The Winchester Pub & Eatery’s resident chefs channel the culinary traditions of English and Irish pubs to craft a menu that merges gastronomic ritual with contemporary flair. Commence noshing with an appetizer of cracked wings; coated in the Winchester’s signature sweet orange-bourbon glaze, the wings traverse tongues with a sense of culinary adventure that surpasses Magellan’s most daring forays into Vietnamese cooking. Bolstered by homemade mashed potatoes and brown gravy, entree plates of bangers and mash put a hurt on pesky hunger pangs, and homemade meatloaf sticks to ribs with a nostalgic embrace. Throngs of beverages—including microbrews, specialty cocktails, and Thomas Kemper root beer—wait in the wings to quench parched palates or spontaneously combusting napkins.
Faux marbled walls, stark white pillars, and gold- and burgundy-hued drapes create a stately dining backdrop inside the dining room of Capri Ristorante Italiano. An Italian mural is painted in vivid blues and whites on the domed ceiling, and chandeliers illuminate diners sitting in wrought iron and leather chairs, which is the seating style that 17th-century nobility would have envisioned being in spaceships. Notes from a piano float through the air as servers dispense classic Italian dishes such as meat-stuffed raviolis, chicken parmesan, and four-cheese pizza. Outside, a sculpture recessed in the marigold wall watches over al fresco diners, who also get a front-row seat on select nights for the area’s summer-concert series.
Twisted Lime Island Pub's interior—filled with pineapple pendant lamps, surfboards, and tiki masks—emanates the spirit of the tropics. Their island-minded chefs crown meaty burgers with pineapple and coddle key limes until they willingly take up residence inside of a pie shell. A team of bartenders shakes up tropical classics such as tequila sunsets and margaritas. The dulcet tones of live bands and karaoke flood the tropical pub on select nights.
The chatter that comes from friendly competition has a certain characteristic sound. That pleasant rumble often fills MVP's, where patrons might be battling their way through Halo 4, Tomb Raider, or one of 30 other Xbox 360 Games. Though it is an unorthodox sports bar, it is a sports bar nonetheless, so TVs will still be broadcasting all manner of athletic competitions, from football and baseball games to F1 racing and UFC matches. Netflix on personal Xbox consoles and monitors at tables emphasize that this isn't a typical watering hole, as does the menu, which includes churros with strawberries and drinks with names like "Zombie Killer." Those drinks pour freely during happy hour as well as events that include board-game nights and Super Smash Bros. tournaments.
A hearty menu encourages sports fans to nibble between impassioned shouts at Mick Finster's 17 glowing screens. Paler patrons may sunbathe on Mick's beachside patio and interchange sudsy sips from the 13-beer tap (not included in today's deal) with bites of baked Idaho potato skins sprinkled generously with crispy bacon and green onions, and coated in a thick melted layer of Tillamook cheddar ($7.45 for regular). Mick's favorite burger bulges with one pound of grilled sirloin, crunchy lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, and secret sauce, which is carefully crafted by whispering cooks ($11.50). While awaiting a Slam Dunk ground-beef sandwich ($8.75) or a wedge salad ($4.95), guests may shoot stripes and solids on Mick's billiards tables, whose clean green tops seem to celebrate the pub's Celtic roots and mock unwelcome dandelions.
One of four restaurants in the Neighborhood Grills restaurant group, Lake Forest Bar & Grill emits a warm, welcoming vibe that’s hard to ignore. Part of its charm boils down to its hearty grill food. Items such as bacon and blue-cheese burgers, honey-jalapeño barbecue-pork sandwiches, and 12-ounce steaks are washed down by fresh-squeezed margaritas and plenty of beer. And while the food is no doubt comforting, it’s the grill’s atmosphere that cements its reputation as a neighborhood spot. Soft lighting blankets the casual interior, where convivial chitchat mingles with cheers from the bar as customers root for the Seahawks to beat the 49ers. And when the weather permits, patrons can move the party to the outdoor patio, surrounded by towering trees and the warmth of a center fire-pit fueled by a friendly dragon.
Edmonds handcrafts its wines in small, open-top fermentation tanks before aging them in small oak barrels. Producing only 1,000 cases of wine a year, the winery distributes them to local restaurants and gourmet shops. During your wine tasting, you'll get to try a variety of varietals, such as the sweet and dry 2008 Gewurtztraminer ($15), the intensely fruity 2007 Slide Ridge ($29), or the 2007 Delorious ($23), a wine made of equal parts delicious and glorious. Take note of which wine agrees with your flavor receptors and mind-matter the most, then take home a bottle.