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Food & Drink

Staff Pick

Best New Restaurant 

Público

An array of dishes at this year’s best new restaurant, Público.

Photo by Mabel Suen

An array of dishes at this year’s best new restaurant, Público.

Is there any culinary concept Mile Randolph can't nail — Half & Half for breakfast, the Good Pie for pizza, Little Country Gentleman for tasting menus? Add to that list Público, his pan-Latin American restaurant that has been St. Louis' clear dining highlight of 2015. Público elevates Central and South American cooking to levels far beyond anything we've seen in this town — or perhaps in any other town, save for something on the level of Rick Bayless' revered Topolobampo in Chicago. Randolph's menu is ambitious — baby octopus served swimming in a caper- and paprika-spiked tomato sauce, sweetbreads simmered with pineapple and habanero, rice pudding topped with shaved foie gras torchon — though dishes like the grilled whole fish or the perfectly cooked bone-in pork chop prove he is equally comfortable with less-showy preparations. It's not just the food that makes Público so special. The bar program here is second to none, and the renovated storefront's good looks (designed by SPACE Architecture + Design) are as stylish as it gets in this city. This place is a winner in every regard. 6679 Delmar Boulevard, University City, 63130. 314-833-5780, www.facebook.com/publicostl.

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