Taps Offers Craft Beers and "Smart" Homestyle Cooking
CandaceWest.com The tuna crudo incorporates avocado, fennel, red onion, tomato, and chili oil.
An entire section of the menu is dedicated to bruschetta, with toppings like Brie with honey and fresh ricotta, parmigiana reggiano, and white truffle oil.
Baked meatballs are a rendition of DeVito's grandmother's recipe. To put them together, garlic and parsley are hand-chopped and mixed with Parmesan that has been pulsed to small chunks in the food processor. It's then hand-mixed with ground beef for a rustic version of the dish.
"I like home-cooked meals," says DeVito. "I feel like our food tastes like that. You can really taste the ingredients in my meatballs, as opposed to just one flavor."
The beef gyro tzatziki is one of the most popular sandwich options. A warm pita is filled with thinly sliced beef, feta cheese, cucumber, tomato, onion, mint, and a house-made tzatziki. The entrée portion is served with a side of Greek salad.
From 4 to 6 p.m. every day, a happy-hour version, minus the side, is offered for five bucks.
The buffalo chicken wraps are featured as well, along with select bruschettas, a baked meatball salad, and the popular bacon-wrapped jalapeños. Filled with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon, and served with a sriracha aioli, they're an ideal bar snack for those who like a nice kick of spice with their happy-hour brews.
And the list of beers is impressive, with more than 350 selections of craft, import, and commercial brew and 30 beers on draft.
The menu and drinks programs have been well-thought-out to cater to the modern professional or anyone looking for a bite to eat and a drink without the rowdy college crowds or high Las Olas price points.
DeVito, a New York native and former Wall Street financial guy, opened his first location in downtown Tampa with that idea in mind. At the time, the area would completely clear out when office workers would head home. Even so, DeVito decided to take a chance.
"Being a New Yorker, the only thing I understood was a city," says DeVito. "I knew there were 400 people above me who would need to eat and drink."
Turns out they did. His first location was wildly successful, which prompted him to further the brand, opening storefronts in Orlando and Naples. A former Fort Lauderdale resident (DeVito attended culinary school at the Art Institute after leaving Wall Street), he's been eyeing the city for a while.
"I tried to do Las Olas," says DeVito. "But I was concerned with the summers. Then this became available. I think this area is in for a bit of a transformation. When O.B. [Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House] opened up, that was shocking. Who knew that putting a breakfast place would work here? I'm excited to see more come this way."
Taps is hosting a grand opening party on June 28.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.