Bridging the Tap

Gastropub opens on the 79th Street Causeway

Stunning views of the bay. Mere minutes away from the beach. As if the residents of the 79th St. Causeway needed anything else to make their lives better.

The owners of Bin No. 18 just gave everyone another reason to look for apartments in the strip's old '70s high-rises: Their new neighborhood gastropub, Tap 79, preserves the brand's reputation of European-influenced dishes and maintains the extensive selection of wines and microbrews.

You know the food's going to be good when your neighbor at the bar is one of the guys from the established Brickell gastropub, OTC (no, he wasn't checking out the competition). Pair your drink with the house-cured beef jerky ($6) or rosemary-spiked nuts ($4) from the bar snacks section of the menu and make friends with the bartender.

The beer selection includes Leffe, Bell's Two Hearted Ale, Brooklyn Brown and Fat Tire.

You could also gather a couple of coworkers and build a tabla with artisanal cheeses (3 for $21, 5 for $30, 8 for $40), like the triple cream brie or the cabra al vino (wine-soaked goat cheese), paired with cured meats, such as truffle mousse paté or the subtly smoky sopressatta.

Continue the meal with small plates like calamari a la plancha ($12). Don't overlook it just because it's not fried–the tentacle florets remain unwilted after a quick sizzle on the grill and are brightly flavored with lemon juice and garlic.

The robust selection of Angus short rib, brisket and chuck patties sandwiched on brioche or ciabatta with their respective burger fillings ($11 to $13) are meaty and satisfying, but if your trip to the beach left you craving seafood, look for the daily fish specials chalked up on the blackboard wall.

If you're like us, you may start using the bridge as your new route to and from the beach just so you have an excuse to stop by.