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TAP: Midtown

posted on August 9, 2007 at 6:29 am
RESTAURANT REVIEW:

I could wax on about the fact that TAP is Atlanta’s first gastropub, but I really don’t think it fits the profile. A gastropub is a plainly furnished spot with high-quality food. There is a bit of romance in the simplicty and I can’t say that Concentrics’ Disney-like approach is romantic at all. Your attention is drawn away from the food by the restaurant’s logo which seems to be everywhere you look (TAP t-shirt, anyone?), overly complex menu design (which never seem to accurately reflect the selections of the day—I have had two instances where my menu was different from my companion’s), loads of red, and expensive looking wood. It all made me a bit dizzy actually. 


Like many of Bob Amick’s restaurants, I get the feeling that chef Todd Ginsberg’s creativity and energy are somehow being stifled. But, hey, Amick is a businessman and knows how to make money—even if the food has to suffer. TAP’s menu is pretty varied and there is something for everyone. The cocktails are fun—especially the gin and cucumber drink which I tried to steal from my friend. The beer and wine lists were ok, but I thought they’d have a bit more of a selection given the concept. I found the starters to be the strongest option on the menu. Especially, the beef tartare served in a glass jar with long, crisp potato chips–the fan-favorite of the night. I adored the skewered fresh pineapple with chile salt—it reminded me of Mexico. Another standout was the bowl of pickled root vegetables—a tart mix of pickled turnips, beets, and green beans that I could not stop eating. I will not be ordering this again, because I found a pickled fly in my root veggies (I have a photo, but I thought I would spare you guys) on my last visit there. On my first visit, I had the earthy mushrooms stuffed with braised oxtail and topped with cornichons, but found the same dish to be mushy and the gravy was a gluey mess on another occasion. Chorizo and chocolate on toast was fun and tasty, but found it to be stale and hard to eat on another visit. Buffalo calamari with bits of celery and blue cheese was intriguingly odd, but the flavor and texture combination was just downright perverse. 

As far as the entrees go, my choices—like a fish dish with spaetzle—have been disjointed and consistently underseasoned. Burgers and salads reign supreme, which is why I think lunchtime is your best bet for quality grub. All of my lunch experiences have been positive and spot-on. The selection of saladsespecially the cobb with tender pieces of chicken and generous chunks of avocado and bacon—is fun and I have not been disappointed. The burger, which everyone seems to order, was pretty good and I liked the English muffin ‘bun’ and rich chocolate milkshake shooter. The generous helping of matchstick French fries were a hit every time they were on the table. The desserts I tried—like a dry brown sugar cake and brown bread pudding ice creamwere not memorable and I suggest you skip them and the burnt coffee as well—why is it so hard to get a good cup of brewed coffee in restaurants these days? 


Verdict: The crowds don’t seem to be fazed by the inconsistent food and still pack the restaurant and hang out on the patio sipping drinks. Service is friendly but very green and I had to ask for many things—like water and clean silverware—many times. Should you go? That is kind of tricky. The whole fly in my pickled root vegetables experience has really left a bad taste in my mouth. Yes, I know that bugs and rats in restaurants can happen with loads of food around, but I don’t want to see it on my plate. Even though, I was not impressed with my overall experience at the restaurant it is not a bad spot for a business lunch or a drink with some small plates. A salad, burger, or tartare are good choices. Just don’t expect any culinary revelations. 



RESTAURANT INFORMATION:

Address: 1180 Peachtree Street

Phone: 404-347-2220



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4 comments

  • Re: TAP: Midtown
    posted by: lenny · July 2, 2008  12:44 PM

    i hate this place! the menu is so random, and i have yet to have anything good there… i’ve wasted enough money there – i really don’t understand why it’s always so crowded…

  • Re: TAP: Midtown
    posted by: KJ · July 2, 2008  1:36 PM

    Agreed. The hummus is ok but the flat bread stuff they serve it with tastes like cardboard. Beers are decent and the patio is great, which is the only reason I go there anymore.

  • Re: TAP: Midtown
    posted by: Anonymous · August 1, 2008  7:37 AM

    TAP is one of my favorite bars in Atlanta. The atmosphere is unlike any other, the patio is huge, and the drink selection is amazing. The food is also really delicious. I love their Mahi sandwich and roasted brussel sprouts.

  • Re: TAP: Midtown
    posted by: THLB · March 6, 2011  1:51 PM

    I totally agree with your review. They are not consistent and the decor is ‘busy.’ I was disappointed that the item I wanted to try again from a prior visit was gone and the new menu du jour was lack luster. I like I said in my review, I’m TAPped out!

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