A new restaurant choice for the Fort Point Channel area of south Boston is City Tap House, which brings back to life the familiar Southie sports bar showcasing a huge bar area surrounded by TV screens. What you don’t know (unless you have been listening to the foodie grapevine) is how this place can surprise you with its appealing and honestly quite brilliant gastro pub menu. I say brilliant because if you are like me you want really good food with a sports game you are pretending to be interested in! To say I was surprised on my first visit is an understatement. Let me briefly tell you that story.
A group of friends got together one Monday evening after work. One heavily pregnant, two less than adventurous diners, one who treats food like fuel and me, a complete good food snob! Oak + Rowan was thrown out as a choice and thrown right back due to pregnant and non-adventurous food friends given their menus items of caviar, frog’s legs and asparagus budino, which I completely understand. Then City Tap was suggested and I kept quiet about my negativity towards a sports bar. How wrong was I? United we all stood in agreement that this is a great place for food.
Fast forward to my third visit on an early Sunday evening. City Tap House is huge, rustic and loud and I would say definitely not the place for a quiet dinner. We were escorted to a slightly quieter part of the restaurant to a booth in front of the open chef’s stations. A perfect table for checking out the whole restaurant, which on this particular evening was filled with spectacular people watching as there was a gamer convention in town. I do truly love how people can embody a character they love and just own it!! It makes life so fun and interesting.
Our sparkly-eyed waiter smiled and offered us drinks. In fact he just smiled all night like he was up to no good. Even though they offer an enormous beer and bourbon selection, per usual we stuck with wine of which they have a decent list.
The menu offers small plates of Foie Gras, Short Rib Tacos and Hushpuppies, followed by four different ways to enjoy mussels and plates of Shrimp & Grits, Bronzino and Duck Fried Rice. They also offer a really good pizza selection. I had already tried so many things on the menu so was eager to share what I liked with my friend Erika.
Our evening started with Corn & Crabcake Hushpuppies, which are really tasty. The citrusy sauce, which I could have eat a bowl of with bread was tantalizingly special. I was honestly wiping the plate!
Followed was the salty, cheesy rich and devilishly moreish Oysters Kennedy.
A surprising favorite dish for both of us was the Salted Beets with ricotta whipped into a fresh cream frenzy of dessert like decadence.
We followed the appetizers with the Prosciutto and Fig pizza. A well-known pizza topping combination they kept to the simplicity it deserved with no pomp and circumstance, just good ingredients. Layers of thin sliced salty ham work in harmony with the candy sweet figs and strong blue cheese.
We did try very hard to add a green component to our dinner with a Caesar Salad, which sadly was disappointing. Little flavor and not really much to it.
Not to dampen our dining experience with the sad salad, which it didn’t really, we used it as an excuse to order a dessert, which was so good I forgot to take a photo of it and can’t remember the name of it! It was like a salted caramel jar of ridiculous goodness.
Here is what I say to City Tap. Welcome to the neighborhood, your menu is fabulous and I can’t wait to go back especially in the nicer weather where you appear to be getting ready to present to customers a great outdoor seating area.
City Tap is great for the after work crowd, weekend with friends and of course if you are so inclined to see a big sports game in a bar with good food.