Pie+Tap = Perfection
We've been really excited to try this restaurant since they started to build the building close to two years ago. As we drove by the space over the years, we constantly commented on when it would be done, and wondered if good things would come to those who wait. We weren't disappointed.
The entire restaurant is a play on an industrial warehouse - unfinished ceilings, no booths (all bar stools and sturdy metal chairs around tables). The subway tile walls exude a cool vibe, and the waitstaff is very attentive--although most of the waiters reminded us of Crush the turtle from Finding Nemo (i.e. you're enjoying your food? Right on Dude...). Most of the seating options are very Millennial--collaborative counter-style seating, rather than private tables. But, not everyone enjoys sitting on a barstool next to people you don't know, there's not a whole lot of butt room on a barstool, and there really wasn't a comfortable place to rest your feet. Also, your back starts to hurt after awhile because there's no real back support. Ultimately, we prefer a booth or at least normal-height chairs around a table, but we do see the value in keeping up with the overall theme and the cost of maintenance for seating options. Cool, just not as comfy as it could have been.
Despite the seating options, the owner of Pie+Tap truly thought things through with the open kitchen concept. Not only can you watch the chefs preparing your food from beginning to end, but the space is just gorgeous and clean. White subway tiles. Mixers looking cool and industrial. Prep tables behind glass. And, the highlight of the kitchen: two giant custom-built pizza ovens with rotating decks. Installing these babies is likely why the build out of the restaurant took so long, and the wait was certainly worth it. Because the decks rotate, your pizza comes out perfect on all sides--not burnt on one edge, like you see with a lot of pizza ovens. Best-looking kitchen we've seen in a long time!
As far as drink options go, we were impressed with 16 wine options on tap, and 16 craft beers on tap. We decided to go with an 800 mL serving of Tempranillo (how very European). It came out in a beaker - what a great way to tie into the industrial theme while offering a precisely-measured pour. We were a bit reticent ordering wine, frankly, because we've not had good experiences with wine on tap. It isn't all that common outside of New York, and the places we've been seem to royally screw it up. That said, we were really impressed with the quality of the wine, and couldn't even tell the difference from regular wine from the bottle. While we initially thought the $45 price tag for tap-wine was a bit steep, the quality made it a relatively fair price.
For food, we started by ordering a Caesar salad to share. It came out pretty quickly and had a nice neat presentation. One of the staff brought us a small pair of tongs to serve the salad with - we had never seen that at any restaurant but were very impressed that Pie+Tap thought of that little nicety. We were also impressed by each table setting having its own fresh pepper grinder. While I really enjoyed the caesar dressing, Cameron (ever so sensitive to lemon or citrus) thought it had way too much lemon juice for what is normally a rich dressing option. One other thing we struggled with was the size of the lettuce leaves used. Neither of us are big fans of having to hack through our salad to get to a functional bite, but that really was the only option here. While we've certainly had better caesar salads, this one was perfectly adequate.
We just made it for reverse happy hour pricing for the single pizzas ($5 half pizzas from 9 till close Sun-Th, 10 till close F/Sat), so Cameron and I decided to go that route and picked two pizzas. I chose the Prosciutto - this had hand-shaved prosciutto (obviously), pistachios, dates, ricotta, and arugula drizzled with balsamic. Mine could've used more prosciutto and fewer dates/pistachios, since that made the pizza a bit sweet. But my favorite part was the house-made ricotta and sourdough crust - the crust is home made, and to die for! Cameron ordered the Mushroom and added pepperoni - his had gourmet mushrooms, a soft-poached egg, bacon, caramelized onions, and fontina cheese. We hadn't had an egg on pizza before, and this one could've been poached just a little longer, but overall it added just what the pizza needed - a bit more richness and earthiness, and kept it from getting dry.
Overall, we really enjoyed Pie+Tap and will be back very soon. As stated previously, we've been looking for a J.Black's replacement since it closed on Henderson a couple of years ago. Pie+Tap seems promising!