Owners and chefs Roberto and Ana Meireles pile plates high with meticulously crafted dishes of beef, pork, poultry, and seafood made to order from fresh ingredients and traditional spices. Fried plantains, tropical fruit shakes, and Cuban sodas serve as plane tickets for the palate as lush foliage, cabana decor, and a working baggage claim evoke Caribbean climes. Libations from a brightly colored bar balance the subtle spice of the restaurant's signature red Cuban creole sauce. Gusto Cuban Cafe's patio bustles during the warmer months, and salsa dancing on weekends, like getting stuck on a slide, gives people an excuse to shake their hips.
Corkscrews plunge deep into the necks of Nosh Wine Lounge’s cache of bottles, opening with a pop to reveal more than 80 aromatic varietals from California, New Zealand, Italy, France, and other vineyards the world over. Diners can sip these elixirs in small flights or by the glass or commit to full bottles, or kiddie pools. The wines accompany a menu of gourmet snacks, including truffle fries, flatbreads, steak sliders, and bruschetta. Specialty cocktails, such as cosmos with sweet-potato vodka or Tom Collins shaken with cucumbers, offer a refreshing alternative to wine. The lounge hosts special events such as charity events, private parties, wine tastings, and Live Music Wednesdays, which invite guests to recline in curved leather armchairs or gather around granite-topped bar tables as local musicians perform.
“Laissez les bon temps rouler” is a favorite saying at Jazz, a Louisiana Kitchen; translated from French, it means, “let the good times roll.” With a blend of Cajun cuisine, cold drinks, and live music, the restaurant recreates the rollicking atmosphere of New Orleans' French Quarter. In the kitchen, chefs orchestrate multiple Gulf Coast flavors in classic louisiana catfish po'boys and blackened-shrimp platters, or let simple, properly prepared oysters and broiled crawfish stand on their own. Servers draw frothy mugs of beer from local breweries CIB and Keg Creek or mix specialty cocktails and frozen daiquiris. The lively atmosphere has drawn musicians such as two-time Grammy nominee Gerald Clayton and Mr. Tambourine Man.
At Oasis Hookah Bar, couches, a circular bar and a combination of cocktails, drinks, and hookah work together to create a relaxed environment. Customers can breathe in the chilled air of a large variety of shishas, taking in flavors such as berry, blueberry grape, lemon tea, or even varieties without tobacco. Meanwhile, they can sip on a number of drinks, such as whiskeys, sodas, or cocktails.
Mingling choice drinks with heavy house beats, Nomad Lounge's art-encrusted walls play nightly host to the carousal of Omaha's head-bopping artistic community. With this package, revelers gain entry to a private cabana, where they slosh the premium liquor of their choice together with all the mixers required to create about 20 drinks, quaffing in time to trip-hop and dub like Beowulf in his strobe-lit mead hall. On weekends and special occasions, the music selection expands as the stable of resident DJs welcomes guests from all over the world to share the stage. Shelves lined with candles set Nomad Lounge’s exposed-brick walls aglow, and rough-hewn wooden pillars, combined with the exposed pipes of the high ceiling, contribute to an edgy, loft-like feel that neatly contrasts with revelers’ cozy, cushy cabanas. Call to reserve your party date.
McKenna’s Pacific Street location provides a dining experience filled with soulful tunes and meats smoked silly. Opened in 1991, the joint has been whipping up down-home menu items that would make your grandma try harder. Start off with appetizers such as the black-eyed-pea dip with chips ($5.49) and a full pound of smoked chicken thighs ($6.79), or opt for an order of 12 McKenna’s wings ($8.79) that come in flavors such as Louisiana double dip, Jamaican jerk, and three others. Sandwiches include the Virginia smoked ham with pepper jack cheese ($7.39), smoked pork loin ($7.39), and barbecue smoked sausage ($7.29).