About a month ago, we passed by Taps Restaurant, Bar & Lounge in Downtown Ft. Lauderdale and it looked like they had a ways to go to open. Construction was still under way and there was a past due notice on the window. Well, that seems to be resolved because they’re now open.
We stopped in for a few beers and an appetizer Saturday Afternoon. With only two other customers in the place, we had our pick of spots. There are some tables outside and tables inside as well. We chose to sit at the bar. The inside is clean, neat and a bit minimally decorated. The color pallet was grays and blacks with a splash of color from interesting art on the walls. The place is not that big and with wall splitting the room into two sides, the space seemed even smaller.
Looking around, we felt this place was ‘cold’. The blacks and grays with the tile didn’t really make you feel like you wanted to hang out here for very long. There was nothing unique or interesting about the space that stood out. The other tap houses in the area have some cool and unique architectural aspects, making them memorable. Taps has a bland and forgettable feel.
The bartender was very friendly and attentive, getting us the beer and food menu right away. The draught selection was large, but noting really different or exciting. It took me longer than usual to pick one out, but the one I chose was great. Off to a good start on service and beer. We then looked over the food menu. We found it…boring. Nothing really stood out as a must have item and I guess the selection matched the decor – bland. There are a lot of good things happening on the culinary front in Ft. Lauderdale, so maybe we were expecting too much? We settled in the Scottish Oak Smoked Salmon Platter.
Scottish Oak Smoked Salmon Platter: Sliced Salmon, red onion, tomato, arugula, caper berries, lemon basil aioli and crostini – $14. The order came out in a reasonable a out of time and when the plate was set down it looked really good. Then we remembered that this cost us $14. There is no way is plate of food was worth $14. You can get the best Smoked Salmon Appetizer at Houston’s for $14 and they give you a huge piece of fish. Even American Social’s version was much better as far as potion size. The salmon was good quality and tasted good. Thinly sliced, this was any salmon you can get prepackaged at any specialty market or bagel shop. The crostini were soggy and made it feel like we were eating a mini sandwich. Arugula was fresh but a little bruised and the tomato was firm and fresh. The lemon basil aioli wasn’t very flavorful and needs some work. The caper berries were great, but you can get those anywhere. This wasn’t a bad plate of food, just overpriced. We think it should be priced more in the $7-$8 range.
While the service was prompt and friendly, the overpriced appetizer left us feeling like we didn’t want to return. The menu and look almost feels as if the opening was rushed. We had high hopes and wanted to like a Taps Restaurant and we’re disappointed it didn’t work out for us.
Taps Restaurant, Bar & Lounge is located at 330 Himmarshee Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL