HOT DISH: TAG, You’re It—Coconut Point Gets a Gastropub
Expect the debut next week.
Above: “South” Beet-Pickled Deviled Eggs with Fried Chicken Skin ... Below: Korean Pork Belly Bites with Yuzu Mayo, Orange Supremes and Microcilantro; TAG team (from left) of Chris Lowery, director of operations; Jay Bucklin, executive chef
Photos by Caronchi Photography
As of Sept.13 in Estero, it will be bye-bye Mereday’s Brasserie—then, if all goes according to plan, on Sept. 18, hello TAG: The American Gastropub.
The TAG team, led by Chris Lowery, director of operations, and Jay Bucklin, executive chef, actually held off on putting their new twist on the upscale Coconut Point eatery out of respect for former partner, chef Charles Mereday, who worked out a deal months ago that removed himself from the equation (he still owns and runs Mereday’s Brasserie at Bayfront in Naples).
In five days, don’t expect them to tear down walls or do a Restaurant Impossible-style makeover, but they are changing big visuals, including light fixtures, artwork and place settings. “It will be fresh and new with a different energy,” Lowery says.
The menu will focus on regional American, peppered by our melting pot of influences, and be heavy-handed with small plates. Four types of deviled eggs, to be sold by the piece, hit the desired notes of nostalgia while being modern and exciting at the same time: “South” (vibrantly hued from beet-juice pickling with crunch from crispy, salted chicken skin), “North” (a more traditional take updated with a play on bagels and lox) and—without spoiling all the surprises—“East” (think: ahi and wasabi) and “West” (chipotle and poblano-corn salsa).
“We want people to talk about the food,” Lowery says. “Try a bit here and there. The small plates help with the price point, make it approachable and more fun.”