We all know that there are (what seems like) dozens of restaurants in downtown Appleton and it can be hard to miss some of them. One of these that Food in the Fox has often missed was Spats Fine Dining, AKA “The Tav on The Ave”, located at 733 West College Avenue, kiddy-corner from Good Company and next door to Dong Po. Well, today was finally the day to try out the famous “Tav on the Ave” for lunch.
Once a Tavern, Always a Tavern
The place looks decently sized from the outside, but is actually pretty small. The outside patio section (called the spatio) makes it look a bit bigger and the large mural on the wall also gives the place some character. There is a long bar on one side of the tavern and booths lining the other side, with mirrors everywhere and cool looking track lights that line the ceiling right above the bar. Towards the back of the restaurant, there is a bit more seating and some unusual, but unique wall decor. Flutes, clarinets and other musical instruments hang from on the walls. The place has a rustic, old-time feel and after reading a bit more about the place, there is a reason it has an old feel. The building has been serving as a tavern since 1922!
Homemade Bar Food
Moving on, the waitress was quick to introduce herself and get us beverages. She took about 2 minutes (or what seemed like 2 minutes) to clearly let us know what the special of the day was and she was very friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. I decided on something pretty traditional, a Chicken Cashew Salad which was chicken tenderloin with cashews, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, and red onions on top of mixed greens with a choice of dressing. It was a wonderful salad, considering some ‘bar’ style salads consist of lettuce and mushy tomato pieces. The creamy ranch dressing tasted homemade and the roll that come with the salad also tasted homemade. It had a pretzel textured outside and soft chewy inside. The red onion on the salad was a bit potent, but good and the cashews added a nice crunch to the bed of greens.
Overall, two thumbs up. Great service, unique establishment, and good food at a good price.
733 West College Avenue