As baseball season comes to a close (the Giants are still defending champions for at least a few more hours) you might be surprised to know that one of the city’s best taprooms is in AT&T Park, and it’s a winner throughout the year.
The entrance to the Public House (24 Willie Mays Plaza) sits, fittingly, directly behind the iconic forged-metal statue of Willie Mays and once you step inside this spacious bar and eatery you realize that–like the immortalized hall-of-famer–this spot is of all-star caliber.
With a satisfying menu consisting of tasty bar bites and savory entrees, managing chef Traci Des Jardins lives up to her reputation as a Top Chef Master. ‘Lighter’ fare, such as their hand-battered Mini Corn Dogs and the succulent slow-braised Pulled Pork Sliders, forms the perfect accoutrement to the bar’s vast selection of draught-microbrews. You’ll also find an even more comprehensive collection of impossible-to-find bottled beers here.
You could spend many a moment deciding the liveliest libation to accompany your meal, which is why it’s helpful that the knowledgeable and courteous staff behind the bar is always happy to point you in the right direction. Restaurant Manager Kevin Callahan directed me towards an aromatic and subtly-refined Belgian Trippel from Allagash Brewing Company. It had just the right tones of malt and yeast necessary to enhance my sensationally-robust Braised Brisket entree. You can taste the quality of ingredients in the food here and the preparation is equally as masterful: my beef arrived atop a medley of pureed Yukon Gold Potatoes, sautéed chard and slices of garden-fresh squash.
Beyond the magnificence of the food and drink, Public House also incorporates a dazzling element of design into it’s thoughtfully-constructed interior: an ornate stack of kegs forms the wall directly behind the bar. Underneath it is a series of refrigerators allowing for the shortest possible link between supply and pour–you can’t get beer fresher than this. The kitchen is elegantly transparent, allowing patrons to watch their cuisine get cooked to order. And there are 27 plasma-screen TVs arranged unobtrusively along the walls, all equipped with NFL Sunday Ticket–the perfect place to come watch a different team of Giants during the restaurant’s reasonably-priced weekend brunches.
As an underwhelming year of baseball comes to a close, don’t forget that an overwhelming dining experience is always in-season at Public House.