Mid Range - Mod Oz - Brisbane
400 George St
Nestled on the first floor of the Santos building (up the escalator and sharp left) Public is an oasis of warmth and understated style that couldn't feel more removed from the bleak grey streets below.
The owners of Canvas bar in Woolloongabba have applied their considerable style chutzpah to this space, and with a mix of raw wood, polished concrete, suspended wicker egg chairs and hanging herb pots and plants, created the kind of city home you want to hang out in.
And the food, which comes tapas style in small or large share plates (that are seasonal and change regularly) is more than a match for the décor. Must-try is their 'signature' Kentucky Fried Duck, which comes finger lickin' good in a paper bag, and other highly recommended are the Wagyu 'skirt' with crunchy potatoes and horseradish, quail with cashews and the pumpkin with chilli coriander.
Three small plates are more than enough for one person and sweet tooths should save room for dessert such as the cherry and pistachio clafoutis with praline ice-cream.
Over at the bar cocktails are the star – try the Public Nuisance – and the wine list is well-priced for its quality. In fact those who like to enjoy a drink with ambience and without a heaving crowd should head here as an antidote to the packed drinking barns that the CBD specializes in.