If there were an award for most inventive menu, Taps Pourhouse would take the top prize.
The brand-new restaurant has the most creative, innovative fare in the area. Have you ever had a little silver pail full of fried chicken skins? Or tried a pimento cheese croustade?
How about grit fries? Beeramisu or bacon brussel sprouts?
Chef Domenic Battistella and co-owner Mike Ivie have the same vision: an open, inviting pub-style restaurant with exciting food that begs diners to be adventurous.
Battistella, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Dover, N.H., was the former head chef at Red Rocks in Charlotte. He had been looking to start something of his own when he met up with Ivie.
“We had an instant connection regarding what we wanted in a restaurant,” said Battistella. “It is a chef’s dream come true to be given carte blanche in terms of designing a menu.”
Well almost carte blanche. Ivie did have to pull Battistella back a little bit.
“You think this is some crazy stuff?” grins Battistella. “You should have seen my first version!”
The menu is not just creative for the sake of being unconventional. The items were formulated again and again to endow the best taste and flavor profiles. Not to mention that the majority of the items are made in-house. The pimento cheese in the croustades is made in-house and served on five crispy baguette squares. The kimchi, North Korea’s national dish which is a sort of slaw, is made with fresh fennel instead of napa cabbage, giving it a earthier taste.
Taps Pourhouse also boasts more than 60 taps of beer, 20 of which are local, craft beers. The restaurant installed the best beer tapping system around. There are two lines from each keg so that each pour has the perfect temperature, carbonation and flavor. Battistella used to write craft beer reviews, so he has had as much fun with the beer as with the food.
The menu also pairs the food with the proper beer so the tastes can compliment each other and create an amazing dining experience.
Don’t care for beer? Ivie also owns the Olive Martini Bar next door, which is connected to the restaurant. The martini bar has a modern, light feel with grays, blues and reds.
Leather and tufted fabric meld as harmoniously as the olives and gin. Huge brass globes hold court over the bar. The walls are tastefully covered with works from local artists. A DJ booth in the sky gives it a metropolitan feel.
There are in-house infused vodkas such as jalapeño bacon, pineapple and brown sugarand apple cinnamon.
Taps Pourhouse has 30 televisions and no bad seat in the house.
“I’d call it a gastro sports bar,” Battistella said. “We are all about entertainment, with the food and the games.”
Sid Foushee of Mooresville and Warren West of Cleveland recently tried the restaurant for the first time.
“The menu is very diversified,” Foushee said. “I wasn’t expecting that.”
But customers can also get a burger, nachos, Reuben and barbecue. There are also vegetarian options as well. The restaurant offers a little something for everyone, with cultivated fare alongside more traditional provisions.
“The food is meant to be approachable,” Battistella said. “Yes, it’s inventive, but it also tastes really good.”
279 C Williamson Road Mooresville