Steampunk ornamentation colors Georgian-era furnishings at Downhouse, an ornate hangout where vivid fluorescents melt over evocative murals, progressive artwork, and vintage accents. The creative menu complements the unique interior with house-made crepes and made-to-order demi sandwiches piled with veal tongue, roast beef, and lightly cured salmon. With stomachs sated, patrons can peruse the calendar for any number of live events, from tango dancing on Tuesdays to the disc- and bowtie-spinning talents of a DJ on the weekends.
Silvery tendrils of smoke steeped with notes of mandarin, guava, and 16 other hookah flavors uncurl across La Boheme Lounge, where silverware jingles against plates of Italian-influenced dishes. Under the discerning eye of the owner—a professional music producer—DJs spin chill, ambient, lounge, and house music that serves as a rumbling sonic backdrop on two floors. Groups perch atop velvety, merlot-hued seats around low-topped black tables laden with espresso drinks and cocktails, or migrate to the private party room to admire the aquarium or rescue friends trapped by overly chatty fish.
Têtê-à-Têtê customers sup exotic coffee and tea options alongside gourmet pastries and sandwiches in the bistro’s sleek, art-deco-inspired downstairs cafe. The menu of breakfast variations includes choices such as the portobello and swiss cheese omelette ($6.95), which can be put on a croissant ($5.35), wrap ($6.35), or crepe ($7.95). Replenish nutrients after a serious session of urban wakeboarding with lunch paninis and wraps including the caprese, complete with fresh mozzarella, oven-roasted tomatoes, and fresh basil ($6.75).
Having developed his expertise in Thai gastronomy in Thailand, Colorado, and New York City over the course of more than 20 years, chef Chai Chunton now flaunts his culinary skills in Lotus Thai Restaurant & Bar. Vines of steam rise from time-tested noodle, vegetarian, meat, and seafood dishes, curling toward nostrils with the hot, sour, sweet, and salty notes of the region's cookery. Adorned by a design team from Thailand, the lounge's dining room is laced with leather booths, ornate Eastern flourishes, and antique chopstick sharpeners. Against the sonic backdrop of occasional evening DJ sets, events in a private room launch the sounds of revelry against exposed-brick walls and a collaborative painting by acclaimed artists Pairoj Pichetmetakul and Kittisak Chontong.
It’s hard to miss anything on Twenty3 Supper Club’s menu. The restaurant has actually commissioned menus that light up when you open them, meaning they’re easy to read despite the dark retro-Vegas-nightclub atmosphere and the fact that miner helmets are no longer in vogue. Good thing, too. It would be a shame to overlook, for example, the section on small plates, which includes grilled sand shark in pineapple salsa and shrimp and chorizo on toasted Cuban bread. Order enough of them and the plates can be a meal in themselves, or else they can function as appetizers for the 23-oz. dry-aged rib-eye or the grilled lamb over chickpea hummus and cucumber salsa. After dinner, stick around for a trendy martini at the glowing blue bar and listen to the thumping beats of a live DJ.
Tea-light flames flickering through red glass holders gently illuminate the exposed-brick walls, ochre curtains, and plates full of contemporary American cuisine fashioned with a Mediterranean twist at Red Oak Restaurant. Servers flit about the dimly lit setting or covered patio, which sits under a red canopy surrounded by greenery and wood latticework. At tables they stop to present tapas-style hot and cold plates, which balance grilled shrimp, crisp calamari, or classic Mediterranean hummus and falafel. Chefs in the kitchen prepare substantial entrees, including kebabs threaded with lamb or kofta, as well as lamb chops fresh from the grill. Also in the kitchen, fragrant stews known as tajines simmer oxtail or beef with herbs and spices. As a post-meal treat, brass-trimmed hookahs send thanks to the chef via aromatic smoke signals.