I’ve been a fan of the Tap Room at Dubsdread since it opened nearly 19 years ago. I first fell in love with its burger – and awarded it the Critic’s Choice Foodie Award for many years – then became a fan of its weekends-only prime rib. It was nice to have a place to go for good prime rib without having to put up with the arrogance of Hillstone’s management. (Seriously, do they go through special training to learn how to act superior?)
And then Tap Room upped its game on high-quality steaks and seafood making it a more well-rounded restaurant. And I’m not the only one who noticed the consistency in quality. Besides accolades from most other local publications, Tap Room at Dubsdread has received national recognition, including TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence, OpenTable’s Diners’ Choice Award, and, in 2019, it was on Kayak and OpenTables list of the 25 Restaurants in the World Worth Traveling For in their "Will Fly for Food" compilation.
Through the years and the many fine meals I’ve enjoyed there, I’ve had one niggling disappointment: the list of wines to accompany the food was lacking.
But now that’s been rectified with the implementation of an expanded wine list that includes more higher end selections. Even better, almost all are available in six- and nine-ounce pours as well as by the bottle.
So I was able to sip a wonderfully plummy St. Supery cabernet sauvignon with my prime grade ribeye steak. The meat had a nice charred outside and warm and red inside, a perfect medium rare. At $37 for a 14-ounce cut, the ribeye was a bargain compared to what you’d pay at other steakhouses. And it came with two side dishes. I got “loaded” mashed potatoes topped with bacon, cheese and scallions, and the sauteed spinach to make the meal more healthful.
There was zero chance I was going to talk my dinner guest out of ordering the prime rib, which was fine because it meant I got to have some of it too. The meat was as tender as you would hope it would be, well marbled and with a seasoned crust. Asparagus was a nice accompaniment.
For a starter we shared a new appetizer, baked chevre, which featured melted herbed goat cheese topped with a pulpy marinara sauce and served with toast points. Delicious.
Service was friendly, accommodating and prompt as it always is.
It was nice to avail of the Tap Room’s ample outside dining area on the wraparound veranda, though I miss the clubby atmosphere of the Tap Room’s taproom. By the way, if you’ve seen the television series “The Right Stuff” on Disney+ you saw the Tap Room stand in as an officer’s club. I had trouble identifying some of the locations that were shot in my downtown neighborhood, but I spotted the Tap Room right away.
It’s good to have one of the Top 25 Restaurants in the World Worth Traveling For right here in Central Florida, especially at a time when traveling is still out of reach.