Public House by Nico
I’m a massive fan of his concept restaurant Six by Nico, not to mention his first ‘main’ restaurant 111, so I was keen to head along to 333 Great Western Road to see what his take on a Gastropub would be like, aptly named Public House.
On entering it definitely looks and feels like a pub, although given all the tables are set up for dining it is a bit of a misnomer perhaps? Regardless, it has a nice cosy and relaxed vibe which I really liked.
The dinner options are all small plate, with a (smaller) vegetarian menu available, and you are advised to pick three options with maybe some chips on the side. They have a breakfast menu and a Sunday Roast dinner too which we will be back to try sometime.
From the small plate menu I opted for Crispy Pigs Head with Piccalilli and Watercress Pureee, the Cod with Crushed Parsnip, Smoked Bacon and Brown Sauce, and the Ox Cheek Pie with Bone Marrow. My partner plumped for the Chestnut Gnocchi with Sprout Tops and Sage, a Salt Baked Celeriac with Crowdie and a Truffle Jus, and Beer Battered Cauliflower with a Tartare Sauce and Mushy Peas. We added Triple Cooked Chips and Aioli to share.
The dishes are brought out when they are ready and on the whole they were all pretty good. The stand out for me was the Ox Cheek Pie (even though it’s not actually a pie) which had succulent beef in a rich gravy, and a wonderfully salty pastry topper. The Cod was well cooked although nothing remarkable, and the Crispy Pigs head was essentially a ham and potato croquette, well presented and tasty but the name promised more than the plate offered.
Similarly the vegetarian plates were all well considered and cooked, and the few bites I did manage to try were very tasty. There were certainly very few complaints from the other side of the table!
Alas the triple cooked chips let us down which for something so simple was a bit surprising. In my head, triple cooked chips are crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. Instead we were offered slightly greasy and wet chips which suggest the wrong potato was used? I love a good waxy potato but boiled and with butter, not fried as chips.
We finished with desserts, treacle tart with apple ice cream for me, chocolate torte with praline ice cream for my partner. Both were delicious and, thankfully, not ‘small plate’ sized!
On reflection then a good meal of well cooked food (those chips aside), in a nice relaxed atmosphere, with friendly and efficient staff, what’s not to like? The only other minor niggle is not one specific to this restaurant but getting a bill for two for £85, £30 of which is for a bottle of wine, leaves a little bit of a sour note; why is wine so expensive in restaurants? There are cheaper bottles on the wine list, but even the cheapest was £21 which is about the same price as a meal for one.
That aside, I’d happily eat there again, and I know I have some friends keen to try it out too. I may not necessarily rush back but it’s good to have another eatery in Glasgow which, I hope, will become a dependable favourite.