Hosted by owner and former Funniest Comic in Boston winner Dan Smith, the laughmasters at Wisecracks Comedy Club mine for chuckle deposits in funny bones throughout Worcester County. Wisecracks's professional acts engage errant guffaws with new looks at evergreen topicsm, including love, life, and the ethical implications of the Large Hadron Collider. Groupon holders can fly solo or flock in V formation with up to nine wingmen to any show in 2011, including appearances by Tonight Show veterans such as Gary Gulman and Dwayne Perkins.
The cooks at Piccadilly Pub Restaurant bake, fry, grill, and assemble a medley of sandwiches, seafood platters, and other comfort cuisine. Haddock fillets take a dip in a light beer batter before trans-fat-free oil cooks them to a golden crisp, and fries and coleslaw cuddle up beside them in a dish of fish 'n' chips ($11.69). A dozen seafood platters harvest additional ocean occupants, including lobster, salmon, shrimp, and mermaid-grown sea vegetables. Baked bowls of shepherd's pie ($9.59) and chicken pot pie ($8.99) release a flood of steam after knives and forks cut into the blistering combination of seasoned meat and vegetables. A different house-made soup holds court daily ($3.50–$4.50), and the soothing staples of Piccadilly clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl ($7.99) and lobster bisque ($4.59–$7.99), taking their middle-school yearbook inscriptions to heart, never change.
Overtime Tap rejuvenates sports fans with a rich array of bar-fare noshes. Diners can customize carbohydrates with the build-your-own mac 'n' cheese ($6), swaddling penne, spiral, bowtie, or elbow pasta in a choice of aged irish cheddar, smoked gouda, port salut, swiss gruyere, or monterey jack. Fillings such as shitake mushrooms, grilled asparagus, or sliced jalapeños add texture and a pop of flavor to the cheesy concoction, jolting taste buds from their impossible day dreams of becoming professional athletes. The appetizer menu flaunts Atlantic zest with New England crab cakes, a pan-fried cluster of Lump Rhode Island blue crab, red bell peppers, celery, and scallions ($6). Sandwiches and burgers provide classic pub grub, and heartier fare sends diners on a delicious dash from hunger with the marinara-braised short rib of beef accompanied by cheddar mashed potatoes and fennel-spiced grilled asparagus ($19).
Small plates have become more and more ubiquitous in all types of American restaurants, but Bocado Tapas Wine Bar stays true to the dining style's Spanish roots, using recipes and ingredients traditionally found in Mediterranean kitchens.
As Bocado's menu explains, some of their tapas are very simple, and some are decidedly more sophisticated. The frias, or cold dishes, include everything from marinated olives to raw tuna with lemon-basil crema, sweet-potato chips, and chili avocado. The calientes, or hot dishes, are equally diverse, counting both pork meatballs and piquillo peppers stuffed with veal, mahon cheese, basil, and pine nuts among them. To try a little bit of everything, order the Bocado Experience, a meal for up to eight people that includes a choice of charcuterie, tapas, paella, and desserts, with the option to add sangria.
Besides sangria, the restaurant serves a lengthy list of exclusively Spanish wines. Most are available by the pour, glass, or bottle, which means guests never have to sip them from a big vat in the back.
A warm orange and red light illuminates Ritual, tinting its brick-accented walls and exotic statues an inviting ruby. Flickering candles and the glow of flat-screen televisions add to the romantic, yet contemporary atmosphere, where the trendy decor is rivaled only by an eye-catching menu of American-fusion cuisine. Globetrotting meals commence with small plates of chocolate-dipped applewood bacon or waygu beef, which diners sear over a hot rock or the grill they keep in their wallets. Chicken marsala and bacon-wrapped filet mignon represent a portion of the more traditional entrees, but dishes stretch as far as the bounds of the chef's imagination, including an award-winning seared duck breast double-coated with crushed cocoa beans and a hazelnut-chocolate demi-glace.
The 2,300-seat Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts?which was built in 1904?underwent a massive renovation in 2002, restoring historic details and adding modern amenities. With seats in the upper balcony, guests enjoy vistas of the theater's elegant chandelier, gilt-etched walls, and ornate fourth wall.