PUBLISHED ON MAIN SUCCESSFULLY INHABITS FINE DINING’S elusive middle ground, achieving enviably high standards of quality in food, drink and service while, at the same time, exuding an easygoing accessibility. The restaurant rides on executive chef Gus Stieffenhofer-Brandson’s elevated cooking, an evolving showcase for hyperlocal ingredients. It also melds the multiple worlds of co-owners Cody and Clay Allmin, twin brothers who founded Twin Sails Brewing, recently launched Bar Susu (a natural-wine bar) and have a hybrid café and grocery store in the works.
The name “Published” is a nod to the collaboration required to make a coherent finished product. When you arrive here, chances are that staff members close by will briefly stop whatever they’re doing, make eye contact and say, “Welcome.” The greeting may seem incidental, but it attests to a restaurant that carefully orchestrates the dining experience right from the first course to the mignardises and everything that flows in between.
The Allmins have assembled a team with local and international pedigrees and a deep passion for hospitality. Stieffenhofer-Brandson excels at making seasonal vegetables revelatory, from a small plate of charred Brussels sprouts juxtaposed with apple-and-pecan paste, to pea ravioli in a celery-and-elderflower beurre blanc that spotlights the bright green flavours of spring. A dish of braised lamb neck with curried lentils, topped with herb salad, evidences cuisine that draws from global influences while staying rooted in the local. And as you progress, you can’t help but become aware that an evening at Published comprises a complicated but seamless interplay of very different contributions.
There’s wine director Jayton Paul’s ode to natural wines and general manager Amanda Work’s confident oversight of the whole operation. Servers seem choreographed as they glide from the front solarium to the dark panelled dining room, stopping at the garde manger station or disappearing into the kitchen down below. Meanwhile, the bar, helmed by Dylan Riches, buzzes with activity, as staff craft everything from whimsical takes on classic cocktails to “Pushing Curfew” non-alcoholic drinks.
Best of all, the whole team at Published seems to genuinely like being there and working together. Treating guests with respect and warmth, servers seem to know that everyone comes for the same reasons: to savour delicious food and drink and to relish a premium dining experience.
Photos by Sarah Annand