A Drink to My Staycation in San Juan Cap

Like pretty much everyone, I sometimes need to break away and take a mini-vacation—even to explore another city in our expansive county. Last weekend was one of those times, and it led me to San Juan Capistrano where I stumbled across a different type of pub than those I usually enjoy on St. Patty’s Day. It’s called Public 74, a rustic gastropub that’s the brainchild of partners Chad Dickey and chef Gerry Kent.

“My goal is to create a menu that has a dish to fit how the diner is feeling by utilizing ingredients that represent the best of what’s available throughout the year,” chef Kent says of the comforting eats they serve. The pub’s creative libations also are inspired by seasonal ingredients.

New menu items include the Spin Out Kobe, a char-grilled 10-ounce patty of American Kobe beef on a brioche bun topped with smoked pork belly, leeks, kale, wilted spinach, and smoked cheddar. Of course, you’ll need a fun cocktail to wash it down, and I recommend giving the Grandma Out In Public a try. Made with Grand Marnier, St. George Citrus Vodka, cranberry and lime juices, and ginger beer, what’s not to like? Cheers!

Public 74, 27211 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, 949-481-2723, publicrestaurants.com

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