Restaurant Review: Tip Tap Room in Beacon Hill
Chef Brian Poe reinvents the New England classic, steak tips, at his new Beacon Hill restaurant Tip Tap Room.
Steak tips are a pub staple, of course, but can you theme an entire restaurant around them? To find out, we headed to chef Brian Poeâ€™s aptly named Tip Tap Room, an industrial Beacon Hill space located on a stretch of Cambridge Street that attracts a diverse group of MGHers, Suffolk grad students, and Government Center office workers. The “tap” part of the restaurantâ€™s name comes from the 36 draft brews available, but Poeâ€™s main focus seems to be on the â€śtipsâ€ťâ€”including everything from wild game to, oddly enough, peach cobbler.
Shtick aside, Poeâ€™s cooking is serious businessâ€”especially when it comes to the bold appetizers. Crisp fried goat-cheese balls served with duck-fat-fried prosciutto and grilled asparagus “tips” ($10.75) were balanced by a bright carrot-ginger purĂ©e, while rock shrimp wrapped in crunchy kataifi and nori ($11.75) came coated in an addictive sweet-and-sour chili-ginger sauce. A take on potato skins ($10.95), meanwhile, was even more decadent, with toppings of perfectly fried oysters, thick bacon “tips” (get the picture?), and a creamy beer-cheese sauce.
The concept limits Poeâ€™s creativity when it comes to the entrĂ©es, though, as the majority of the tips (a wild-game special is rotated in every night) are offered with some form of heavy mashed potatoes. The classic steak tips ($13.75, pictured above) were by far the standout, with a great char, juicy center, and flavorful bordelaise. Lamb tips ($15.95) were also excellent, thanks to plenty of chopped mint and tangy chĂ¨vre-laced potatoes. A special of venison and antelope, however, failed to satisfy. The meat got lost in an odd mishmash of componentsâ€”blueberry-basil-ginger sauce, overly cheesy Brie mashed potatoes, and radish-citrus slaw.
Skip the “peach tip” cobbler dessert, which tasted like barely sweetened oatmeal, and instead go for the stunning blackberry-and-white-chocolate bread pudding. With tart fruit, a rich brioche custard, and a silky whiskey-caramel sauce, this dish might be the best evidence that Poe neednâ€™t hide behind a theme.
138 Cambridge St., Boston, 857-350-3344, thetiptaproom.com.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2012/08/restaurant-review-tip-tap-room-in-beacon-hill/