Valentine’s Day was right around the corner when I booked a reservation to sample the culinary offerings at PUBlic Legacy – Chef Kent’s newest restaurant located in the center of the bustline and historic City of Orange.
Located within the Stadium Promenade center, PUBlic Legacy is not only the brainchild of partners Chef Gerry Kent and Chad Dickey, it is a flagship culmination of their passions, experiences in the industry, and core values. The chef-driven dining experience focuses on elevated comfort food, hand-crafted cocktails, craft beer, and the most thoughtful choices in wine around.
While I’m typically not a fan of Hallmark’s second-favorite holiday, after dining here, I’ll use any excuse or occasion for a return trip. The menu which “plays into the diners’ moods, feelings and even their lifestyle choices,” showcases a variety of vegan and vegetarian selections, house-made cheese sauce designed for the dairy-free crowd (cashews!, nutritional yeast!) and every alternative is every bit as craveable as its omnivorous counterparts.
For date night, my husband, Tim, and I often order several appetizers rather than entrees to pair with a glass of fine wine. I can already tell that the starters here are going to be our new go-tos. I adore garlic and am a huge fan of the traditional bruschetta … however, Chef Kent puts a delicious spin on this familiar favorite. The Tomato Addiction combines herb-seasoned tomato, crushed garlic cloves and balsamic reduction and pairs it with St. Andre brie and fragrant toasted house sourdough. The NYA Brussels and Cranberry is a delicious blend of golden fried brussels sprouts, goat cheese crumbles, drunken cranberries and balsamic reduction. The Mushrooms and Hummus is super delish – sunflower tahini hummus, garlic roasted mushrooms and toasted house sourdough.
Somewhat of a meat connoisseur, Tim tends to order steak dishes when dining out. Because he has sampled many a flavorful cut over the years, it’s exceptionally high praise when he calls PUBlic Legacy’s Big Boi chili and coffee-rubbed 16 oz. ribeye among “the best steaks” he’s ever eaten.
Centrally positioned between the Honda Center, Angel Stadium, and Disneyland, you can’t go wrong for an easy and delectable dinner out – but borne from their desire to create an equitable dining experience throughout the day, you can also sit down for a daily brunch.
Because Chef Kent and Dickey wanted to accommodate locals and visitors alike, offering a unique take on the classic breakfast “felt like it would be the immediate favorite it has become” since the restaurant’s inception in November. Popular picks range from a vegan benny (mushrooms, egg, charred tomato over a savory biscuit finished with Hollandaise sauce), Crook Muh Damn (house gouda toast, greens, Cotto ham, mornay and egg) and the maple pork (grilled salt + sugar-brined pork chop, fried egg and maple drizzle).