There isn’t another restaurant in Jersey City quite like Atlas Public House. It’s a unique mix of Wall Street meets downtown Jersey City; the kind of place that plays Sinatra, Jobim, and Armstrong within the same hour. Chill, dark, and classy, it’s ideal for tapas amongst friends or a dinner date for two.
One of Atlas’ most appealing aspects is its eclectic menu. The restaurant describes itself as serving “tantalizing international gastropub fare from the four corners of the globe” naming Italy, France, Greece, and Morocco as inspiration.
You’ll notice the international influence in entrees like the Fish & Chips ($19) and Black Angus Hanger Steak ($24). The former is perfectly fried and not overly battered, whereas the Hanger Steak is flavor and accompanied by a sweet shallot confit.
Other dishes, like the Filipino Fried Blue Point Oysters ($13), could’ve used a stronger “international” touch. The oysters, for instance, were barely drizzled with a mango barbecue sauce. Likewise, the Pommes Frites with Aioli ($6.50) weren’t as memorable as an order of potato-like frites you might get while visiting Brussels.
Currently, the main dinner menu, which is almost entirely devoted to meat, isn’t very vegan friendly. In fact, I really found myself craving vegetables — of any kind — with my meal. (The Root Vegetable Moussaka wasn’t available on the nights we went). So take note, if you’re on any type of vegetarian or dietary restriction, you’ll be limited for now.
Dessert is also limited to one option: gelato. The restaurant is less than two weeks old, so these gripes are very likely to be addressed in the coming weeks.
Cocktails at Atlas are excellent and I’d recommend experimenting with a few. The Token Vodka ($12) is a unique vodka-based cocktail with aperol, pineapple, lemon, and nutmeg. The Ginja Ninja ($14) — my personal favorite — features Cachaça, Japanese whiskey, Sour Cherry, Cinnamon, Lime, and a dusting of matcha. Tequila fans should also try the Emelia a la Ai Fiori ($10) made with Blanco Tequila, Amaro Montenegro, Lime, and Rosemary. Overall, I found the signature cocktails at Atlas very impressive.
On all three visits, service at Atlas was quick and friendly. Sitting at a booth in the back — our waitress cleared our plates, refilled our drinks, and was very attentive throughout our dinner. On our second and third visits — sitting at the bar — we received immediate attention, although on one occasion we didn’t receive the beer menu, which you’ll definitely want to check out since Atlas has over 24 beers on tap — 23 from local New Jersey breweries — including a few from nearby Departed Soles.
Few quirks aside, Atlas Public House is an excellent addition to the downtown scene and I expect it to get better as the kitchen grows out its menu.
tldr; Atlas Public House is a unique mix of Wall Street meets downtown Jersey City. Its cocktail list is deliciously eclectic and the restaurant’s 20+ beers are bound to impress all beer lovers. The menu is very international, though currently veggies feel like an afterthought.
Atlas Public House | 130 Newark Avenue | www.atlasjc.com