The best chefs can pack a small plate with big flavors, just as the best travelers can pack a hatchback with their pet elephant. Admire epicurean efficiency with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Italian-American fare and drinks at The PlayRoom Lounge.
Thick velvet curtains complement vivid crimson walls and leather furnishings at The PlayRoom Lounge, an upscale cocktail bar where area musicians echo over a menu laden with homemade Italian-American bites. Dining companions can select plates of oven-roasted goat cheese ($5) from an in-house chalkboard scrawled with daily specials and the correct spelling of the chef’s name. Twisty ribbons of gemelli pasta snake through the Famous Pasta Josephine’s panoply of spicy sausage, pecorino cheese, and house marinara cream ($9) in pursuit of the Dolce Vita pizza’s doughy prairie of prosciutto, arugula, and parmesan reggiano ($13). Tender cuts of chicken glide over a scrumptious sea of risotto on rafts of wild mushrooms ($12), propelled by the surging waves pouring from one of 12 glasses of red or white wine. Libations flow from a full-service bar, where expert mixologists concoct specialty cocktails and less-known love potions No. 12 and 13 in the flickering glow of an on-site fireplace, which casts its gauzy glow over the eatery’s dulcet lineup of local musicians.