Worthy of the Buzz

Hyannis eatery taps into the local foodie and craft beer scene

By Colby Radomski

While some restaurants gently embrace the craft brew movement, one Hyannis eatery has dedicated its whole concept to it.

“We saw an opportunity to take advantage of the growing craft beer explosion and we wanted to do something on Main Street to showcase that,” says Ben Surro, co-owner of Tap City Grille.

Surro, along with business partner and co-owner Christos Kounadis (with whom he owns several other area restaurants, including Beech Tree Cantina), sought to open a gastropub centered on handcrafted brews and the growing foodie culture on Cape Cod. Since its debut last July, the eatery has generated some serious buzz around town, and not simply because of what’s flowing through its draught lines.

A clear departure from its nightclub predecessor, the renovated space features an exposed beam ceiling, industrial pendant lighting and brick walls. Tap City reflects an urban vibe akin to what one may find at a city pub. Guests have several different dining areas to choose from, including taking a seat at the copper-topped bar, at one of the high-top tables in the lounge or at one of several elevated semi-circular booths in the dining room. When the weather allows, guests may dine al fresco on the sidewalk patio.

The all-scratch menu, which executive chef Johnny Besch describes as “rustic refined,” showcases creative plays on traditional pub food and highlights seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.

“The space deserves food that is elevated, not your run-of-the-mill American bar food. It deserves some technique and use of fresh ingredients,” says Besch.

During a recent visit, I sampled several of Besch’s most popular dishes. First up was the grilled romaine Caesar—a romaine heart served halved and chargrilled, topped with creamy homemade Caesar dressing and crispy croutons, matchstick apples and tender, grilled cajun shrimp. The duck trio pub poutine was sinfully good, made with hand-cut fries tossed with garlic cheddar cheese curds, duck confit and duck gravy topped with a duck egg cooked sunny side up.

The standout dish was pan-roasted cod plated over a bed of organic wild rice and seasonal vegetables. The menu caters to all palates and includes specialty pizzas, such as the “porky fig” with fig jam and caramelized onions, cooked in the kitchen’s beehive wood fired oven. The restaurant also serves creative seafood dishes, such as local mussels cooked in Belgian white ale and seafood stew.

As one might expect, the restaurant’s bar menu is equally impressive as its food. Designed by general manager and beverage director Cristina Carreras, the lineup includes more than 100 craft brews, 22 of which are available on tap. For non-beer drinkers, the bar has a sturdy craft cocktail menu, which features libations made with fresh squeezed juices and house-infused liquor. In addition to the edible lineup, Tap City features weekly live entertainment by local acoustic artists.

586 Main St., Hyannis

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