Tap & Mallet
Taps: 31 / Bottles: 165
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
4.6/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Rochester's starting to happen. And I'm going to be here for some time apparently. Been to the places to be the year before last when I was up here, and will surely visit them again, but what else is going on, I wonder. Remember that bar where they bring English University kids over here to work through an indentured servitude program? Well, one of them escaped and got his own place, pretty good from what I'd heard as John gone and recommended it. I suppose that's as good a place to start as any...
Corner stand alone structure with stupid easy always available parking out front. Enter through an angled corner vestibule and you're staring down the laminated wood topped and lipped, long bending "J" shaped, wrap-around-the-corner bar. Seating for upwards of a dozen and a half all the way around. Boxed wall pieces on the barback wall holding glassware and protruding bottles, shelved good glassware down on the end, and a cooler of bottles on the inside of the hook and with some beer books, candles, and steins & mugs shelved above. Did I mention the drop dangling balls of cord and bramble and other running spaced above the bar? At different sizes, distances and hanging lengths, it's planetary. Wood plank floorings, sunken spots, a little bit of brick here and there, some center pillars, wood framing, and beige painted walls over wood slat lowers. Big front windows with bench seating below, and 6 raised bar tables on the far wall with framed black & white prints above. Belgian coasters, postcards and pics displayed in a framed piece in the front corner, and near there and to the rear, someone did some paintings in the vein of Monet "Water Lilies", and that one there's definitely "House of Parliament, effects of fog" -esque. Entrances to the side room forward and aft. 7 tables on the far wall sharing common benchage, 4 angled tables in a row down the center, and 5 booths on the inside wall. Large, kind of eerie paintings of faces on the far wall (Paul Dodd "Crime Faces"), and more black & white prints on the inside wall. To the back, a benched alcove with a molteny metal piece near the doorway to the rear seasonal patio.
Roughly 30 taps on a triptych stainless steel panel along the corner of the bar; 18 down the center in a row, and about a half dozen off to each side, plus a handpump below on the end. Taps change up regularly, like hourly. Anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3 of them American micros on different visits. They play a good focus on the New York State beers. Ommegang, Ithaca, Brooklyn (Brooklynator Dopplebock), Southern Tier, Blue Point, High Falls (JW Dundee's Pale Bock, Dopple & Pale Ale, but never the Brown Ale), Roosterfish, Ellicottville, and McBane's Best Bitter, a house beer from local brewpub Rhorbach. And micros beyond. Rogue, Sierra Nevada (I've seen the Stout, IPA & Schwarz beer but never the Pale Ale), Lost Coast, Wachusett, North Coast (La Merle), DogFishHead, Stone, Anchor (Bock), Sly Fox, Magic Hat (#376 Schwarzbier), Weyerbacher, Long Trail, Wolavers, Sprecher, Boulder. The rest of the lot are imports, some of them the usual suspect imports. Beers are always clean and fresh, no issues there.
On the handpump, I've seen Flying Bison Skye Pilot Scotch Ale, Middle Ages Wailing Wench, Ithaca Flower Power (which was just amazing), and the Dark Star Best Bitter on different visits.
And a crazy bottle collection, at least 120 offerings. At least 1/3 of them American micros, many of them New York State breweries, plus nearly 2 dozen Belgians, 3 dozen UK & German, and a dozen and a half beers of the world. Plus, sodas and ciders, a dozen wines, port & mead. Prices seem reasonable except for that 750 of Quelque Chose going for $20.
Missed lunch again so, dinner. 10 wings with country sweet (sauce), and the honey glazed salmon over greens, with, no, scratch that, "The kitchen has just informed me that...", hmmn, I'll have the grilled tuna steak then (with sesame ginger sauce, grilled red pepper and parmesan polenta). I wonder what polenta is. Maybe it's something with, no, it's probably not, forget it. The wings were of great crispiness and had a bit of heat, and the tuna was excellent. Served with polanta, which is actually a cornmeal something or other (my 142nd guess), and unexpected green beans dealt amongst an explosion of finely diced red, yellow, green and orange peppers, which made dinner wonderfully festive.
Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They will let you try, actually, encourage you, to taste a little of this or that. Good tunes piped in from a mix somewhere (I'm sorry, is this Syd Barrett "Octopus"?) Nice, comfortable place and great beer.
Oh, and last Wednesday's (of the month) beer socials. Tastings (I caught the porter and stout event, thanx, John), a good smattering of beers sampled, and some meat & cheeses served. Go.
05-11-2008 18:24:21 | More by slander
More User Reviews:
4.43/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25 | $$$
Neck and neck with The Old Toad for best beer selection in my city.
About 25-30 taps on at any given time, with one cask that's always on. Great mix of local, US craft, and interesting international selections. I've gotten to try so much good stuff over the year I've been going there that I didn't think I'd be able to try- White Oak, Parabola, Great'r Pumpkin, etc.
The service is OK, not great. Table service is generally better than bar service. The bartenders can sometimes have a "I'm better than you" attitude, and regulars get treated much better than anyone else, but it's not surprising, and railing against something like that is like railing against water being wet. It's life. Sometimes the place is a little too dark.
The food is generally pretty good, although we've ordered a few duds. The food is expensive, however. Nonetheless, Tap and Mallet serves up the best poutine I've ever had (I've never been to Montreal, however). Be sure to order the vegetarian gravy instead of the beef gravy, it's that much better, made with mushrooms I think?
Parking is sometimes a problem- the parking lot they have is small, and a lot of people come here. Not the worst thing in the world.
Definitely recommended. If you want good beer, it's here.
01-24-2014 21:49:09 | More by GreesyFizeek
4.4/5 rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
What's not to like about a venue that has a long list of many fine beers, including different vintages of the same beer?
Upon entering, there is a long bar on the left that extends to the far wall. In the immediate room there are stools along the bar as well as tables with stools. The number of taps on the bar is always an impressive sight with the beers rotated as the kegs are kicked. The next room over, which is only disappointing for lack of billiards and darts, has more tables and stools.
The selection of beers here is easily the best in the area of Rochester; save, possibly, Beers of the World which is not a pub. You're also able to fill here. Both growlers and a smaller jar-like container whose name escapes me. There is a deposit, but upon return of the container, the deposit is refunded (though usually spent on more beer).
The service is great especially when the bartenders offer suggestions based upon your previous orders. I've yet to order from a table, but I imagine the service is just as robust as from the bar.
The atmosphere is always nice and does get louder toward the weekend and with events; i.e. Beer Week in Rochester.
The food is tasty, but a bit expensive ($9 for a burger).
Overall, if you like beer and like to try new beers when you're out this is the place to go in Rochester, NY.
10-24-2013 02:31:02 | More by Stranger5582
Tap & Mallet in Rochester, NY
97 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.