Restaurant Reviews

Republique

February 23, 2015

The Shut-Up-and-Give-it-to-Me-Quick Version: 

Winner.
Great food, excellent service and good atmosphere.

The I-Like-to-be-Wrapped-Up-in-All-the-Details Version:

We arrived and waited about 20 minutes to be seated (without a reservation). Republique gets packed and boasts communal seating. Although most people don’t seem to love that environment, I really liked our seating arrangements. We were seated in the “bakery” section, a nook with the oven used to warm bread and desserts. It has one table with 6 seats that sits higher above the tables in the middle of the restaurant.

Hours
Mon – Sun   8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Mon – Sat    Bar opens at 5:30, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Closed Sunday for dinner

What we ate:

  • Normandy butter ($5)
  • Tempura ($10)
  • Crostini ($10)
  • Hamachi Crudo ($19)
  • Octopus salad ($18)
  • Wild mushrooms tarte –a-l’alsacienne ($16)
  • Butternut squash agnolotti ($26)
  • Rotisserie chicken ($32)

Thoughts?

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Let’s start off with the bread and I’ll let you in on a little secret. While the bread is amazing and fresh out of the oven, the Normandy butter makes everything that much better. It is an additional $5, but it is definitely worth it! The butter is rich, creamy and oh so amazing.

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Republique surprised me with their take on tempura. Green beans were fresh and in abundance so the chef chose to vary from the usual to highlight it. The dish also included meyer lemon and pickled fresno chilies with a side of basil aioli. I was in LOVE with the lemon tempura, it tasted so good!

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The grilled octopus is accompanied with persimmons, pomegranates, cabbage, pistachio, chili and lime. The flavors are a bit subtle, but everything goes together really well. The pieces of octopus are generous and while not a traditional octopus salad, the dish is a great start to your meal!

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The crostini was right up my alley, burrata is my favorite cheese and the speck and Asian pear mustarda went very well together. This is great and easy to share. Anything with burrata is a must order in my opinion and Republique knew exactly how to highlight this amazing ingredient.

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Republique’s Hamachi crudo is plated on top of banana-thai curry served with pinapple, lime and peanuts. This dish has a very bold taste, if you like thai curry, you will surely appreciate this. The pineapple and lime offset the strong flavors and the fresh Hamachi adds a refreshing taste. This dish sticks out from the rest of the fair because the flavors are very different, but if you don’t mind a little change, this is a great plate.

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They were serving two flavors of tartes and we chose the mushroom one. I can liken them to an extremely thin crust pizza. The bottom is crispy and topped with nettles, gruyere and caramelized onions. It was a subtle, warm and comforting taste. I wouldn’t be dying to reorder this, but I’m glad I tried it.

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This agnolotti tasted like little clouds in your mouth. They were so light and fluffy, it practically melted. The flavors were subdued but oh so delicious. My standard for a great butternut squash, sage and butter dish is the pasta at il Pastaio and let me tell you that this is the first pasta that I can even compare to that. The texture was amazing and it was just so tasty. The dish is not large, but like everything else at Republique, it is meant to be shared.

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The rotisserie chicken was lightly adorned with cauliflower, spinach and pine nuts, but it spoke for itself. It was super tender, very moist and flavorful. We asked for hot sauce because it just needed that extra kick. I don’t know if it’s because we were already pretty full, but it wasn’t as memorable as the rest of the meal. The taste was great, but I just felt like it was lacking a little something.

Overall, our experience was great! Take the restaurant for what it’s meant to be and indulge in the communal atmosphere. We met an older couple that was a pleasure to sit with. By the end of the night my parents were exchanging business cards with them and we were sharing plates. This is what the atmosphere lends itself to, so please don’t shortchange yourself and enjoy the experience. Don’t be shy, you may even get to try a bite or two from your neighbor and who can complain about more food?!?! 🙂

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