sliced Heirloom tomato, marinated cucumber, baby organic greens, and was finished with extra virgin olive oil, goat cheese, and fresh herbs. I felt so healthy eating this salad and I loved the blend of flavors. The extra chicken I added as a protein gave this salad great balance.
My hubby opted for the Smokin Reuben sandwich as both our waitress and the manager mentioned it was their favorite item on the menu. This one was definitely jam packed with flavor and was full of hickory roasted corn beef piled on grilled toasted rye bread and then dressed with thousand island dressing, sauerkraut and Emmenthaler Swiss cheese. This meal was accompanied by a healthy serving of French fries.
For dessert we had an item that we did not even see on the menu, but when our server mentioned banana and caramel I was all over it! We had the Bread Pudding Gone Public ($10) which was a large heaping slice of bread pudding over banana jam and finished with fresh vanilla bean ice cream, whipped cream & caramel. You can tell how much we hated this one by the pictures below. 🙂 Seriously…this dessert was such a nice way to finish off our amazing meal! I would ask for this item again! 🙂
Here is a little tip about Public 74…There is an awesome special called “Get your text on!” You can get your first beer or glass of wine for only $2 when you show your server that you texted 5 of your So Cal friends about Public 74 and shared about them on social media!! That is a pretty sweet deal!
With three locations, one in Temecula called Public House, one in Murrieta called Downtown Public House, and this one in San Juan Capistrano called Public 74 they are full of awesomeness. I hope to visit the other two locations as well! I hope to visit Public 74 again soon and check out the new seasonal items as the menu has already changed since I went a few weeks ago! Please share your thoughts about Public 74 below in the comments section. 🙂
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