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Monday, 12 November 2012 00:00

Summer Succotash: A Local Recipe

Summer Succotash from Public House

As seen in Taste Buds •  Savor Local Flavor spring/summer 2012  - The Chattanooga Region's Guide to Locally Grown & Crafted Foods

This recipe is an easy way to highlight local produce like field peas, corn and tomoatoes during the summer season!  Use Link 41 bacon, which is made from locally raised pork, to make this side dish even better.


downtown chattanooga restaurant 1 tbsp. olive oil
Six slices or 1/2 lb bacon
6 ears fresh corn
2 sprigs fresh thyme, picked and cleaned
2 cups fresh field peas (or frozen if fresh are not available)
1 cup chicken stock + extra for reheating
1/4 lb butter
1 tomato, seeded and finely chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste

1.  Carefully remove corn from ear, leaving kernals intact if possible.

2.  Heat olive oil and bacon in a large saute pan over medium.  Cook bacon until crispy and remove.  Save the bacon for garnishing (or as a snack while preparing the rest of the dish).

3.  Add corn kernals and picked thyme to pan and gently coat in bacon grease/olive oil mixture.

4.  Add chicken stock and peas to pot and increase heat.  When the stock begins to boil, reduce heat to simmer and simmer until peas are desired doneness (will vary depending on type of peas and freshness).

5.  Finish with butter and then remove from heat.

6.  Add tomoato as garnish and serve immediately.

To prepare ahead of time, complete through step 4, refrigerate and add extra chicken stock to moisten while reheating;.

Jackie Errico
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 00:00

Mushroom Bread Pudding Recipe

Mushroom Bread Pudding

local chattanooga restaurantOne of our most requested recipes in the past month is recipe for our mushroom bread pudding.  As we adapted it from an old Saveur magazine recipe, we are more than happy to share:

  1. Melt ½ lb. Butter with ½ cup chopped Garlic
  2. Spread over 1 loaf sliced Niedlov’s sourdough and toast lightly
  3. Allow bread to cool and break into small pieces
  4. In large bowl add 8 cups cooked mixed mushrooms (we use oyster, shiitake, cremini, portobella)
  5. Mix 6 eggs, 1 qt. heavy cream, ½ cup goat’s cheese and S&P
  6. Pour over bread and mushrooms and mix
  7. Let sit for 30 min before placing in baking dish
  8. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes


Jackie Errico

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Southern food may be traditional, but it’s never boring at Public House. The restaurant offers New South updates of classic dishes at casual prices, and regularly shakes things up with seasonal menu changes that reflect what is available at local farms. The most recent changes are a new mid-winter dinner menu, as well as new drink and small plate menus at The Social, Public House’s bar.

New items on the lunch and dinner menus include Grilled Beef Fillet and Poached Lobster with mashed potatoes and little green beans and Duck Confit with mashed potatoes, red cabbage, and grapes. New dinner appetizers are the House Smoked Salmon Dip served with celery and saltines, and Bronzed Gulf Shrimp with kale salad. Fans of the veggie plate will be excited to see cauliflower included in the selections.

Chattanooga downtown restaurantThe Social’s bar snacks menu now includes Chicken  Fingers with fries, House Potato Chips with Bacon Blue Cheese dip, Pot Roast Nachos with USA cheese and fresh pico de gallo, Fried Pickle baskets, and Meatloaf Sliders
with fried onion, USA cheese, and fresh jalapenos.

The cocktail menu has several new drinks, as well. In keeping with existing house specialty cocktails, several are named for songs by The Pixies, including the Into the White (pinapple, gin, cream, egg white, flower water), the Superhero Named Tony (vodka, rum, gin, tequila, blue curacao), and the Bossanova (rioja red wine & Mexican coke). Fans of the grapefruit-tinged Alec Eiffel will be excited this beloved drink has a new friend-- the Brick Is Red cocktail, featuring Averna vodka, ginger, and grapefruit. There are also several new drinks featuring house-made mixers-- grenadine, tonic, and ginger beer—carbonated with classic seltzer guns. These ingredients create an authentic vintage drink experience and flavors you can’t get anywhere else in town.

fine dining in ChattanoogaPublic House continues to serve up perennial favorites like the Pimento Cheese & Fried Pickles, Fried Chicken, Pork Tenderloin, Red Wine Braised Pot Roast, Chicken Livers, Macaroni and Cheese, and more. The Social still offers its popular champagne cocktails, quality draft beers, high gravity brews, classic cocktails, and selection of fine absinthes. Public House’s weekday lunch specials and The Social’s Monday-Saturday drink specials are still the same, and can be found on the website and social media accounts.

Public House opened in 2009 and became popular for the quality and service of fine dining with an accessible price point. Its relaxed yet stylish ambiance, thoughtful menu of comfort foods, vintage-style drinks, fun specials, and weekly dance parties have made it a popular destination for diners, drinkers, and socializers young and old.


Written by Meghan O'Dea

Thursday, 21 February 2013 00:00

What Is Southern Cooking?

southern restaurants in chattanooga tn"Southern is William Faulkner, "Intruder in the Dust." I met him in Café Nicholson. Upon our meeting, he wanted to know if I had studied cooking in Paris. Southern is a beautiful dish of fried chicken, cooked carefully in home-rendered lard and butter with pieces of country ham added, then served with a brown gravy spooned over spoon bread.

Southern is Eugene Walter, deep in Alabama, a Renaissance man, a gourmet, always with a brilliant thought. Southern is Marie Rudisill, author of a cookbook that emulates the friends she grew up with, cooked with, and loved. Southern is all the unsung heroes who passed away in obscurity. 

So many great souls have passed off the scene. The world has changed. We are now faced with picking up the pieces and trying to put them into shape, document them so the present-day young generation can see what southern food was like. The foundation on which it rested was pure ingredients, open-pollinated seed-planted and replanted for generations-natural fertilizers. We grew the seeds of what we ate, we worked with love and care."

 -Edna Lewis, "What Is Southern," from Gourmet Magazine 

As Edna Lewis so vividly describes, Southern food is about history, and contemporary Southern cooking is about storytelling. It's about honoring  great cooks, both famous and unknown. It's about family recipes, and joining loved ones around the table. It's about an agrarian way of life that drifted away for many years and has been revived by today's local food movement. It's about your heroes, whether they are Paula Deen or your grandmother or someone else entirely. 

At Public House, our menu is rooted in history. The recipes are authentic, as are the ingredients, often right down to the soil they are grown in. But we also haven't lost the original playfulness and creative delight that has inspired generations of Southern cooks. We start with what we know, and end up somewhere new. We tell the stories of past Southern cooks in our dishes, but aren't afraid to shake it up by offering something thoroughly modern. That's the South at its essence-- always evolving, but always looking back to tradition. That's the new Southern cuisine at Public House.

Written by Meghan O'Dea

casual dining in chattanooga "We are still wobbly on our indoor legs. Under our eyes are deep circles of leftover winter despair. In the impossible spring your cheeks will be round enough for the right spargel grin. A grin worthy of the triumph of cathedral tips breaking through the ground: the asparagus is here! Even if you don’t like asparagus, you can understand the thrill of seeing those bundles of slim stalks standing upright on the tables one early Saturday morning. It’s still chilly out. Maybe you haven’t had your first cup of coffee. But the asparagus tips sparkle, in your green-starved eyes, like jewels."

- "How to be an asparagus superhero" by Phoebe Nobles

Few vegetables feel quite so seasonal as those bright green stalks that seem to come out of nowhere after months of winter lettuces and kale, of potatos and root vegetables. We are very excited to have asparagus back on our menu now that it is in season. You too will aquire a "spargel" grin, referring to the spargelfrau, a sort of mythical, rosy-cheeked woman who sells asparagus in the markets at German villages, where asparagus season is taken very, very seriously. Join in the spring celebration-- Enjoy grilled asparagus with olive and egg as small or large side, as an accompanyment to the grilled Bay of Fundy salmon, or with the Chicken tortellini salad. It's also delicious as the pairing with the 8oz grilled beef fillet and mashed potatos. However you order it, you can't go wrong. 

To see the asparagus items and our other new spring treats, including Fingerling potato lyonniase, Chicken tortellini salad with asparagus, sweet peppers, tomato, mixed greens and balsamic vinaigrette, Beemster Goat's Milk Gouda from the Netherlands, and new sides of Vidalia onion and blackberry reduction with the Duck Confit, and more, please visit our menu on the main site!

Written by Meghan O'Dea

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 09:48

Spring 2013 Menu Items and Ingredients

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With spring comes all sorts of new and interesting flavors fresh from the earth. We wrote recently about the asparagus coming in, but that's not the only new taste on our tables. Some old favorites are back from last spring, like the beloved Chicken Tortellini Salad with sweet peppers, tomato, mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette, and of course—fresh spring asparagus.

Some perennial plates like the Pickett’s Ranch Trout and Grilled Beef Filet have new pairings. The Trout now comes with potatoes Lyonnaise. The 8oz Filet comes with mashed potatoes and asparagus. Grilled Bay of Fundy Salmon is now paired with grilled asparagus, egg, and olive vinaigrette. Duck Confit, part of our recent midwinter menu, is given a fresh springtime twist with new sides of grits, grilled spring onions, and a blackberry reduction. Other items have gone away for the season, such as the Salmon Nicoise Salad, replaced with the Tortellini Salad.

Many of these new sides can also be ordered as small or large plates or parts of a Veggie Platter, including the fingerling potatoes Lyonnaise, grilled asparagus with egg and olive, and creamy grits. There are also some totally new additions to the menu, like the Beemster Gouda, a goat’s milk cheese from the Netherlands, and the beef empanadas with duck fat dough on the Bar Small Plates menu at The Social.

We are excited to celebrate spring with our loyal friends and fans, and for a chance to show new customers that the fresh Southern flavors of Public House are the same as those of Chattanooga and Tennessee.

To view our menus, click here.

bars in chattanooga Like Southern cooking, the public house as a restaurant format has had a long and glorious tradition. Also like many aspects of Southern cooking, the public house comes from old England. Public Houses were establishments that served food and alcoholic beverages, but were considered more upstanding than the alehouses and ginshops that were the divebars of the era. They were suitable for casual and family dining, but you didn't have to be nobility to enjoy service. They were often centers of social life in the community. You might know the typical Public House better by its shortened name-- the pub. Public House is founded on the essential concept of those early restaurants-- a combination of food, drink, and community that has so long brought people together. Like many other traditions from the British Isles that came to the South over the centuries, Public House Chattanooga is the evolution of a beloved idea to suit its new time and place. You won't find fish and chips here, but you will find fried chicken. We offer fairly priced comfort food and drinks, yet a little more refined than what you'd find at home. We are casual, comfortable and respectable-- a place you could bring your family, enjoy an after-work pint, and get a feel for the personality and culture of the town. We are a traditional public house in essence, and Southern Nouveau in style and cuisine. We're proud to call those early pubs our great great great grand cousins. Like Chattanooga, we're a blend of many histories, traditions, tastes, and influences that come together to create something new. Photo Credit: National Library of Ireland on The Commons via Compfight cc

top restaurant in chattanooga You can tell a lot about a person from how they make pimento cheese. No two Southern cooks make it the same, and everyone’s grandmother has her own special recipe.

Some add extra mayonnaise, or are particular about the brand—the Hellman’s vs Duke’s debate has raged for decades. Others add in extra ingredients like jalapenos or pickles to give pep to the simpler pimentos, or use fancier cheeses than the traditional cheddar. The ratios vary, as does the mixing process. Some like their pimento cheese chunky, some prefer it creamy smooth and consistent. There are as many ways to make pimento cheese as there are ways to be Southern.

Pimento cheese isn’t as old a member of the southern cooking cannon as soul food staples like fried chicken and collards. It’s only been around for a hundred years. Food Historian and Charlestonian Robert F. Moss traced its origins back to early 20th century food processing and domestic science. Cream cheese was a relatively new invention, and canned vegetables were beginning to catch on in homes throughout the country. Combining the two was the epitome of sophistication and spending that housewives craved for entertaining. And as we all know, Southern ladies are some of the very finest in the country at proper hospitality. Pimento cheese may have started as a nationwide craze, but it truly found its home in Southern parlors.

Despite its comparatively recent origins, pimento cheese is one of the most popular dishes in a resurging celebration of all things Southern.  Simply everyone has something to say about this classic. As Francine Maroukian put it for Garden and Gun, “From potlucks to lunch pails, pimento cheese is the stuff of everyday Southern life. Doesn’t matter whether their first taste came from the local grocer or Grandma’s kitchen, most Southerners are attached to their ’menta cheese memories.”

Larry T. McGehee called it, “one of those major southern distinguishing institutions, right up there as a subject of debate with religion, politics, barbecue, biscuits, gravy, mint juleps, and the proper age for curing of country hams” in his famous Southern Seen columns. No matter how you make it, every one knows better than to mess with it. Pimento cheese’s reign will last for ages to come.

Written by Meghan O'Dea

downtown Chattanooga restaurant Public House simply wouldn’t be what it is without an amazing location. After all, the space we occupy has as much history as the food we serve. Warehouse Row was built when Chattanooga was a booming railway hub, the rail lines converging beneath where many of Public House’s neighbors now stand—TVA, EPB, the Public Library. Even before Public House was ever dreamed up, this was a place defined by bringing people together.

Though Chattanooga’s downtown is very different than it was when Warehouse Row was first built, it’s still somewhere that people can connect. With EPB just down the street providing the fastest internet in the Western hemisphere and the city buzzing with new innovations inspired by the Gigabite network, that’s more true than ever. The fiber optic cables running above our sidewalks and under our streets are bringing back Chattanooga’s reputation as a place that gets things done. Once known as the Dynamo of Dixie, Chattanooga’s new nickname as the Gig City says a lot about how Chattanoogans are truly in touch.

When your restaurant is all about creating a welcoming place people return to over and over and forming community, there’s really no place better than in the heart of downtown in a city like Chattanooga. A short walk, bike ride, or electric shuttle trip from any direction in Chattanooga’s bustling business community, it’s easy to stop by for lunch, or for a drink after hours at The Social. And for the many downtown residents eager to be close to all Chattanooga has to offer, Public House is a true neighborhood hangout right in the middle of it all. Whatever time of day you come, whether for a meal or a drink, we’re glad to be in a place that is so deeply rooted in a city we love.

Written by Meghan O'Dea

Public House is perhaps best known as a Southern restaurant, with a menu full of pimento cheese and fried chicken. But what exactly does “Southern cooking” mean in the New South? First and foremost, Southern cooking is comforting. It is also rooted in a sense of place. It is made from familiar ingredients that give anyone who eat them a deep connection to the land. It is about memory and history. It is about family and community. Nora Ephron wrote “What I love about cooking is that after a hard day, there is something comforting about the fact that if you melt butter and add flour and then hot stock, it will get thick! It's a sure thing! It's a sure thing in a world where nothing is sure; it has a mathematical certainty.”

What could be more comforting then than reliable dishes that have been made by generations of trustworthy mothers and grandmothers, proven in cast iron skillet after cast iron skillet? Comfort food is simple and unpretentious, focusing on ingredients and flavors that make us feel good, and that hit the spot. These are foods that we can eat when we are having a bad day and be immediately whisked away to a feeling of security and a sense of home. The very textures and smells of comforting dishes are pleasant in the mouth. They are meals that fill the belly and make the mind peaceful. They are foods that have wide appeal, and can be trusted to please a crowd at a community potluck or wedding banquet.

Not only is Southern cooking comforting, it is leant an earnest authenticity from its close ties to place. When you eat jambalaya, you don’t just taste the mingled flavors of chicken, shrimp, and tomatoes. You also have a mental image of New Orleans, of bayous and Spanish moss. So, too, when you eat pecan pie, or Vidalia onions, you can picture the rolling red clay hills of Georgia, and almost hear summer cicadas chirping. It is real food eaten by real people. It is deeply American, both in ingredients and history.

It’s no surprise that many movies set in the South deal heavily in food. You almost can’t talk about the place without talking about its cooking. Steel Magnolias’ red velvet armadillo cake, Fried Green Tomatoes’ name says it all, Driving Miss Daisy’s scenes of fixing green beans in the kitchen, Elizabethtown’s huge family dinner. The trick these days isn’t cooking the South’s ubiquitous dishes, it’s cooking them with distinction. It’s taking all that history and meaning, and adding something to the conversation.

At Public House we tackle that by starting with the freshest possible ingredients, sourcing local whenever possible and changing with the seasons. We aren’t afraid to invite in other influences, like our French-inspired Duck Confit, or to put new twists on classic dishes, like topping fried green tomatoes with Shrimp Remoulade.  We cook foods that remind us of home, but dress them up with professional cooking techniques and presentation. We pay attention to the details, like our own special recipe for Fried Chicken and house-made mixers for many of our drinks. It’s really no different than how every Southern cook has his or her own secret recipes and techniques, though ours are informed by a background in fine dining as much as growing up Southern. We make these favorites our own, without taking away what is essentially comforting about them. 

Written by Meghan O'Dea

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Public House | 1110 Market St. Chattanooga, TN 37402 | 423.266.3366
Public House, a downtown Chattanooga restaurant

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