We've visited the Taproom twice since they opened. Nice atmosphere, friendly and knowledgeable staff, interesting pub style menu, excellent draft beer selection, but high noise level, especially when busy.
The aroma of a real wood fire burning in a fireplace greeted us as we entered. Not seeing a hostess station, we quickly moved to one of the few vacant tables not far from that fireplace. We were promptly greeted by a server who brought us menus. The menus were on a clipboard with individual pages for bottled beer, food, artisan cheeses, and spirits. The draft beer list is written on a chalk board behind the bar in order to conserve trees, (or so we were told) and is difficult to see if the bar is busy and you have a low table on the opposite wall.
But having overcome this minor inconvenience, we started with a couple of beers while we familiarized ourselves with the menu. The glasses may not look like 16 ounces, but after seeing an adjacent table order a 12 oz. bottle, and observing how much room was left in the glass once the beer was poured, I think they are, in fact, 16 oz. My wife's Sly Fox Royal Weisse ($5) was actually served in a traditional wheat beer glass. My Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter ($6) came in the more deceptive sized glass. Both beers were a bit colder than we liked and we shared the information with our server who later let us know that she shared our comments with the owner. The Weisse was unfiltered with a fruity flavor, similar to an apple cider. The Porter was full of so many flavors - roasted, hoppy, caramel, chocolate.
The first item to catch my eye on the menu was Scotch Eggs ($6). It had been years since I had one so there was no doubt what I would start off with. The perfectly hard-boiled egg was surrounded with a reasonable amount of spicy sausage (chorizo). Drizzles of tomato sauce and a hollandaise-like sauce served to be more decorative to my taste as I indulged in the chorizo. I'm confident each future visit will start with a Scotch Egg.
My wife chose the Tilsit cheese ($5) which was served with some slices of baguette, oil & vinegar, and a pear/apple/ginger salsa. The salsa was very flavorful. The Tilsit gave no indication how it ever made the list of the ten most stinky cheeses. Without the salsa this would have been a very mediocre dish.
To accompany our next course we ordered pints of Ithaca CascaZilla ($5) and Dogfish Head Chicory Stout ($6). The CascaZilla was a pleasantly hoppy red ale as its name might imply. The Stout showed me that while I don't like chicory in my coffee, I have no problem with it in my beer. While not as full of flavors as the porter that I started the evening off with, the stout had a wonderful chocolate finish after each taste.
These later beers were used to complement a Wagyu Burger ($13) and some Venison Chili ($8). The burger was perfectly cooked to the requested medium-rare, but my wife thought the bacon and onions made it seem greasy. I totally disagreed and saved her from having to finish the second half. We both agreed that the hand-cut fries were excellent. Our server said a side of fries was available for a extra $3 - good to know for the next time when I order that scotch egg.
The Venison Chili had some very tender chunks of meat and lots of several different kinds of beans in its tomato base, but did not do anything special for me other than keep my innards warm. The small cube of jalapeno corn bread, on the other hand, was moist, flavorful and too small.
This is a very nice and comfortable place, surprisingly busy for a Thursday night. Definitely worth the thirty minute drive for us.
Our second visit was as pleasant as the first. From a revised menu we ordered the Burrata cheese ($7) from Maplebrook Fine Cheeses of Vermont, and Bier Meck cheese ($5) from a Fingerlakes cheese maker, a bowl of the Soup of the Day ($7.50), a Cubano sandwich ($13) and for dessert a Whoopie Pie (7). All were delicious and washed down with Sixpoint Sweet action ($5), - part pale ale, part wheat, part cream ale; Sixpoint Otis ($6), - an oatmeal stout; Smuttynose Vunderbar ($5), - a pilsner; and Heavy Seas' Winter Storm ($5) - an imperial extra special bitter.