What is a “gastropub”? According to Tap, the new restaurant/bar from Bob Amick’s Concentric Restaurants (One Midtown Kitchen, Two Urban Licks, etc), it is a pub “which specializes in high-quality food, a step above the more basic pub grub”. If this is what Amick was looking for, I think he basically succeeded with Tap.
We had a “boys night” at Tap last night, which is located in the shiny, new 1180 Peachtree skyscraper on Peachtree and 14th St. The bar area was buzzing when we arrived, and with a wide selection of domestic and international brews available, we were happily occupied as we waited for our table. From what we could tell, the main dining spaces were either outside or upstairs. Between the two, outside is where you want to be, especially this time of year. We were seated upstairs, which had a nice view looking out over Peachtree, but was unfortunately right next to the kitchen.
For the most part, the staff at tap is friendly and accomodating. Our waitress in the bar was very helpful, the hostess was nice and took a genuine interest in our experience, and our waiter was pleasant enough. But there is room for improvement here. For example, when I ordered two plates of the steak tartare appetizer, the waiter…who may have been half my age… asked “Do you know what that is?” Ummm, do I look like I just walked in here off the farm?? Our group spanned the ages of mid 30s to early 40s, and with the exception of one guy who was wearing shorts and flip-flops, we were dressed like we have eaten a few high-end steaks and lobsters in our life. Dumb question. Here’s another example- after dinner, we decided to grab a table outside and have a nightcap. The outside waitress would walk past our table, pause, sort of look at us funny, and then walk away. After 10 minutes of that, we left. If we needed to be seated by a hostess, which was not apparent, then tell us.
Food wise, Tap was decent. The aforementioned steak tartare was awesome. We also tried the buffalo calamari and the steamed potstickers. The calamari was good enough; the pot stickers were not at all memorable. I will at least give our waiter kudos for increasing the order from 5 pot stickers to 7 so everyone was able to get one. With only 6 entrees, the dinner menu isn’t huge, but everyone liked what they had. I probably ordered the worst, going with the $12 burger. There are definitely much better in the city, and at this price, I don’t expect the pile of fries to be 4 times the size of the burger. Others had the halibut and some had the pork chop, and they all seemed to enjoy their choices.
As Midtown continues to evolve with all the new high-rise condos being built, Tap should do quite well. The outside patio on one of the premier intersections in the area should be quite popular on warm summer nights. It’s probably a little more about scene than substance, and, as its name would suggest, it’s more bar than restaurant. But in the theme of the “gastropub”, the food is definitely a notch above compared to other bars in the area.
Steakhead Recommends: When the weather is warm and you can sit outside