This British-inspired gastropub serves up equal parts well-crafted food and casual atmosphere. Basking in the glow of the stone fireplace—or one of 11 flat screens—patrons dine on the likes of bangers and mash, brick-oven pizza, and Wexford steak. Many opt to lounge on the outdoor patio, or in colder weather, in a nice, warm vat of the restaurant's signature mac and cheese. More than 60 beers, hailing from around the world, pour from taps and bottles at the 50-foot bar, while dartboards and pool tables invite bets to be placed on who's picking up the check.
In 1913, the Sheepherder Bar & Grille’s building on Folsom Boulevard was known as the Citrus Inn, and the hoteliers supplemented their income selling produce in front of the building. A 2006 renovation restored the hotel to glory with beautiful wooden rafters, three grand fireplaces, and solid stone columns, creating a refined, rustic vibe. The food has gotten an upgrade since then, too. Guests can enjoy tender prime rib from Niman Ranch or burgers with Boar's Head bacon, traditional shepherd’s pie, or wild-caught salmon with dill-infused tartar sauce. The double-cut pork chop comes drenched in red wine sauce and apple-cinnamon butter, and the meatloaf sports a coat of house-made Jack Daniels barbecue sauce. Later, head over to the Citrus Bar (named in honor of the original establishment) for an after-dinner drink and staring contest. Guests arriving on Friday nights will find live music wafting through the restaurant, and a happy hour held from 3–7 p.m. invites diners to kick dinner off in style.
With a 24-hour gaming floor and adjacent restaurant and bar, Cordova Restaurant Casino combines upscale gaming with elegant dining. A stone hearth and mahogany paneling greets diners and card sharks in this smoke-free establishment, which evokes the ambiance of a swanky Las Vegas–style card club in the heart of a luxury lodge. The dinner menu ranges from traditional fare, such as the "All In Burger", a 1/2 lb choice sirloin steak with gruyere and bleu cheese, caramelized onions, baby arugula and horseradish cream ($8.95), to a variety of souped-up entrees, such as the "Miso Glazed Halibut" partnered with baby bok choy and jasmine rice ($16.95). The bar possesses a handsome selection of beers, wines by the glass or foot-less boot, and signature cocktails. The state-of-the-art gaming floor is littered with traditional table games.
Tommy T's Comedy & Dinner Theatre turns the mic on local and national entertainers as casually dressed patrons sip ice-cold liquids between chortles. Stop by September 8–11 to catch Alonzo Bodden, Last Comic Standing's season-three winner, who has gone on to act in major films and perform nonspeaking roles in animated features. Bodden will take the stage with his “cynically good-natured” brand of storytelling. A monthly calendar chronicles weekly engagements with other comedians and troupes who aim to incite laughter by telling humor jokes or tickling random crowd members. Doors open one hour prior to 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. performances and a half hour before 10 p.m. shows. Seating at Tommy T's is first come, first served, and an extensive menu, although not included in the price of the Groupon, complements the supplied refreshments and rousing guffaws.
At Root of Happiness, named for the relaxing properties of the kava root, visitors unwind while sipping kava brew from petite bowls that resemble coconut shells. Baristas also fill shot glasses with potent, concentrated kava that they flavor with cane-sugar syrup, prepare pour-over coffee, and steep exotic teas. Polynesian artwork and hand-carved wooden sculptures lend the cafe the relaxed ambience of an island tiki bar.
The Buggy Whip shuttles diners back in history to an era when meat and potatoes ruled the roost at dinnertime. Open since 1958, the family-owned steak house brims with more vintage ambiance than the century-old wine corks that form the Statue of Liberty. Customers’ knives liberate savory juices from rib eyes as forks dive into dishes of sizzling scampi and herbed scallops. At lunch, diners can savor hearty broiled sirloins stuffed with sautéed mushrooms and peppers or lighter plates flanked with cottage cheese and tomatoes. In addition to serving steaks, seafood, and potables in the dining room seven days a week, the restaurant accommodates groups by building banquet spreads from fare such as prime rib, teriyaki chicken, and sweet, creamy cheesecake.