A Short Rib Grilled Cheese with tons of melted mozzarella…
Michelle Shaw – Co-Owner, Public Kitchen: “You just pull it apart and that cheese just oozes.”
Mac and Cheese so creamy, they call it the Pot of Gold…
Michelle Shaw – Co-Owner, Public Kitchen: “You’re gonna indulge, you’re gonna enjoy every bite.”
And thick cut Steak Tips grilled perfectly pink…
Michelle Shaw – Co-Owner, Public Kitchen: “I would put our steak tips up against anyone’s.”
Neighborhood restaurants simply don’t get much better than Public Kitchen.
Located in downtown Wakefield, Public Kitchen is a 100 seat spot with a clean, fresh, industrial modern look, a big 21 seat bar specializing in craft beers, and a kitchen turning out a mouthwatering mix of gastropub favorites and upscale entrees.
Michelle Shaw – Co-Owner, Public Kitchen: “It’s comfort food. It’s everyday food. It’s healthy food. If you want to be gluttonous and come get a shortbread mozzarella stick grilled cheese or our pot of gold, you can. If you want to come get a lean piece of fish or protein on a salad, it’s going to be an amazing gourmet salad done right.”
That’s Michelle Shaw, one of the restaurant’s co-owners, who you’ll usually find mixing up cocktails behind the bar, or making everyone in the dining room feel like a regular.
When it comes to the food, Executive Chef Anthony Springer creates dishes that can only be categorized in one way: delicious.
Anthony Springer – Executive Chef, Public Kitchen: “One thing that’s cool about Public Kitchen, we don’t really like specify, we’re like, oh, we’re Italian, American, or French, or anything like that. We have a little bit of everything going on in the menu.”
There are plenty of great ways to start your meal at Public Kitchen, like a big bowl of Mussels in a garlic, tomato, chili, and wine broth, with plenty of bread for dipping, Tater Tots loaded with sour cream, cheese sauce, jalapeños, pickles, and glazed pork belly, and a platter of Nachos that are a must order, because every element is made from scratch.
Anthony Springer – Executive Chef, Public Kitchen: “We’re gonna fry our chips nice and fresh. We make our own cheese sauce for them. We make the pico de galo daily, the sour cream gets made daily, fresh cut jalapenos. I mean, everything gets treated as if it’s somewhat of a fine dining type food.”
In fact, Chef Anthony also does kind of a fine dining spin on nachos, made with Tuna Poke.
Anthony Springer – Executive Chef, Public Kitchen: “I take pride in the Tuna Poke Nachos. Nice fresh wontons that we fry up daily. Some of the best tuna you can buy. Sugar snap peas, carrots, onions, all kinds of nice little vegetables tossed with like a ginger vinaigrette on top of the wontons. And it’s got a soy aioli and a kimchi sauce on top with some fresh jalapenos, and some herbs. It’s really good.”
The kitchen at Public Kitchen is certainly serious about serving great food, and those same high standards are behind the bar too; from the creative cocktails, to the ever-changing, always interesting, beers on tap.
Michelle Shaw – Co-Owner, Public Kitchen: “If it’s new, if it’s fresh, we’re getting it, we’re pouring it, people follow us on social media. We have a live camera on our beer board and so many people say ‘I look on the board when I leave work. I know if I’m going for a beer or if I’m going home.’”
And if they’re going for a beer, they might want a burger too, and Public Kitchen serves some winners, whether you order the classic Public Burger, or get a little crazy and try the Spicy Peanut Butter Burger.
Michelle Shaw – Co-Owner, Public Kitchen: “It has house made peanut butter, has cheddar, bacon, avocado, a kimchi slaw on it, that is done on an onion roll, and every bite it is truly a different taste. So you get the creaminess of the avocado, the salty of the bacon, or you’re getting the onion and the peanut butter, and the flavors just come together beautifully.”
But that beauty comes at a cost, because eating this burger can be a bit messy.
Michelle Shaw – Co-Owner, Public Kitchen: “There’s a lot going on, and it is a type of burger you pick up you might not put down, because you’re going to be dripping kimchi sauce, or we give you an extra napkin because we know it ahead of time, but it’s truly something to be had.”
Another handheld to be had is the Short Rib and Mozzarella Stick Grilled Cheese on buttered brioche.
Anthony Springer – Executive Chef, Public Kitchen: “It has cheddar cheese that’s on each side of the bread. And then we have fresh mozzarella, so it’s a square, and we cut it about an inch thick and we deep fry it. So it’s super oozy. And we use our house short rib, roasted tomato, and we cut it right in half, and you got to town on it.”
Michelle Shaw – Co-Owner, Public Kitchen: “People wonder how they eat it. How am I gonna eat this? Is it a fork and knife or is it not? But you just pull it apart and that cheese just oozes. I say that’s a sign of a great grilled cheese.”
Entrees at Public Kitchen can really match any appetite. On the lighter side, there’s Crispy ‘Cauliflower Rice’ with blistered shishitos, julienned veggies, and a sunny side egg. Or order the Thai Lettuce Wraps, and choose your own flavor adventure.
Michelle Shaw – Co-Owner, Public Kitchen: “It’s Boston Bibb lettuce, different accompaniments, avocado, you choose your protein, some crushed peanuts, and then they give you three sauces. And every lettuce wrap you make is going to be different depending on what you get in it. It’s light. It’s refreshing. It’s so colorful. And it’s great.”
If you’re looking to indulge, they can do that too. Like with a big bowl of Mac and Cheese known as the Pot of Gold. Which was a must have for Michelle.
Michelle Shaw – Co-Owner, Public Kitchen: “When we sat down with our chef at first, there was no mac and cheese on our menu. And I’m a North Shore Girl. I like my mac and cheese. I was like, ‘Guys, we’re missing one important comfort food here, mac and cheese.’ And it’s got to be ooey, gooey. Ours is liquid gold, hence Pot of Gold. And that cheese sauce. We do seasoned Ritz Cracker crumbs on top. It truly is one of a kind.”
Another North Shore staple here are the thick, juicy Steak Tips.
Michelle Shaw – Co-Owner, Public Kitchen: “They are marinated properly. They’re cooked right. Our mashed potatoes are smooth and creamy. Nice, big charred, grilled asparagus served with a demiglace. You come for dinner, you just want something great. You have a beer and you have some steak tips.”
And you’ll also have great time, at Public Kitchen.
Michelle Shaw – Co-Owner, Public Kitchen: “From the service, to the food, to the drinks, to the cocktails, we really take pride in what we do. And we have a great staff and we truly try to make everyone’s experience just that much more enjoyable.”