Clearly due to the name of this blog, it’s no surprise that my absolute favorite type of cuisine is elevated pub fare. It should also come as a shock to no one that as self-proclaimed “Jilly from Philly,” I am one heck of an enormous Eagles fan. So take a brand new restaurant that originated in the Motherland and combine that with insanely delicious and inventive bar food plus the Eagles spirit, and you’ve got a place 100% worth blogging about.
I first went to City Tap to help host their preview party, where they had an array of small bites for us.
Say cheese and I’m not looking to smile for a camera, I’m wondering where the first bite is. So when they brought out mini versions of their crackers and pimento cheese dip, I was one happy camper, and to find out the regular menu serves it with bacon jam and pickled cucumber is just the icing on the…. Cheese? Hey, I’d try it.
They also served one of my favorite dishes, ceviche. City Tap’s ceviche is made with Florida grouper, avocado, pineapple, citrus and cilantro coconut milk. It was unanimously one of the favorites of the night, but how can you go wrong with perfect ingredients like that?? That’s like putting together a bunch of Urban Outfitter pieces together and expecting it to be bad- it just doesn’t happen.
They served sliders which were a mini version of the City Tap Burger – black angus ground beef, Cabot cheddar, pickled red onions, and a secret sauce which I still don’t know the recipe for but I can only imagine it was some form of mayo mixed with tears of the gods. Yum.
So because enough is never enough when it comes to food, and the menu looked to good to wait for the opening, my party and I ordered a few more must-haves off of the menu. We started with the Corn and Crab Hushpuppies, because when something that interesting is on the menu, it’s not something you just ignore. They were delicious and I immediately regretted inviting the 15 or so people that I was with to share. You don’t share something that good. Mine.
We also got the Blue Crab Mac & Cheese, which was amazing because, well, cheese. It was decadent but not too rich and everyone enjoyed.
Lastly, before our stomachs burst open onto the fresh wood paneling, we decided we just had to have one of their wood fired pizzas, and went with the Tartufo – roasted portobellos, taleggio, a sunnyside egg and truffle. My favorite pizza is one that has a fluffy, doughy crust, which was exactly how this pizza is served – which is interesting considering it came from a wood fired oven. Regardless, it was delectable, and a great end to our night.
I was honored enough to be invited back to their media dinner, a couple of weeks after opening. I went with Shaina from Take A Bite Out Of Boca, and if you know anything about us, you know that when it comes to ordering food, we go HAM. (That means Hard As a Mothah, not actual ham, because Shaina is a pescatarian).
We started off with a couple of appetizers that we had not yet tried. The Spicy Baba Ganoush, made with dill tzaziki, is served with warm, fluffy bread made from the same delicious dough as their pizza crust. I’m not huge on Mediterreanean fare, but I could not stop eating this dish. Perhaps it’s because I am a card-carrying member of C.A. (Carboholics Anonymous), but it was so good that we asked for more bread to lap up the rest.
The Salt Roasted Beets were another dish we devoured – served with goat cheese, pistachio, and rosemary, it was a unique array of flavors that left us wanting me (but there was room needing to be saved for the 10,000 other dishes we had on the way).
We also ordered the Charred Brussels Sprouts. To be honest, it seems like every restaurant these days has a Brussels sprouts dish, and it’s really hard to stand out. What I liked most about the Brussels sprouts dish at City Tap was that they were definitely unique – mixed with white miso, pomegranates and truffle salt, they had a slight fruity and sweet flavor, which combined with the char and truffle salt, made it a tasty bite. Or 10 bites. Okay, maybe 20.
Our last app was one of my favorite dishes that I have ever had. Not only was it visually gorgeous, but I have never eaten Tuna Carpaccio so perfectly prepared. A true tuna Carpaccio is sliced very thin, and this tuna Carpaccio was thinner than Gisele during New York Fashion Week (#goals). It was topped with yuzu-ginger dressing, pickled cucumber, candied peanuts and micro cilantro. It took me a bit to figure out exactly how to cut it into a perfect bite, but once I did I was like a rabid dog all over this dish. Yum.
After that smorgasbord, we decided to split 2 more must-trys: The Panang mussels and the Honey-Goat Cheese Pizza. I mentioned before how perfect their pizza crust is, and it was great to try a different kind of their pizzas. Topped with sliced red onions, pistachio pesto, rosemary, and truffled honey, I have to say it blew the first pizza out of the water. We were too stuffed to devour the whole thing, so I took the rest home and the good news is, it tasted just as incredible the next day.
The Panang Mussels were served in a spicy coconut broth with peanuts and cilantro. The flavors were very exotic and delicious, but avoid the red peppers!! Unless you’re one of those heat freaks who gets off on singeing their tongues. Phew!
Oh, and fries. Of course fries. Cooked just the way I like them – crisp on the outside, mushy on the inside, and just the right size, not too skinny and not too thick – they definitely won a place in my heart, and more importantly, my stomach.
I convinced my partner in crime to “just take a look” at the dessert menu, because anyone knows that’s just a line I use to seem like I’m not the biggest fatass in the world. There’s never a debate – we’re getting dessert.
We chose the Chocolate Pot de Crème, with vanilla crème fraiche, bananavbrulee and macadamia crumble. If a dessert has caramelized banana, I need to get it, or fear suffering nasty bouts of FOMO. It was so delicious that I had to use my other line “I’m just going to have a few bites” – which always translates to, “whatever bites you don’t take are going straight into my stomach.”
So with the success of every single dish I have tried, it is certain that I will have to finish off the left side of the menu. I’m already fantasizing about their Korean Short Rib Tacos, the Sweet Corn Pizza, the Pork Chop “Milanese,” and the Tuesday night special of Chicken and Waffles. And with the introduction of brunch, I will certainly be a regular. You’re telling me I get to eat a Philly Cheesesteak Omelet while watching my beloved Eagles kick NFC ass? Yeah, City Tap should just rename themselves “Heaven” right now.
City Tap is located at City Place in West Palm Beach, 700 S Rosemary Ave West Palm Beach, FL 33401. For more info, call 561.508.8525.
***I received complimentary noms in exchange for this post, however, you cannot bribe me with food, so all opinions are my own.