comScore

Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Restaurant for Dinner With Your Parents

Pat's Tap

Your folks are visiting, and you want to treat them (and yourself) to something a little more...palatable than the fare at the T.G.I. Friday's by their hotel, but nothing too adventurous. Why not challenge them to a game of Skee-Ball and dinner at the new Nicollet Avenue gastropub Pat's Tap? The pub was inspired by co-owner Kim Bartmann's own dear mom, Pat, so that's a good sign. Chances are your own folks will be less impressed by the locally sourced, organic ingredients on Pat's Tap's menu or its impressive beer selection than they are by food that is good and simple. While a few dishes might make them turn up their noses ("Gougères? What the heck's that mean? Lamb meatballs in mint and yogurt sauce? Why?"), just point them in the direction of the bangers and mash, steak frites (that's beef and fries, Dad), or one of several burger options, and we guarantee they'll be pleased. The bar's not too loud, so your hard-of-hearing pops won't punctuate every conversation with, "Huh?" but there's just enough buzzing ambiance to fill the awkward silences. You can also keep the conversation rolling with the following trivia: One: Pat's Tap is a palindrome, a phrase that reads the same backward or forward. Two: Head chef Charlie Schwandt did a short-lived stint as executive chef of Town Talk Diner before it shuttered for good. (Remember Town Talk, Pops? That was the cool place where we used to take you for dinner.) Three: Pat's Tap is LEED certified, meaning it's a leader in green construction, operations, and maintenance.

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