2102 W. 69TH ST, SIOUX FALLS // 605.271.3782 // TAVERN180.C0M
I was in routine mode during my morning drive on 69th street when I passes Western Avenue going toward Louise. I almost slammed on my break when I saw Tavern 180 in the new Prairie Hills Galleria.
First off, things happen so fast. And second off, this isn’t far from my home, so hallelujah.
I brought some of the 605 crew with me on a Monday afternoon to check it out. When Kyle Determan and Yany Avelar walked in with me we all noticed it was a very intimate space. There are 25 tables, and it’s broken up into two areas.
To the left is the sexy bar with bottles towering upon shelves with backlighting. We were seated in the walled-off area near the windows, which was perfect for natural light (something food photographers live for).
IT’S THE FACTS
+ Tavern 180 is open Sunday through Saturday at 11 a.m.
+ Happy Hour lasts for 180 minutes Monday through Friday, from 3-6 p.m.
+ There are also Tavern 180 locations in Ankeny, Iowa, and Omaha and Lincoln, Neb.
Everyone was super kind, and we discovered our menus were individual touchscreens. It was really neat, but I will admit it did make the process slower. You would have thought Kyle was a Baby Boomer and not in her mid 20s.
“Uh oh, this must be expensive because they don’t even list the price,” she said.
Fast forward almost 10 minutes (or what felt like 10 minutes) and she exclaimed, “Oh, wait! You click on the item and then a photo pops of it up of it with the price and information.”
We nodded at each other, feeling impressed with ourselves for figuring out the technology.
While we had a slow start as a team, the Tavern 180 staff started out strong by bringing out the Tavern Bubbles martini. This “red delight” is a blend of Three Olives Berry vodka, triple sec, lime juice, and strawberry purée with a sugar rim and dry ice.
Let me tell you, I tried to put dry ice in a punch drink for my sister’s Star Trek bridal shower and it’s not as easy as it looks. The (impressive) bubbling and smoke lasted so long. We had taken photos of it, drank out of it, drank more out of it, put it on social media, drank more of it… You get the gist.
“It’s still going strong,” Kyle said to Yany, who had started taking photos of the Lemon Lime Martini (a citrus version of the same drink) and the Sazerac.
Now, the Sazerac shines in its own way. First off, it had an ice ball. Who doesn’t like an ice ball? Second off, it has Absinthe Rinse, Buffet Bourbon, Ice Sphere Simple Syrup, and Orange Bitters. I let out an Old West “ooooeeee” when I took a sip.
“That will wake you up,” I said.
Yany took a sip next and said, “This literally makes my hair grow. I love it.”
Appetizers arrived, and we had the Jalapeño Bacon Brussels Sprouts and the Seared Ahi Tuna. Especially in the winter time, I could eat Brussels sprouts every day.
These were halved Brussels sprouts, jalapeño bacon, balsamic reduction, and shaved parmesan. Did I mention balsamic reduction is also something I could consume every day? Also, shaved parmesan is everything. I should note the jalapeño wasn’t spicy at all, so if you’re a spicy lover that’s sad, but if you’re not that’s great news.
+ Waygu Beef Sliders
+ Blackened Chicken
+ USDA Prime Ribeye
+ Boursin Mashed Potatoes
+ 5 Layer Chocolate Cake
After nibbling on those, we moved on to the tuna. This had sesame seeds, wasabi, spicy remoulade, spring mix, citrus soy, tomatoes, red onion, and cucumbers.
Kyle suddenly said, “They have wine pairings with each menu item!”
She was still figuring out the touchscreen menu and was very excited about her discovery that, yes, you can look under the item to see what wines will go well with the dish.
Back to the tuna. I feel bad, but not really, that I ate 80 percent of it before Yany could even get to it since she was taking photos. I dipped the tuna in all of the sauces. My mouth is legit watering thinking of this again. I didn’t even care that we had more in store, I just kept inhaling it.
Entrées began to arrive, and we had the Mardi Gras Pasta, the Southwest Chicken Salad, and the Grilled Salmon. Because I’m terrible about eating salads, I tried that first.
This had grilled chicken, mixed greens, black beans, Tillamook cheddar and pepperjack cheese, cherry tomato pico de gallo, avocado, fried corn tortilla strips, and smoked jalapeño ranch. There were a lot of flavors, and everything was so fresh.
I pointed out to the table, “The avocado was like a summer avocado, no? You know how during the winter avocados can be gross or kind of hard?”
The table agreed, and we moved on to the salmon. The grilled hand-cut Canadian salmon was served with asparagus risotto, roasted red bell pepper relish, and lemon beurre blanc.
“This is the most buttery asparagus,” said Yany with joy.
The salmon melted, and the risotto was creamy goodness.
At last we reached the pasta, and Phil Collins’ Take a Look at Me Now started playing. It was fate.
This dish had blackened shrimp, roasted chicken, andouille sausage, caramelized peppers and onions, all over penne pasta with a Cajun alfredo sauce.
“Oh my god, obsessed,” said Yany.
She loves spice, and Kyle and I were chugging water in between bites because we apparently are weak.
“That definitely has some heat,” said Kyle. “I might need to order some milk.”
I kept making spicy reaction noises (in a good way), and Yany said, “Are you guys serious? It’s not even spicy.”
Perhaps we were the Three Bears of spices. Either way it was “just right” to nearly clean the plate.
And then Warm Butter Cake came out. It was served with raspberry sauce, mixed berries, and vanilla ice cream. We had consumed so much, but we still devoured it. It didn’t have a chance.
Tavern 180 is not only a great new addition to Sioux Falls for quality food, but the cocktails are so legit. Not only are they made for social media, but they taste delicious, too. There are so many things I want to taste next, but you know I’ll order some Ahi Tuna to start.
+++ It’s a small bar and restaurant, and I think that’s a smart choice. Fill it up and let people enjoy the sexy ambiance. Don’t get me wrong, though, it’s not too sexy. There’s a Kid’s Menu, and it’s a place you can take the family.
$$$ You’re paying for the quality, so dishes like the tuna are $18, and an eight-ounce version of the salmon is $28. It’s very justified and is worth every penny.
✓✓✓✓ The Ahi Tuna is everything! And, honestly, each menu item we tried was great. I would even eat that salad, and I haven’t seen that nice of an avocado since July. Bravo to that.