Restaurant Reviews --> Taxman
A Visit to Taxman
A Brewery with Serious Culinary Ambition
In October we took advantage of a beautiful 80 degree Saturday for a day out in the convertible to pay a visit to the new Taxman Brasserie & Tap Room in Fortville. I was intrigued enough to visit after hearing that Taxman is a brewery with culinary ambitions and that their first location in Bargersville includes a very successful gastropub. It was good, so good that we paid a second visit in November for brunch and decided to write about it.
All of the concepts for the brewery and restaurants has Belgian roots where the founders acquired their inspiration for both the beer and the food. The two locations have very different menus, both Belgian inspired, but with Fortville placing an emphasis on liege waffles, a dense, caramelized waffle made with a pearl sugar infused dough, rather than a batter.
The beers are a major attraction, sounding and looking very authentically Belgian in style, down to being served in small, tulip-shaped glasses. However, since we don't drink beer, we very much appreciated the short, but well-chosen and reasonably priced wine list that included many of our favorites like the Domaine LaFage Tesselle GSM blend and the Substance Cs Cabernet from Washington.
For a Saturday afternoon, they had a good crowd, in both the bar and the family-friendly dining room (and we were among the few tables without kids - in retrospect, we would have sat in the bar). The building is a beautifully restored two-story brick storefront on Fortville's Main Street, featuring plenty of exposed brick and wooden beams that have been enhanced with the addition of large, new windows all around, along with dangling, exposed filament lights and crystal chandeliers. The second story contains two large event rooms with beautiful rustic wooden floors and full bars. Altogether, a pretty impressive and obviously very expensive conversion of an 1896 building.
The menu is eclectic, and nothing like you would expect in a brewery, including four waffle-based dishes, seven appetizers, two each of salads and soups, six sandwiches and six entrées, each seeming to display a creative twist. We began with braised chicken wings which bore no resemblance to a "typical" wings appetizer. Smoked then braised in a way that maintained a crispy skin, they were fall off the bone tender, and required a knife and fork to eat, and could be dipped in either the homemade cranberry hot sauce or ranch dressing or maybe both. Best wings we've ever eaten.
Linda enjoyed the venison burger, that was suitably "chefified" with Mozzarella cheese, charred peppers, and a giardiniera aioli. I had to go with the fried chicken liege waffle, a smoked leg and thigh, battered and fried and served over a thick, sweet/savory waffle with an apple infused syrup, accompanied by a crispy red cabbage and pickled onion and pepper slaw.
Linda shared her crispy Belgian frites which were served with both an amazing herb aioli and house catsup that were perfect...it always amazes me how many restaurants can screw up something as simple as frites.
At brunch in November Linda had an excellent grilled breakfast burrito filled with bacon, ham, cheese, black beans, rice and scrambled eggs topped with pico de gallo and a little sour cream.... very good and almost enough for two.
I went with the brunch burger served with American cheese, bacon, pickle, tomato, onion and special sauce topped with a fried egg. The multi-seed bun really set the sandwich off and while I'm not sure what all was in the special sauce, I'm sure in involved mayonnaise and Sriracha.
And the rest of the menu is just as interesting and changes seasonally. Next time we visit, we really need to try the venison meatball appetizer, featuring fig jam, roasted grapes and candied chilis. Or we may try the baby back ribs on a waffle, or maybe the Cuban waffle sandwich...or maybe the seared duck breast with an onion tart and paté.
29 South Main Street
December 6, 2017