Cheri kept me in suspense as to where we were driving to. Oh, Distillery, such a lively place, I have yet to see it in a season when it's charms underwhelm me.
Tappo has a pretty central location across from Balzaks on the main plaza. From the outside, the small logo barrel sure set us in the mood for one thing – wine. And so it was supposed to, since this place is known for its choice of vintages.
Wooden interior, with old granite stone walls and metal equipment from the buildings industrial past set up a great atmosphere for all their wine cellars. This space was renovated with tall white supporting pillars as an interesting addition. This more-modern style was reinforced with crystal chandeliers and numerous floral arrangements. The large mirror wall behind the bar made the room feel more spacious.
White bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar were waiting for us as we browsed through the menu. The choice was impressive, unlike the actual page layouts. Our waitress was very friendly and recommended us a few dishes. We asked for a glass of Ripasso and Gavi after making our choices. I must add, I quite liked the organic table set up as well as the simple chairs and white tablecloths - made me feel like I am in Italy - history around, simplicity at hand. Lets hope the food adds its final touch too.
We started with their Quaglia Ripiena - the oven roasted quail was tender, fattier than chicken, and nicely baked. It came stuffed with pine nuts, placed on top of a spinach, dried cherry nape salad. It was drizzled with a flavourful veal vinaigrette.
Pappardelle con Cinghiale, was our next choice. It was pasta with bore. The slow-cooked bore ragout chunks were very tender. There were also caramelized onions, olives and tomatoes in between the thick pappardelle. It was topped with shredded parmesan.
The striploin steak I ordered, was highly recommended - Bistecca al Amarone. It came with a nicely burned crust off the BBQ, with horseradish aioli on top which was a great addition. Under the steak were small potatoes.
Lombo D'agnello was Cheri's choice. This lamb dish was surprisingly not that smelly. Even I was able to enjoy a bite. It was a bit undercooked for a medium. It came with an interesting mushroom-pancetta fricassee and hints of rosemary and a bunch of peppercorn chunks.
We quite enjoyed getting sucked in to this historic atmosphere while enjoying their impressive Italian dishes. We didn't end up trying their desserts, although we were tempted. Tappo is a place we would gladly visit again, especially in the summer when it's patio opens up.