Jonathan Patrick fell in love with the restaurant industry before he was even old enough to drive. His very first job, as a line cook for St. Louis Pizza and Wings at age 15, was the beginning of his lifelong career as a chef.
Over the years, Patrick worked for several different restaurants, including Rizzo’s Bar and Grill, Caddyshack Bar & Grill and Maggie Malone’s, honing his cooking skills and knowledge along the way. Patrick is now an executive chef and, along with Mike Holtrup, co-owner of Mike’s Grill + Tap in O’Fallon.
Located at 2447 Hwy. K in the Four Seasons Center, Mike’s Grill + Tap is known for its extensive craft beer selection and its juicy, high-end, short rib burgers. With 24 craft beers on tap, the bar and grill offers beer options for all types of beer connoisseurs.
“We run 24 craft beers,” Patrick explained. “We try to go with mainly local craft beers and we dedicate four or five taps to craft beers from around the United States. It’s always fun because the servers like to mix and match beers and get new flavors.
“They get pretty creative with it.”
The O’Fallon Wheach, a popular peach wheat beer, is on tap this summer. Year-round, visitors can taste the Angry Irish Wife red ale that was created by O’Fallon Brewery specifically for Mike’s Grill + Tap. For a light libation, Patrick recommends the Goodwood Spruce Tip IPA or the Kirkwood Station Blackberry Wheat. For patrons seeking a darker stout, the Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat is the way to go.
Even better than the beer is the food.
“Everything is homemade and made from scratch,” Patrick said. “Everything is super fresh.”
The extensive menu ranges from chicken wings and pretzels, to burgers and sandwiches, to pork chops and salmon. The made-from-scratch burgers are super-popular among diners, especially Mike’s Favorite, a short rib and beef patty topped with blue cheese crumbles, applewood-smoked bacon, homemade spicy tomato chutney and onion straws on a pretzel bun.
“It’s super tasty,” said Patrick. “It’s very tender and juicy.”
The most popular entrée – and Patrick’s top recommendation to new diners – is the Shrimp and Goat Cheese Rellenos.
“We take roasted Anaheim peppers and stuff them with a creamy goat cheese and shrimp stuffing, and then dip them in a beer batter, fry them and top them with a Cajun cream sauce and cilantro lime sour cream,” Patrick explained.
Mike’s Grill + Tap will launch some new menu items in late June, including its Pub Nachos. Sun-dried tomato basil tortilla chips are topped with smoked pork butt, roasted pico de gallo and a hot pepper-tequila cheese sauce. The restaurant also will introduce Gatorquitos, a taquito filled with alligator sausage.
Its popular Chicken Wings will get some new sauces this summer as well.
“We do a spice brine on the wings and let them sit for 12-20 hours,” Patrick said.
Patrick has brought his love of hunting into the restaurant with some unique menu items. A few times a year, he will offer game options on the menu, from elk and bison to frog legs and rattlesnake. Elk is his top choice.
“Elk is pretty lean and more healthy, and it’s just tasty, not too gamy,” he said.
Mike’s Grill + Tap also can cater events on- or off-site. The restaurant has a party room that accommodates up to 25 people, and the entire restaurant can be rented to host larger parties.
“We don’t have a set catering menu, so I can work with people,” Patrick said.