Tap 42 opened last fall and I went there just after it opened. Most people agreed that the service was terrible, and that chatter continued for months. They don't really have any dinner entrees, so I never thought of going there for dinner. I recently saw that they had a Beer Cheese soup, which reminded me of a place called the 56th Fighter Group on Long Island; the only place that I can remember on LI having it. So I thought I'd do lunch.
Something unexpected is that the hostess is by the patio and not the front door, so when I went in the door there was no-one to help me. I asked an employee and she said she'd seat me; I grabbed a seat inside. They've changed the inside a bit, all of the tables are pushed against the wall to create more space between the tables and the bar.jump-->
Overall, the bar is a very attractive space, and the outside patio is a lot nicer than it was before.
There were only a few tables so I didn't expect service to be a problem. They gave me their massive beer and bourbon menu, but I was just having iced tea today. I wanted something other than the beer cheese, but they have limited selections under $10. Prices are up across the board from November, $1 or $2. I wasn't previously terribly impressed with the food, but they got a new chef in April. Everything on their menu had something I didn't want. The Dip Duo has a corn dip, the Mussels and Fries had fries, and the Kale Caesar just seemed like a bad idea. Why ruin a caesar with Kale? I decided to try the brussels sprouts; there was no description of how they were prepared and they were $5.50, so I figured it was a decent portion.
My server didn't mention any specials or the fish of the day, and I was surprised that after I ordered she didn't take the menus; they in fact stayed on the table for the entirety of my visit. She did ask if I wanted lemon, which is a plus. While I was sugaring my tea I noticed another positive; the salt and pepper grinders.
I've got a larger sized Thompson's salt grinder on my desk in my office and another in my kitchen; don't underestimate the goodness of freshly ground sea salt on a steak or eggs. They have wireless here, and the music is soft/garage rock. Jack Jackson, The White Stripes. Not bad, but I was hoping for something a bit harder.>
The food came out together.
The menu describes the soup as "A medium bodied Amber Ale, Soppressata, Cheddar, Provolone and Swiss. The soup was smooth and had a mild cheese taste; I added some salt mainly because I wanted to use the grinder. I liked the soup. It wasn't as flavorful as the 56th Fighter Group version I remember; and it's not nearly as good as the Beer Cheese Soup at Big Bear Brewery. One thing about it was that it had pieces of soppressata in it that was absolutely unnecessary. The soup would have been just as good without it.
The brussels sprouts were another matter.
These reminded me of why most people can't stand brussels sprouts; they were just awful. First, they were undercooked, and uncooked cabbage balls are bad news. Second, they didn't core them; normally you'd either cut off the bottoms of the sprouts or if you're halving them, cut out the core with a V cut. You can't chew undercooked brussels sprouts that haven't been cored. It's not clear what they were cooked in (my server didn't know), it wasn't enough to overcome the bitterness. And $5.50 for 4 brussels sprouts is a ridiculous price. Even good restaurants give you a decent sized side for that price.
8 months later, things still seem forced and overdone in a way that doesn't make sense here. They serve the food on warped, cracked bamboo cutting boards with no side plates, so there was little opportunity for me to perform the necessary surgery on the brussels sprouts.
The iced tea was $3, no bargain, so the bill came to over $15. They didn't seem too well organized in getting me my bill; I sat there with empty plates and glass for awhile before someone showed up.
On my previous visit, I had the Ropa Tacos,which are no longer on the menu, and the Mac and Cheese. I mentioned that it had too much stuff in it, and it seems that they've taken the mushrooms out of it. Good move.
I was going to check out their brunch, but their prices are so stupid I decided against it. $13 for eggs benedict. $5 for home fries? $4.50 for sausage? Really? What are they, the Ritz Carlton?
I guess if you're looking to have a burger this place is Ok for lunch, but my impression of the place is about the same as before; this is a bar that's trying to be a restaurant; stick to the booze and the ambiance and don't expect much from the kitchen.