The banners of New York's sports teams hang from the ceiling at Play Sports Bar, a space lined with flat-screen TVs tuned to sporting events all while more than 100 different beers flow from the bar. The diverse selection of bottles and drafts, many of them craft beers, complements a menu of traditional sports-bar fare such as burgers, wings, and pizza that can be molded into a football. On nights throughout the week, the bar is enlivened by events such as live music, beer tastings, and karaoke.
Dugout Pub South tempts appetites with slow-cooked, smoked ribs, thin crust pizzas crowned with clams or deep-fried calamari, and more than 25 burgers made with 8-ounce Angus beef patties and toppings such as blue cheese, banana peppers, and house-made chili. Inside the dining area, four dartboards, a shuffleboard table, and flat-screen TVs entertain patrons sipping libations from the full bar, which features 20 different brews on tap. Live entertainment includes DJs, bands, karaoke, and wandering minstrels, tickling the ears of customers in the dining area or outside on the tiki deck.
When Eugene Gillespie left Ireland to visit his brother in New York in 1972, he didn't know that he would be inspired to stay. The Irish economy was down, so Eugene decided to pursue the American dream by moving to the Mid-Atlantic region. He didn't leave Ireland entirely behind him though, and Eugene proceeded to spend the next several decades opening traditional Irish pubs and restaurants throughout New York and New Jersey.
With two locations, Blackthorn Restaurant & Irish Pub demonstrates a commitment to the flavors of Ireland. The menus feature familiar comfort foods—certified Angus burgers and thin-crust pizzas—including a number of Irish favorites, such as beer-battered fish and chips and stews filled with Guinness-braised beef. To achieve an even more authentic taste, the chefs occasionally import ingredients such as Irish cheddar cheese, Irish sausages, and Irish rainbows.
The menu's iconic dishes contribute to the pubs' cozy, inviting ambiance almost as much as accents such as the stone fireplaces or the bar made of imported red mahogany. Spirits remain lively and the mood stays festive thanks to the live entertainment hosted throughout the week. Live bands perform contemporary hits as well as traditional Irish songs.
Bagel Schmagel’s bakers combine fresh ingredients to create nine types of Old World–style bagels and more than a dozen handcrafted cream cheeses. A commitment to freshness and quality guides the bakery's foodsmiths, ensuring that each batch of bagels emerges from the kettle with a glistening, thin crust and a warm, spongy interior reminiscent of the Doughboy's spleen. The roster of eats also includes baked goods, salads, sandwiches, and specials, which are denoted on chalkboards. A blue-and-gray-striped awning denotes arrival at the bakery, shading floor-to-ceiling windows and a dining room with lox-colored walls.
The pub-fare prodigies at Rolf's Restaurant appease neighborhood noshers with occasional live music, a seasonal outdoor patio, and a hearty menu. Pork tenderloin ($16.95) stuffed with fresh basil, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella leaves room for whipped potatoes and a drizzle of balsamic-vinegar reduction. The chef's burger ($10.95) showcases a compound-butter-infused patty, fried shallots, roasted tomatoes, and garlic mayo, and the potato-horseradish salmon ($16.95) disguises itself under an edible crust like it was taught to do in CIA training. Along with American eats, an authentic German menu sports wienerschnitzel ($21.95) and a bratwurst sandwich ($8.95) paired with potato salad. Rolf's opens its doors on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. for brunch, and an international beer and wine menu whets whistles, leaving them warmed up for swing shifts directing traffic.
The dining room, lounge, and bar areas at 121 Fulton Street take their cue from the past, with leather-lined banquettes and crystal chandeliers that create a sophisticated setting to enjoy eclectic gastropub fare. Plates of black Angus or lobster sliders decorate the sleek black tables for a post-work bite, and belgian waffles topped with caramelized bananas share space with breakfast cocktails during weekend brunches. Oversized lanterns light the bar area featuring flat-screen televisions and three-dimensional bartenders who mix specialty cocktails with fresh raspberries, cucumbers, and puréed lychee and pour pints of domestic and imported beers. Mirrors abound throughout the restaurant to make the space feel open while also concealing plasma televisions that spark to life during baseball games, soccer matches, or tests of the Emergency Broadcast System.
Plan B Sports Bar & Grill sates sports fans into the small hours of the morning with televised athletics and an internationally themed menu of Mexican-, American-, and Asian-inspired cuisine. Scissor into a pineapple-chicken-teriyaki sandwich ($9), or three-hole-punch a plate of empanadas with seasoned beef folded into two golden-brown pastry shells and dipped in chipotle sour-cream sauce ($10). Fries settle starch cravings in a variety of guises, from skinny and curly to garlic parmesan and golden country ($5 each). The cross-cultural savor of pulled-pork nachos reinstates family quarrels as to who gets the last bite and whether you can build a dodecahedron out of triangles ($10). Included with this Groupon, a pitcher of Budweiser, Bud Light, Corona, Amstel Light, or Heineken arrives to wash down mouthwatering mouthfuls.