Pat's Tap intersects pub food and high-end gastrofare

Pub offers trending local beers and one great bacon burger

Should we go on? I think we should: light and fluffy zucchini fritters, crispy fried goat cheese fritters, even cheese curds that are a step above the State Fair's. Everything is packed with lip-smacking flavor that makes you reach for another snack...another sip of beer... nother snack.

Unfortunately, that ethos of salty excess carries over to the entrées, where it is less welcome. The hand-rolled pasta—in a bar!—is light and chewy and perfectly cooked, but it floats in a good quarter-cup of salty, basil-colored oil in the pesto pasta. And in the pasta carbonara, a cup of heretical cream has been added to the classic egg-and-Parmesan sauce, weighing it down unpleasantly. Both dishes feel a little unseemly for public consumption. And the salt! Oh, the salt.

The test of a chef is supposed to his or her roast chicken. Pat's Tap passes this test with flying colors: a quarter chicken, pressed flat on the griddle to crisp the skin, juicy (and, yes, salty) all the way through, sitting on creamy mashed potatoes with a little peppery arugula on the side. This is the entrée I can imagine coming back to Pat's for. Curry is an unexpected dish at an American bar, and one that I hope catches on. It's good beer food at any heat level. Pat's is fairly mild, a yellow coconut curry, entirely vegetarian, with crisp broccoli and onions. It's good, but doesn't feel special.

Pat's vegetable curry is unexpected bar food but pairs well with beer
Emily Utne
Pat's vegetable curry is unexpected bar food but pairs well with beer
Emily Utne

Location Info


Pat's Tap

3510 Nicollet Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Uptown/ Eat Street


Pat's Tap
3510 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis
appetizers $5-$10; entrées $14-$17

And about that salad: over-salted, over-dressed, with a bizarre layer of French dressing lining the plate, in addition to the glop clinging to the chunks of iceberg lettuce. I have a hard time faulting a bar for serving a bad salad. I almost feel like the fault lies with the fool who ordered a salad in a bar. So let's just say: Don't be that fool.

Do, however, join the drinkers for some fun, refined bar snacks and a pint, bottle, or can of an excellent local brew. (I have every reason to believe the perfect storm that drained every local tap on a random weeknight is unlikely to happen again.) If Pat's Tap is in walking, busing, or carpooling distance, I think it's going to become a happy regular part of your life. If not, check it out because it's a good (and new—Minnesotans love new) night of drinky-snacky-drinky, but after that I expect you'll return to a closer-by haunt. This is not (yet?) the jewel of the Bartmann crown.

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