You can watch the game at RJ's Sports Bar and Lounge, sure, but that’d be selling the rest of the place short. Patrons stop here for Motown Mondays and live bands on Soulful Saturdays, and there’s a karaoke night and ladies' night in between. There are drink specials every day of the week, too. There’s even an enforced dress code on Fridays and Saturdays for the over-30 set here that keeps things classy and bans Dickensian street urchins with fake IDs.
At Crest Bowl, pins scatter across the gleaming hardwood of 32 bowling lanes equipped with up-to-date scoring equipment, lending a baritone rumble to a chorus of cheery shouts. Patrons lace up bowling shoes to improve smooth approaches and ward off sandal-model scouts. Mr. Karaoke conducts sing-alongs multiple nights a week, and cosmic bowling nights allow players to work toward a perfect game and experience the thrill of riding a comet amid upbeat music and the glow of laser lights. When three consecutive strikes put turkey on bowlers' minds, Brickhouse Pizza Company sates appetites with pizzas and sandwiches and fuels victory toasts with a full bar.
Wooden shelves bear the weight of wine bottles behind the wraparound bar at Erato Wine Bar and Restaurant. Bartenders climb a wooden ladder to retrieve a 2006 Louis Latour pinot noir or a 2009 PlumpJack merlot, reading the labels in the dim light of hanging lamps. Around them, laughter bounces off the exposed bricks and spring-soled shoes bounce off the dark-wood floors. Yet the boutique selection of wine isn't the only thing that draws guests in. The bar also hosts high-end spirits such as St. Germain and an international selection of beers. The kitchen, meanwhile, complements this array of libations with tapas-style delicacies that change weekly. Cheese plates come with cured meats, nuts, and fresh fruits, and local ingredients enhance delicacies such as caprese salad. Chefs also whip up meal-size portions of pasta and seafood drizzled with truffle oil and sherry reductions.
Nothing too terrifying lurks inside Ye Olde Haunt, even though the bar's decor—a macabre mix of skulls, grim reaper dolls, and horror posters—resembles a haunted house. That ghoulish humor continues on a menu whose cheekily named dishes include Vampire Repellent—a garlic-covered french roll—and The Texas Chainsaw, a bacon- and barbecue-sauce-topped burger on texas toast.
Besides pairing well with meals, beers such as Turbodog and Guinness Black can calm diners during the horror films that the bar screens nightly. Ye Olde Haunt's entertainment isn't limited to thrills and chills; on Fridays and Saturdays, for instance, local bands take the stage for scare-free nights of rocking.
The foodsmiths at Beef Eaters Restaurant forge a bountiful menu of steak and seafood for dinner, sandwiches and pastas for lunch, and wines. The dinner roster sates stomachs with a duo of pan-seared tenderloin tournedos ($19.99), tastily accoutered with tomatoes, mushroom, and a pool of burgundy wine sauce that it collected while twisting around the kitchen at wind speeds of 178 mph. Seafood arrives hand-breaded and deep-fried with the jumbo shrimp or sautéed in the case of the tilapia, which simmers under a fresh coat of lemon cream sauce (each $16.99). Six separate steak courses ($15.99–$31.99) challenge steel-hinged jaws with juicy cuts of 8–14 ounces. Any hearty entree can be partnered with a fruity Heron pinot noir from Sonoma County ($6.50) or a glass of the dry Blumenhof seyval white ($6.25), locally produced in Missouri. Lunch fare includes the grilled-chicken sandwich ($7.99), which showers the palate with a monsoon of tomato, swiss cheese, and a kaiser roll, and the shrimp pasta ($14.99), tossed with cavatelli noodles, tomatoes, and mushrooms in a white wine sauce. The midday menu is also home to the eatery's specialty new england clam chowder ($4.25 for a cup), a fusion of potatoes and minced clams served in a bowl kept warm by Paul Revere's wig.