We sit cosily inside as a roaring fire crackles at the far end of the room and a steaming pot of cheese fondue sits on the table in front of us.
We could be in the Alps. Of course we’re not, the fire isn’t real and it’s 40°C outside, yet we still almost feel we might be. Especially with that fondue bubbling away invitingly.
Publique, which sits in half of the space previously occupied by Rivington Grill, goes all in with the chalet theme. It all falls on the fun rather than tacky side though – the cherry on top is the ski lift housing a DJ booth.
On our visit, there’s a pleasant buzz about the place (including from a table of French-speakers next to us, all happily devouring raclette, which has to say something for the food). And if – like us – you love cheese, you’ll want to visit. If you’re dieting, possibly not.
Although there are plenty of standard options (pizzas, grills, not so many greens) it’s the specials where Publique shines.
Hot stone cooking, tartiflette and fondue. The latter is a molten, rich, cheesy delight. Really excellent. The croutons we use to scoop it up are perfect measures of crisp and fluffy, an ideal pairing.
The restaurant’s not quite packed, but we reckon once it gets more established this will pick up, and even more fun is sure to follow.
The bottom line If you like cheese, you’ll love it here.