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.
The Reel's menu of delicious wines and clever martinis tickles taste buds with slurpable sips. Wines are available by the bottle and include Old World and New World whites, reds, and sparklings, from Californian Ravenswood zinfandel ($20) to German RELAX Riesling ($20). Moderate oenophiles can enjoy house wines by the glass ($4 each), including Lindeman's chardonnay. The real belles of the ball, however, are Reel's martinis ($7–$9.95), which range from classic to inventive and pack an alcohol-infused punch to the kisser. Sophisticatedly sip on a judgment-altering dessert, such as the butterscotch martini, chocolate martini, or grown-up chocolate-covered cherry, derived from a strain of hydroponic cherry trees George Washington developed in the White House's basement. Or fulfill the booze pyramid's suggested serving of liquid fruit with a crisp appletini, a tart Cosmo, or a juicy Fuzzy Naveltini.
Elite Lounge offers a snazzy dress-to-impress abode where partyheads sample New York club life without being held up by a cab driver on the way to the Big Apple of Liberty. Featuring a bar slinging a variety of specialty shots, a shimmy-baiting dance floor, and a kitchen whipping up tasty bites from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Elite Lounge soothes ear tongues and taste buds alike. Munch on tasty fare such as crispy hot barbecue wings ($5.99), fried shrimp ($5.50), and jalapeño poppers ($5.99) during Wednesday’s Salsa night, Monday’s Karaoke night, or the nightly nighttime beer-drinking night. Additionally, happy-hour specials ($5 martinis, $2 domestic beers, and $2 well drinks) are offered every day from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. This Groupon is valid with all nightly specials.
Co-owner Chris Jones established Halo Ultra Lounge to bring an intimate, energy-packed nightlife hotspot to the West Omaha scene. From 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. barkeeps pour beer, cocktails, and drink specials and deliver libations straight to tables with accommodating bottle service. As the sun sinks below the horizon, Halo Ultra Lounge transforms into a chic social hub with relaxing booths and couches that drain partiers of stress through reverse-tension osmosis. Wednesday–Friday, DJs imported from both coasts spin live tunes, setting revelers in motion on the dance floor.
In 2008, the bartenders at Vegalou Ultra Bar proved their drink-making prowess by successfully setting off a domino chain that consisted of 672 Jägermeister shots falling into cups of Red Bull—a feat that earned them the world record that year. Today, they fill cocktail shakers with mango pomegranatinis and moscow mules and glasses with 25-ounce domestic draft and imported beers. Near the bar, there’s a permanently installed water screen—a waterfall that has videos projected directly onto its surface.
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.