I'd heard that brunch at Public was one of the lesser-known treasure troves in Manhattan, but it was only when they were awarded a Michelin star this year that my ears really perked. Shame on me--I realized after eating there how badly I'd been missing out. I have to go on the record and say that Public is officially one of my favorite brunches in the city, and this week I have not one, but two reasons why: the Turkish eggs and coconut pancakes.
Though my family is part Turkish, none of us had ever heard of Turkish eggs the way that Public does them: poached, buried in a soupy mess of Greek yogurt and topped with a sauce of kirmizi biber butter. The presentation reminded me of good hummus, the way it's served in Israel, with a sizeable well for olive oil and spices. But once I tasted it, it didn't resemble anything else--a dish completely unusual, but in the most pleasant of ways. The tartness of the yogurt balances the mild, smoky spice from the kirmizi biber (a Turkish pepper), while the butter adds a sweetness that complements the richness of the runny yolks. For egg lovers, it's a must-try.
Public's brunch menu is pretty non-traditional across the board, and pancakes also benefit from their peculiar treatment. With crunchy toasted coconut running through the batter and a syrup made from ginger and lime rather than maple, it's an obvious nod to the tropics, somewhere far away from Turkey (or even Australia, where Public's style is said to come from). The sweetness is kept mild, tempered by a modest dollop of house-made ricotta and herbed mango salad. Not sure which to order when you make your way there? Consider this: the entire brunch menu ranges from $6-14, so it's entirely feasible to share three entrees between two people (though a hefty appetite is definitely in order).
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