Simply put, the Public House is one of my favorite Temecula-area restaurants. A “gastro pub” in Old Town, it’s the place for outstanding food, an eclectic array of fine wines, craft-style beers, and some of the best local bands and artists.
Owner Gerry Kent moved from Fresno to Temecula in 2000 and took an historic Old Town Temecula house (at the corner of Front Street & Main Street) and created a relaxing atmosphere for every type of patron: the family with 3 young kids (they have picnic tables out back on their patio); co-workers seeking happy hour (a full bar compliments their great menu of beer and wine); friends catching a casual dinner (all food items are under $20); or couples seeking a fun & hide-a-way (share a bottle of wine next to one of their romantic fireplaces).
Their food menu includes an eclectic array of delights & treasures. I love each of their salads, but the Peppered Fresh and Fruity stands out – organic Baby Arugula herb mix with sun dried berries in a balsamic reduction and a poppy seed broadcast. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? I’ve had the Dan talk Thai a couple of times – it’s a curry that will make your taste buds jump for joy! Fresh seafood (typically shrimp) is stewed in coconut milk, fresh lime, papaya drizzle, and the house herb mix. Scrumptious! Their Pork r.i.peach. main dish is also a winner – slow roasted shredded pork on grilled sourdough then topped with sweet coleslaw and spicy peach salsa. It’s a traditional southern-style masterpiece with a non-traditional recipe.
Which is what I love about the Public House – each dish has a signature stamp that gives it a unique twist and taste. Part of that has to do with their chefs’ imagination and creativity – absolutely. But the other half of the equation has to do with the Public House’s insistence on using ingredients from Temecula-area farms such as Sage Mountain and De Luz. They also buy from – and hence support – neighboring businesses such as the Temecula Valley Cheese Co., the Old Town Spice Merchant, Café Bravo, and the Temecula Olive Oil Co. Like our local wineries defining Temecula wine, the Public House is defining Temecula food. And it’s delicious.
If you’re simply seeking a place to grab a beer or glass of wine, the Public House caters to you as well. Their beer menu only consists of independent and/or craft brewing companies – commercial domestic brews are nowhere to be found here. If you’ve yet to try beers from local breweries such as Stone (Escondido) or Black Market (Temecula), allow the Public House to make the introductions. And while their wine menu typically does not include Temecula-area wines, their selection is quite extensive and creative. European, Californian, South American, and Australian wines are all well represented.
The Public House is also one of Temecula’s best live music venues. Their outdoor patio hosts bands and solo artists every Friday & Saturday nights (8:00pm start time), and Sunday afternoons (music begins at 4:00pm). When you find a better place to enjoy a Sunday afternoon, sipping a beer outside in the sunshine and listening to cool local music, please let me know. And for those who are just beginning to showcase your musical talents, they even have “open mic” nights the second Wednesday of every month.
So come on down this Wednesday, September 15th @ noon and join the Taste of Temecula crew for an amazing Lunch Meet-Up. The Public House may soon become your favorite as well.
The Public House – 41971 Main Street, Temecula, CA 92590 / 951-676-7305.