The Conforti family knows food. With more than a half-century of expertise and having created the successful Angeloni’s in Caldwell and Woodridge, as well as Michaels in Nutley, the family’s newest venture is the very highly-regarded Brook Tap House in West Caldwell, New Jersey. Called a gastropub, it offers the finest in beers and an outstanding menu.
Described as a place to eat, drink and laugh, the talents of owners Mike Conforti, a beer connoisseur and his brother, Nick Conforti, the executive chef, have combined two staples of the casual dining experience into the Brook Tap House, a unique establishment with excellent beers and an exceptionally well-designed menu.
According to Mike, the extensive beer menu includes many craft brews from New Jersey and upstate New York, including Icarus, Brix City Brewing and Kane Beer, as well as German lagers. He also noted that there are gluten-free beer options. An extensive wine list and unique custom mixed drinks round out the selections from the full bar.
Chef Nick Conforti brings his extensive culinary experience to the table, creating mouth-watering appetizers, such as his incredible candied bacon. You might also begin with wings or perhaps the Skillet Fried Meatballs, but make sure to order the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, aptly described as “All Thriller – No Filler.”
Another standout on the menu is the Brook Tap House signature dish, “From Land to Sky,” which includes three sliders – beef cheeseburger, pulled pork and buffalo chicken, paired with a flight of beers that the customer can select from the various craft beers on the menu.
You will also find a satisfying list of sandwiches and Italian classics, including chicken cutlet with mozzarella, roasted peppers, arugula and balsamic; sliced Italian pork with broccoli rabe and provolone and meatball Parmigiano.
Chef Nick pointed out that all of the meat for the Brook Tap House burgers are freshly-ground each day and made with a beef blend of Black Angus, short rib and brisket, served on a homemade brioche bun. He added that the restaurant sources a substantial amount of its produce from local farms. The Conforti family firmly believes in the quality and taste that can only be achieved from farm fresh to dinner table. Nick also noted that the menu includes many gluten-free options, such as a beet salad with baby spinach, almonds, cranberries, red onion, grape tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette topped with ricotta salata cheese.
There are plenty of Italian entrées to choose from, including penne and meatballs; marinated pork chops and the Brook Tap House’s ultimate zuppa di pesce, featuring clams, mussels, shrimp and crabmeat over fettuccine. Steaks include a 22 ounce cowboy steak, New York strip steak and sliced skirt steak and of course, baby back ribs.
If you are in the mood for pizza with your beer or finely-crafted mixed drink, the hand rolled pizzas include traditional, a cauliflower crust for the diet conscious and the Thinny Thin pizza, which the Conforti family is famous for.
Irma Conforti, mother to owners Nick and Mike, is a lifelong resident of Essex County. She designed both the interior and exterior of the Brook Tap House, which includes a rustic bar, wooden walls, as well as farmhouse decorative touches.
The airy, open space is the perfect setting for Christmas and holiday parties, whether for families, offices or for a fun-filled corporate event. The Brook Tap House can also cater your next event; just call them at 973-439-1234. With great food, a carefully curated beer menu and fine mixologists, you can be assured of having a great time at the Brook Tap House.
The Brook Tap House is located at 811 Passaic Avenue in West Caldwell, New Jersey. Visit their website to see the full menu at www.brooktaphouse.com.