Tap & Barrel is a restaurant that opened a few months ago in the village on False Creek. I’ve dined there recently and I had a great experience, so I was excited to be able to return for their grand opening event last night.
At a restaurant named Tap & Barrel, you know they are going to be serving some drinks. They were handing out glasses of on tap wine and mugs of Howe Sound beer. I love the cute branded jar style mugs they use.
I was surprised to find that one of my favourite food items of the night were the pretzels because I didn’t know pretzels could be this good. They bake them fresh in the store and they were fluffy and soft on the inside with a glossy smooth finish on the outside. They had a rich buttery and salty flavour that was addictive. They were served with a grainy mustard dip that elevated the flavour of the pretzel.
I sampled a smaller slider version of their PB&J burger. I tried the full size version of this when I previously visited the restaurant and this mini version was just as good. I love the flavourful chipotle peanut butter and the savoury, but sweet bacon jam. Even if you think peanut butter on a burger is weird you really should try this burger.
Another item that I loved were the fish and chips, which were actually served on a bed of potato chips and not fries. The cod was surrounded in a crunchy beer batter, that wasn’t overly greasy. The home-made tartar sauce had some sweetness to it that I am not used to but I enjoyed.
Although meat and cheese plates seem a bit boring, Tap & Barrel really knocked their version out of the park and I kept sneaking back to grab more. They had a wide selection of cheeses ranging from soft creamy brie to hard and strong cheddar. The meat plate was especially impressive featuring a variety of paper-thin slices of different types of prosciutto and salami. They didn’t mention what the different slices were, but they were all incredible.
We were also served a skewer version of their steak dinner. The little cubes of flatiron steak with a crispy roasted potato were mouth-watering. My favourite part of this dish was the horseradish chimichurri sauce that goes with the steak. Chimichurri is an Argentinian barbecue sauce and it packs some bold flavour.
I was impressed with all of the food served at the event and it made me want to come back to try the full-sized versions on the menu. Their modern take on pub dishes is a cool concept and they execute it well. The inside of the restaurant is impressive and spacious and the killer view doesn’t hurt anything either.