The Winery at Shale Lake sprawls over 212 acres of verdant terrain, with a 10-acre vineyard producing a menu of eight original wines for enjoyment in an array of charming settings. Spin around the 24-acre lake during a 30-minute bike ride aboard any of the Surrey cycles available for rent, or hike the scenic trail to slowly experience nature and the soothing melodies of Bigfoot quartets. Sip on up to five complimentary varieties of wine in the tasting room, built into the barn for a fine equine view through the picture window, and chow on gastronome goodies, including baked brie with raspberry sauce ($6), or white garlic and sausage pizza ($9). Kick back in the winter loft during colder months, playing pool and swirling sippers such as the Fifth Dimension, a sweet red foch wine, and the Beginners Luck, a semisweet chambourcin (all $4.50 by the glass). Live performers burst into song roughly twice a month, so thirst quenchers can enjoy sweet sounds while tickling their taste buds and their friends' bellies on Saturday evenings.
The Rotten Apple Pub & Grill invites patrons to “eat, drink, and be rotten” with its slate of frothy brews and pub-style bites such as housemade potato chips and fried pickles. Diners tackle half-pound burgers topped with chili or deep-fried jalapeños and pull bottles from ice-filled buckets on a patio beneath a green, pitched roof. Indoors, laughter and live-music licks fill the air as Rotten Apple hosts bands, bingo nights, and William Tell look-alike contests.
When Brian Toska and his daughter Susannah opened Buca Pizza Pub, they had family in mind. In a feature for the Telegraph, Brian explains his theory: "Kids love pizza, and we thought that would be a great way to bring them here.” He concocts an eclectic selection of pied-piper tunes and specialty pizzas to do just that, including the Chicago-style pie with italian beef, onion, and hot and sweet peppers, as well as the pizza greco with spinach, feta, and olive oil. In addition to pizza, servers also transport plates loaded with spaghetti, lasagna, and Italian sandwiches to famished families.
Twin City's Restaurant epitomizes a classic Midwestern restaurant, with local owners, a menu of home-cooked American favorites, and country-style breakfasts served from dawn until dusk. After the morning breakfast crowd dines on pancakes, biscuits, and gravy, a lunch buffet of freshly made specials snakes across the dining room. At dinner, classic American steaks and chops meet with eclectic, internationally inspired entrees that range from Mediterranean–style chicken to burgers.
As mixed drinks and frosty brews get to know each other on Phil's Bar & Grill's weathered wooden bar, the steam of fresh-to-order pub fare scuttles up its vaulted ceiling. The cozy dive seats roughly 75 people, with additional standing room suited for chest bumping after a big play shines down from wall-mounted TVs. Patrons can two-hand hearty sandwiches or sate omelet and gravy longings with a menu of all-day breakfast options. And with live weekend entertainment and daily all-you-can-eat specials, Phil's encourages lingering among all visitors, not just the regular who rents out the janitor's closet as a studio apartment.