Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer shakes things up
It’s good to have a plan when going into a vicinity as large as The Venetian. Between the hotel, the adjoining Palazzo and The Grand Canal Shoppes, you can easily get lost in the area without said plan.
And if your plan is to get a quality burger and a wild shake in a cool setting, then you will be heading directly to the newly opened Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer. This New York import, from Michelin-starred chef Joe Isidori, is all the rage in Gotham for its combination of legit hamburgers, off-the-wall milkshakes and craft beer. The beer selection’s good, pulling draft selections and cans from breweries across the country from New York to Seattle and Las Vegas.
Before you get to the main event, there are a bevy of starters worth sampling. Teriyaki broccoli is fresh and crunchy, with the veggie a good vehicle for the sauce of ginger, garlic, sesame and scallion. Fried mozz is a worthwhile take on mozzarella sticks, with the cheese here being cut into triangles, lightly breaded, covered in grated Parmesan and served with chipotle-tomato sauce. Simply put, order it.
Onion rings also go the lighter route with their exterior, making the ring less greasy than most. They go well with the buttermilk-dill sauce. Spicy Korean BBQ wings come with that same sauce. Salads are gigantic, easily big enough to feed two. The crispy chicken Caesar salad features all the traditional elements of a Caesar with added texture from fried chicken bits and a punch of flavor from roasted tomatoes.
There are nine different burgers to choose from including turkey and vegan options. The meat is sourced from Pat LaFrieda Meats, perhaps the most renowned meat purveyor in the country. With that in mind, The Old Fashioned is a great burger to really savor all that beefy goodness. A prime burger is topped with cremini mushrooms, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions and horseradish sauce. Nobody is reinventing the burger wheel with this one, but the level of execution is extremely high, making the burger extremely tasty, which is the most important thing.
Sticking with simplicity, The Greg Norman features a wagyu patty, that tangy buttermilk-dill sauce, pungent blue cheese and arugula for a full-flavored bite. For those looking for more creativity with their meat and bun combo, check out the Mexico City which tops prime beef with pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapenos, an onion ring and chipotle mayo. The pizza burger, true to the name, adds tomato sauce, mozzarella and shaved Parmesan, and the Texan piles on aged cheddar, bacon, crispy onion rings and barbecue sauce.
While the name of the restaurant implies that only the burgers and beer are of the “craft” variety, they are doing a disservice to the CrazyShakes. These mammoth dessert drinks are fun for kids of all ages. Sweet N’ Salty utilizes a chocolate-frosted rim with chocolate gems and peanut butter cups. There’s also a Sugar Daddy, pretzel rods, chocolate-covered pretzel, whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. Somehow it all works, giving the delivering on the dual promise of sweet and salty. The Cookies ’n Cream Supreme covers a vanilla-frosted rim in crushed Oreos and adds an ice-cream sandwich to an Oreo shake. Meanwhile, The Cake Shake actually has a full slice of cake sitting on its vanilla-frosted rim, along with rainbow sprinkles, whipped cream and a cherry. It’s the ultimate birthday party in a glass.
The Venetian, 11 a.m.-midnight Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Fri.-Sat. 702.414.2337