Home-grown restaurant Publique will open its doors in the next two weeks in Souk Madinat Jumeirah. It occupies half the space formerly used by Rivington Grill. The other half is taken up by another new offering – Folly by Nick and Scott – which is also set to open around the same time.
Publique is a venture by restaurateurs Jonathan Vercoutere and Julien Pilard, the guys behind Bistro Des Arts – a popular French restaurant in the Dubai Marina. Both Publique and Bistro Des Arts are backed by Gates Hospitality, an investor behind some of Dubai’s most notable concepts, including Reform Social & Grill, The Black Lion and the aforementioned Folly.
Vercoutere says guests should expect the unexpected.
“Publique is a restaurant and bar concept that mixes both a mountain-chalet element and atmosphere with a casual hub dedicated for friends to gather,” he says. “With a modern twist on a conventional bistro, the restaurant will feature mountain specialities, allowing our customers to enjoy delicacies that have not been available in the Dubai dining scene yet.”
The menu includes pierrade, a method of cooking thin strips of meat and seafood over a heated stone. Other interesting bites include foie gras crostini, goat’s-cheese balls, a burger, The Alpinist, with cheese fondue, cream-cheese ravioli, and waffle pie. But Vercoutere says Publique is just as much about atmosphere as food.
“What will distinguish Publique from others is that it is designed to offer an alternative to nightclubs, where music is in the foreground,” Vercoutere says. “What’s important for us is that guests don’t have to spend large amounts of money for a table, or shout to have a conversation.”
Publique’s interior – which resembles a rustic mountain lodge – includes a wooden bar, a DJ booth in a gondola and a chalet-style terrace with views of the Arabian Gulf.
“The atmosphere is very warm, friendly and unpretentious,” says Vercoutere. “The venue will transport guests directly on top of the Alps. We want guests to experience low-cost travel to an after-ski chalet – great food, refreshing drinks and good value.”
• Publique is due to launch within two weeks and will be open daily from noon to 2am