TapHouse Kitchen Phoenix
Contributor Shannon Severson was introduced to TapHouse Kitchen’s Phoenix location on a recent media introduction. Here’s her recap:
By Shannon Severson
Gastropubs are eternally popular. What’s not to like about a comfortable neighborhood spot where you can enjoy a pint and good food?
Taphouse Kitchen has opened a Phoenix location off the 51 at Shea Blvd. with 40 beers on tap and knowledgeable bartenders who can help you expand your brew horizons or enjoy an old favorite. The bar is proud to highlight a broad array of local, Arizona-brewed suds.
When you can’t pick just one (and really, why should you have to?), craft your own adventure with a “Flight Plan” of four beers from what’s on tap! If wine or custom cocktails are your jam, there’s plenty to quench your thirst.
Owners Nic Ferrantello and Tom Piccione have a background as contractors and it’s readily apparent in the attention to details in the space. It’s just as nice for a beer with your buddies as it is for a family night out. The surroundings are rustic industrial with high ceilings and a view into the kitchen with a massive pizza oven.
Since featuring local breweries is a priority, it makes sense that there are a number of locally-sourced items on the menu, which is centered around modern American cuisine: salads made with local greens and veggies, citrus and Crow’s Dairy Feta cheese (a personal favorite of mine), and Arizona prime New York strip steaks from the grill. The proprietors are kind enough to recommend beer pairings to enhance the flavor of each dish. There’s even a pairing for desserts (how does Butter Cake with Pistachio Gelato and a pint of Avery White Rascal sound? Yum! That’s how it sounds!). Taphouse is definitely taking “pub grub” to the next level!
When my husband and I were invited to attend the grand opening of their Phoenix location, we had the chance to sample a wide array of bites from the menu that were expertly paired with beer or wine.
Some of the highlights included cornmeal-crusted calamari paired with a Pino Gris by J Vineyard and a gorgeously oversized, house made Jalapeño tater tot served alongside a sample of Cali Creamin’ Nitro. If a tater tot went to the gym and sprinkled itself in bacon, it would be this delicious twist on a BLT.
Next came the TapHouse Sliders, juicy little burgers on buttery brioche buns with sauce Bérnaise and smoked Gouda, a perfect match for Lumberyard Red Ale.
It’s Arizona, so of course we needed tacos. THK Tacos are locally made corn tortillas filled with short ribs braised in the same beer they came to the table with - High Water S’mores Stout. Sounds strange, but the effect was delicious. If smoky beer with a hint of marshmallow flavor is a little too adventurous for you, the Virginia Dare Pinot Noir was a smooth accompaniment.
Every good pub should have a proper fish ’n’ chips offering, and TapHouse delivers with their “Fish Fry Everyday, Baby!!” Light and crispy cod and fries that were seasoned perfectly on the outside with a slight give when you bite them were enhanced by a sweet, tangy slaw and an Irish IPA from O’Dell Brewing.
That big red pizza oven is put to blazing-hot use when you’ve got a pizza craving. The high heat produces an extra-crispy crust, something that is close to the heart of Ferrantello, who comes from a Sicilian background (which means he really knows pizza!). We tried a Margherita Pizza with Kona Longboard Lager or Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. The pizzas make a great shareable appetizer, or keep it all to yourself and make your friends order their own!
Taphouse serves lunch and dinner with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays and a “Hoppy Hour” Menu. You’ll find an array of tasty deals, like their house-made pretzel served with Kona Longboard beer mustard and Stella Artois beer cheese fondue –– pair it with a Stella or go rogue and sip a glass of Kendall Jackson “Avant” Chardonnay alongside. THK Wings glazed with honey chipotle sauce and served with Maytag bleu cheese are a classed-up version of the standard.
Whatever time of day you choose to come, the fresh, New American cuisine, friendly service and convivial atmosphere will make you feel exactly the way you should at a neighborhood pub - relaxed and well-fed!
TapHouse Kitchen Phoenix
3131 E. Shea Blvd.