From its picturesque rooftop beer garden with a city-skyline view to its giant projection screen broadcasting soccer matches and its Simpsons trivia night, Berry Park entertains patrons drinking German draft beers and devouring the menu’s upscale comfort cuisine. Indoor picnic tables bear duck-fat fries and veggie burgers blending herbivore-friendly items such as butternut squash and gluten-free quinoa, and tables in the beer garden shelter plates of shepherd’s pie with their blue Hofbrau München umbrellas. Brunch stretches itself across three hours every Saturday and Sunday, and the kitchen is open late on weekends to accommodate night owls and early birds with jet lag.
At Melt, fresh seasonal ingredients tweak traditional American fare to accommodate culinary muses from around the globe. The succinct menu melds comfort foods, such as mac 'n' cheese or burgers shaped like childhood teddy bears, with artfully presented steaks and seafood served at candlelit tables clustered atop sturdy hardwood floors. Painstakingly selected craft beers and wines raise spirits at a softly lit bar where staffers embellish the rims of vivid cocktails with fresh fruits and herbs.
Strains from live DJs and the happy chatter of busy silverware resound off the exposed-brick walls and looping whorls of the wooden bar at People's Republic of Brooklyn. Red tabletops billet platters of seared, fried, or blackened catfish, and plates of free-range chicken don adventurous garnishes such as avocado or the essence of an air kiss. Comfort-fare sides conjure nostalgia among guests perched at the bar, with options including mac 'n' cheese, deviled eggs, and sautéed arugula serving as foundations for a wide range of cocktails.
It's easy to carve out a spot at Margarita Island CI, thanks to its 10,000 square feet of space and 250 seats. Once nestled under an outdoor umbrella or sidled up to the tiki bar, patrons can peruse a menu that features teriyaki-glazed chicken, smokehouse barbecue, and loaded nachos. And as the name implies, margaritas are always flowing, along with other cocktails and specialty drinks from the bar, including a spiked smoothie.
Aside from the comestibles, Margarita Island CI celebrates its Coney Island heritage with beach-themed festivities. On Fridays, fireworks light up the sky and confuse mating lightning bugs, while happy hour is a given on weekday nights. Other events, such as bikini contests and gogo dancing, take the stage sporadically throughout the month.
Boulevard Tavern isn't even a decade old, but it feels well-worn thanks to the historic tavern it calls home. In this restored 80-year old space, wooden booths, wood paneling, and a jumble of books on shelves beside a jukebox lend a homey, comforting vibe that urges visitors to linger. Of course, the menu doesn't hurt either: 12 beers on tap provide a bubbly complement for classic pub dishes such as burgers, hot dogs, paninis, and tater tots. A projection TV regularly displays modern shows and classic films, and a full-size pool table is free to play on Thursdays. But even that might not be enough to keep bar goers from flocking to the rustic brick patio, where heaters ensure the temperature stays comfortable whether it's sunny, chilly, or raining frozen margarita.
Stadium Hookah & Grill features a juxtaposition of pass-times that initially seems surprising, but for those who've experienced it, the combo makes perfect sense. After all, sports bars and hookah lounges both exist to give friends an excuse to sit together for a few hours. At the restaurant, massive sports murals and sports-blasting flat-screens giving fans plenty of fodder for camaraderie while folks enjoy burgers, fries, and wings or a heaping helping of flavored hookah smoke. A centuries-old form of relaxation, hookah pairs swimmingly with a laid-back night of football-watching or referee-jeering. On warmer nights, diners can take the show outside, enjoying beef, fish, or chicken burgers, and sides of hummus or seasoned curly fries.