You'll discover all manner of delicious meats tucked into the crunchy bolillo rolls of Ay Caramba!'s tortas, including plump chipotle shrimp, tender pulled beef, and pork that's been braised in Negro Modelo for more than 20 hours. The eatery's chefs whip up more than a dozen varieties of these traditional Mexican street sandwiches, dabbing fresh rolls from a local bakery with refried beans, cilantro butter, and adobo chipotle aioli before piling on the meats and veggies. As chefs whip up tortas, guacamole, and Mexican snacks in the kitchen, bartenders keep busy behind the bar. They blend tequila-infused cocktails with fresh juices such as tart limeade and tangy grapefruit juice, and then add in inspired ingredients such as charred serrano pepper and muddle jalapenos.
A lively crowd of carousers can easily pack into the two-story seating area, which features leather banquettes and rustic wooden tabletops. The walls of the colorful, contemporary space are decorated with strings of colorful lights, vivid paintings, and old black-and-white photographs of mariachis strumming guitars and furtively giving each other bunny ears.
Surf 'n' turf at Opus doesn't mean steak and lobster. Instead, Chef Sean McGaughey pairs braised beef cheek with Atlantic monkfish, arraying them with glazed vegetables and bay-leaf butter in one of the restaurant's artful platings. It's one example of how McGaughey defies expectations at the combined restaurant and wine bar, where he merges French and Old World influences with contemporary American cuisine.
A salad might feature pink grapefruit flavored with black-pepper jam instead of lettuce. Hollandaise might be a foam instead of a sauce. And the burger you get from the menu isn't ground beef, but buffalo. For diners who love surprise so much they're engaged to a jack-in-the-box, the chef also prepares two separate tasting menus—one for omnivores and one for vegetarians. Each course has a suggested wine pairing, featuring sips from destinations such as Austria, France, and Chile. The Sunday brunch menu is likewise international, with soufflé pancakes and waffle BLTs embodying the eternal battle of sweet versus savory.
The cooks at Pete's Patio Bar craft creative versions of traditional pub favorites. There are shrimp po'boy sliders, for instance, and a surf-and-turf burger with grilled shrimp and slaw. At brunch, you can settle the eternal sweet-vs.-savory conundrum with bacon pancake dippers, a trio of deep-fried bacon strips coated in pancake batter.
Local brews and cocktails complement the edibles, all of which can be enjoyed while watching the day’s biggest games on flat-screen TVs throughout the dining area. Other entertainment offerings throughout the week include karaoke, poker tournaments, and live music. When the weather is nice, most of the fun takes place on a roomy patio, where you can also play darts and cornhole, the game where you inspect ears of corn for holes left by aliens.
A sister restaurant to the popular pub-grub and microbrew spot CityGrille, citypub specializes in treating guests to zesty Southwestern cuisine and hulking half-pound burgers. 16 draft beers pair with mac and cheese and beef burritos smothered with special green chili. And just as mouths are sated on this diverse spread, eyes can feast on visual entertainment during nightly events such as trivia, bingo, billiards, and competitive eye-rolling.