- 3510 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, MN, 55408
- Overall User Rating:
- (1 rating)
- Official Web Site:
Located on 35th and Nicollet, Pat's Tap is the most recent arrival to an area that's quickly becoming somewhat of a hipster haven—joining neighbors B-Squad Vintage and Yeti Records. Opened by Kim Bartmann of Bryant Lake Bowl, Barbette and Red Stag Supperclub—and replacing Casey's—the self-described ‘gastro-pub' arrived to much neighborhood applause, promising traditional bar fare with some "high-quality surprises."
The newly renovated pub boasts patio seating as well as a game room featuring 1950s skee-ball machines that provided endless entertainment on a recent visit. The menu offers a mix of small plates to share, burgers and entrees that are a twist on traditional pub grub.
An a la carte cheese plate featuring all-regional cheeses from either Wisconsin or Minnesota is served with bread and other accoutrements. Small plates are perfect for sharing here, because while delicate in size they pack a serious punch. Goat cheese fritters ($8) served with onion marmalade and Garden Farme honey were deliciously warm and fried just enough to add a satisfying crunch, though the size of each disc meant they leaned toward cheese-overload. The pork belly skewers ($7) with pinchito spices and lemon were an absolute dream. The squeeze of lemon perfectly cut through the pure buttery bite of pork belly. A real treat, but again, so rich that they're best shared.
The burgers at Pat's Tap are definitely worth trying. The cheese burger ($12) was recommended by our server and for good reason. Served with tomato, garlic, pickles, and two layers of cheese-one gooey and melted and one fried to crispy perfection—each burger is cooked to order and every bite offered creaminess, crunch and serious flavor. The pub is committed to offering as much locally-produced meat and cheese as possible and that decision shines through in their burger. Thickly cut sharp, tangy cheddar is a delicious complement to the well-seasoned beef and crunchy pickles. One item too intriguing to miss is the duck burger ($14) served with wasabi and bean sprouts. The flavor was bright, tangy and evened out really well by the crisp bean sprouts.
Part of the excitement surrounding Pat's Tap's opening was the promise of house made pastas, breads, and charcuterie. Spotting carbonara ($15) on the menu, we were sure it would be a hit but sadly, it couldn't live up to expectation. Described simply as comprising peas, egg and smoked ham hock, it's surprising that the dish was laden with a heavy cream sauce that stripped it of any of the delicacy that its description promised. The pasta was woefully overcooked and the peas lacked any flavor when competing with the overly rich sauce. The star of the dish was certainly the smoky ham hock and the addition of a soft-yolk egg on top would have been perfect if the dish had been traditionally prepared more closely to its menu description.
Service at Pat's Tap was great. Although they were out of half of the tap beers, the fun skee-ball and friendly staff were enough to overlook this opening week kink. Pat's Tap shows great promise. The menu leans seriously on the heavy and rich side but the strong foundation of a good chef and high-quality, local ingredients is there-with some tweaks it could really shine.