The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
Strings of hot-pepper-shaped lights hang over the bar at Mezcalitos Cocina & Tequila Bar's main location, where they're accented by colorful toy parrots and bullfighting posters. This lively decor helps distract from the lurking menace behind the bar: a housemade 10-pepper tequila known as Devil's Water. Adventurous sorts can gulp it straight as a shot, and more timid diners can take its spicy edge off by blending it with one of the restaurant's other signature tequilas. It's a tradition so popular that Mezcalitos has carried it over to their newly opened Grant Park location, too.
When it comes to the food, everything on the menu is made from scratch, from the hand-rolled tamales to the cilantro-infused rice and mole sauces. Chipotle-cheese grits complement grilled ribeye steak, and oranges and cinnamon add an unexpected sweetness to the slow-cooked red pork mole. Vegetarians and vegans can fill up on tofu tacos or salads piled high with pumpkin seeds, grilled zucchini, and roasted red peppers.
The Drafting Table's head chef, David Barnett, won't settle for just any local ingredients. What goes into his upscale pub dishes has to be free of hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals. Strips of nitrate-free bacon, for example, are combined with all-natural ground chuck to create the 50/50 burger, which Dereck crowns with white cheddar, arugula, and housemade herb mayo. His other creative options range from seared tuna tacos smothered with roasted red pepper aioli to slow-roasted jerk chicken piled on a pita. Local craft beers and spirits complement feasts, which unfold amid wood-beam ceilings, subway tiles, and Edison lights, named after the legendary inventor's eerie glow-in-the-dark skin.
At Blu Canitna, chefs play with the traditional flavors of the Caribbean and Latin America to create inventive fusion dishes. They toss wings in spicy peach-bourbon sauce, and they put an upscale twist on beef brisket tacos by adding a dollop of creme fraiche infused with cilantro. They also turn plates of nachos and quesadillas into hearty meals by topping them with proteins such as brisket, tilapia, and smoked chicken. These all pair with aromatic hookahs and an extensive drink menu that showcases margaritas in unique flavors such as Sassy Strawberry Sriracha, which tastes like a combination of spicy chilies and alliteration.
Part tapas restaurant and part upscale lounge, bar ONE offers a sultry retreat from Atlanta's daily bustle and peach-avalanches. The lounge's ivory sofas, artful semi-nude photos, and mirror-polished surfaces create a chic background, no matter where or how guests choose to situate themselves. The best foreground, however, is a spread of small plates that blend the classic flavors of southern food with the spices and fruits of the Caribbean. Coconut curry shrimp, for instance, shares the spotlight with sweet potato waffles, and jerk chicken is folded into quesadillas. That combination of tastes is personal for Chef Natasha Wong, who draws on culinary know-how gleaned from both her years of cooking professionally in the states and her childhood spent in the Virgin Islands helping out in her parents' kitchen.
Cartoon skulls color the ragged wooden sign outside Matador's, creating a rustic, yet playful, atmosphere where cuisine from the Michoacán region treats taste buds to an authentic taste of Mexico. Pulled pork, tilapia, and tofu are just a sample of what's stuffed into the tortillas of 14 types of tacos, which sate south-of-the-border cravings quicker than a deep-fried bolo tie. Combination plates and vegetarian options round out the menu at the restaurant's two locations, both of which offer spacious patio seating. At the newer Glenwood Park location, patrons can relax in a separate bar area as flat-screen TVs glimmer across intoxicating bottles of top-shelf spirits.