Chuckster's draws in fun-seekers of all ages with its sprawling haven of outdoor games, activities, and attractions. With 12,000 square feet of emerald carpet darting in between nine streams and ponds and 1,000 tons of boulders, Chuckster's remarkably long mini-golf course challenges putters with water features and inclines. Across the grounds, straining knuckles steer two-seat go-karts around the speedway, swing at fast- or slow-pitched balls at the batting cages, and grip onto colorful holds to ascend the 27-foot climbing wall. Duos can square off in a game of Shoot-N-Shower, a timed free-throw shooting challenge where the player who sinks the fewest freebies gets doused with water and scolded by an omnipotent Reggie Miller. Picnic tables nestled in the cool shade of umbrellas cradle patrons as they rejuvenate with ice cream, frappes, and soft drinks after a day at play.
At its Dover location, The Farm Bar & Grille serves hearty plates of home-style food inside what else but a big red barn. But just as the familiar comfort food gives way to subtle surprises, the barn hides an 80-person outdoor deck, in full view of the Cocheco River. Yet, despite the picturesque vista, the best part about dining amid the fresh air might be the barbecue smell. A mammoth smoker rests just beneath the deck, releasing the aroma of slow-roasted baby-back ribs, fall-off-the-bone chicken, and pulled pork, piled onto platters and sandwiches or wrapped inside quesadillas and burritos.
Across the city, The Farm Bar & Grille pops up again, this time in Manchester. The menu is the same: half-pound burgers, sandwiches stacked atop Virgilio’s Bakery bread delivered fresh daily, and hearty comfort food, such as chicken pot pies and meatloaf dinners, and what NHmagazine.com calls the “Best Pulled Pork." Here, rustic furniture crafted, as NewHampshire.com discovered, from an old barn fills the cozy, red-walled space. A cute chalkboard mural of a moonlit farm hangs behind the bar, where servers offer 20 kinds of draft beer.
At 36 deLux Restaurant, culinary moguls Chef Matt Provencher and Ita Isakov form a powerful duo bent on sourcing the freshest produce, seafood, and meats from local suppliers. Matt graduated from the New England Culinary Institute before honing his skills at eateries all over the country, and Ita heads up Carmel Produce, a distributor of just-plucked produce. Together, they mastermind a menu headlined by salmon and calamari from the raw bar, pecan-crusted pork tenderloin, and sole stuffed with lobster and spinach. Paired with house made breads and desserts, the sizzling dishes make for a hearty meal complemented by potent cocktails and martinis from a recently revamped drink menu.
In a gallery space, the eatery spotlights revolving masterpieces from local artists. Nearby, its private function room sets the stage for making small talk with imaginary friends among up to 35 seated guests or 60 standing party goers.
Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Chef Patrick Ogle crafts a menu of updated American favorites that pair perfectly with World Sports Grille's expansive selection of craft beers, bourbons, whiskies, and single-malt scotches. Burgers start with certified Angus beef, turkey, or chicken breast meat, and can be further customized with the diner's choice of toppings. Other examples of elevated pub fare include a Guinness-braised bratwurst, maple-glazed scallops, and rustic pizzas.
Even diners who aren't hungry can find fun at Worlds Sports Grille, however. The venue broadcasts professional sports games on numerous HD televisions, and fifteen billiards tables invite guests to show off their own competitive skills. A dart room, a shuffleboard area, and occasional live music will also keep the recently revamped space pulsing with energy, much like a snake with his tail caught in an electrical outlet.
Social 24 combines the chic atmosphere of a nightclub with the comfortable feel of a sports bar. More than 30 high-definition televisions beam down from above, showcasing the athletic prowess of the country's finest pitchers, linebackers, point guards, and dancing mascots, while a wall-sized projection screen gives a high-voltage view of pay-per-view sporting events. As guests revel in the adrenaline-fueled competitions on display, they can whet their whistles with one of 16 on-tap beers and feast on braised shortribs, beef tips, barbecue pulled pork, and coconut shrimp. From time to time, the bar also hosts acoustic acts, karaoke, comedians, pianists, and other forms of non-sports entertainment.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
At Fratello’s, a wood-fired brick oven bakes bubbles into pizza dough as chefs sauté shrimp with fresh garlic, butter, and white wine. Aside from serving nine varietals of pizza, the 16,000-square-foot restaurant stays busy cooking up the hearty sandwiches, pasta dishes, and antipasto that fill their menu of casual Italian eats. Connected to the restaurant is an event facility, where Fratello’s caters events such as weddings, holiday parties, and baby’s-first-burp celebrations.