Hearty helpings abound at Pirone's, where chefs construct a sizeable menu of steaks, seafood, pizzas, and other traditional Italian specialties. As the dinner curtain rises, feast your eyes and your lips upon an opening number of fried calamari ($11) or mussels marinara ($10) before moving on to sing the praises of a tender, boneless chicken cacciatore ($17) backed by peppers and onions, and simmering in a marinara mushroom sauce. Waiters cart plates of meat- or cheese-tortellini alfredo ($16), chosen from among more than 22 pasta picks that range from traditional spaghetti with meatballs ($22) to an eggplant-topped baked ziti ($16). Meal-goers can appease meaty appetites with a mushroom-infused veal marsala ($19) or a thick-cut steak à la Pirone ($21) topped with mushrooms, provolone, shrimp, sherry sauce, and a miniature model of the restaurant, and those who prefer sliceable sustenance can snack on a sliver of spinach-and-ricotta pizza ($8–$17) or divide a mini calzone ($7) into five mini-er calzones.
At Sportsmens Pub, a stout brick façade bottles up the raucous laughter and warm camaraderie of the pub’s friendly crowd of neighborhood regulars. Sporting events flicker on television screens as bartenders pour frothy brews into pints and pitchers, and servers deliver trays of appetizers to the bar, including cheesesteak and buffalo chicken egg rolls. Half-pound burgers and giant calzones stuffed with ingredients such as spinach, meatballs, and peppers that apply a full-court press on larger appetites. On Friday nights, the pub hosts free Texas Hold ‘em tournaments for poker enthusiasts or those looking for an excuse to wear sunglasses indoors. Pool tables and dart boards provide a competitive arena for local team competitions. Sportsmens Pub’s menu of tasty pub fare takes its act on the road with a catering service that insulates bellies celebrating birthdays or a dog’s reelection to the town council.
Within its historic brick home exterior, the Olde Liberty Tavern's renovated hardwood floors, high-topped tables, and flat-screen televisions create an unexpectedly modern atmosphere for patrons. In the main room, black-and-white eight balls sink into pool tables' pockets while guests concentrate on hitting bull's-eyes during games of darts with friends or dart leagues. Scheduled live music performances and DJ sets provide background soundtracks for diners who dig into third-pound burgers, buffalo chicken wings, and orders of mini egg rolls cooked under a shrink ray. To pair with bites, bartenders sling domestic and imported brews and mix specialty cocktails.
Trenton Social's convivial environment sprawls from its indoor lounge to its cozy outdoor patio, where dining and drinking often melds with special events. Its menu fuels guests with eats ranging from seafood and pastas to hot sandwiches and parmesan fries. Between drinks on Sundays, guests can learn to shimmy as salsa dancers teach free lessons, and monthly bike trips explore historic Trenton as tour guides expound upon relevant historical morsels, such as stories of the brutal penny-farthing gangs of old.
In the kitchen of Tavern on the Lake, chefs not only cook pub classics such as 14-ounce burgers with mushrooms and onions but also an upscale house made ravioli entrees with scallops, chorizo, and mascarpone cheese. Meanwhile, patrons sing karaoke tunes, listen to live band performances, or adjourn to the outdoor patio to sip a pint of beer from the full bar.
For 32 years, comics such as Jay Leno, Ray Romano, and Kevin James have kick-started their careers on the stages of Comedy Cabaret, tucked inside a pair of cozy restaurants. A trio of vaudevillian jokesters descend on Casa Carollo on May 5. The Legendary Wid juggles a barrage of stuffed animals, lawn decorations, and lamps to illustrate his offbeat sense of humor. Sharing the stage, comic actor John Kensil spreads Vegas-style suavity, and Danny B sets his japery to music.