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Dish: Tap: A Gastropub

By Anna Ferguson

Staff Writer

anna.ferguson@gwinnettdailypost.com

Open since: May 2007

Location: From Interstate 85 South, take the 14th Street exit. Go east on 14th Street, and Tap is located about two blocks up at the corner of 14th and Peachtree streets.

Owners: Bob Amick and Todd Rushing

Hours: Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays. Supper is served from 5 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere of Tap perfectly suits the menu - both are casual, cool and playful. It's obvious owners Amick and Rushing spent a great deal of time nit-picking over the restaurant's every detail. Amusing phrases and clever sayings are hidden on the pages of the menu, with entertaining graphics to boot.

Diners can enjoy the sights and sounds of Peachtree Street from the outdoor patio, or from the huge windows on any of the restaurant's three floors. Be sure to check out the bathrooms on the top level. A floor-to-ceiling window allows for a clear view of the city. It is, by far, one of the coolest bathrooms in the metro area.

The menu: Tap serves classic pub fare with a sophisticated, seasonal twist. While the mixture of flavors might seem foreign at first - such as the unlikely marriage of bread, chocolate and meat in the chorizo, chocolate and EVOO toast snack - a few bites into any dish reveal a unique and delightful taste. Appetizers, called Snacks, range from simple to bizarre, such as a pint of pineapple served with chili salt, a sweet, salty and spicy dish ideal for summer meals.

Tap's signature lunch item is a classic - the pub burger, served with square cheese on an English muffin, and shoestring fries and pickles (both made in-house). The Cowgirl Creamery grilled cheese with heirloom tomatoes and basil salad is another top pick.

Note, Tap doesn't serve dinner. The restaurant serves supper, and the menu is split into Plates and Supper dishes. On the Supper side, the roasted scallops and summer vegetable minestrone, as well as the Alaskan halibut with creamed peas and spatzle, are favorites. For Plates, diners favor the PEI mussels, served with bacon, tomatoes and Numbers Ale, as well as Buffalo fried calamari with Irish Cashel Blue cheese and celery.

On weekends, Tap dishes out a compelling variety of brunch dishes, including smoked salmon served with red flannel hash, two eggs and horseradish sauce, as well as pozole verde soup with braised chicken, pork and traditional Mexican condiments.

Beverages: Several dozen varieties of domestic and international beers, wines and cocktails are poured at the gastropub, and there is even wine on tap.

Dessert: The stout ice cream-and-oatmeal cookie sandwich, as well as the soaked brown sugar cake with mascarpone and peaches, are top picks.

Thing you might not know: A gastropub is a British term, derived from the words public house and gastronomy. In other words, it's a pub with high-quality food. Rushing, Amick and executive chef Todd Ginsberg combined years of international traveling experience to develop the concept and menu for Tap.

"Tap is a pub with excellent food that's all about the ingredients. We are taking pub food to a whole new level," Rushing said.

SideBar: On The Menu

Pint of Pineapple with Chili Salt appetizer: ($3)

Brutus Salad: potatoes, bacon, rocket and a sunny-side-up egg (brunch, $9)

Pub Burger: with square cheese, served on an English muffin with a pile of shoestring fries ($12)

Prosciutto, Brie, Fig Marmalade and Pate Sandwich: served with a watercress and cornichon salad ($8)

Plate of stuffed mushrooms, braised beef, onions and cornichons ($10)

Stout ice cream- and-oatmeal cookie sandwich ($5)