Diners can take a trip around the US, with a glance at the menu at Alton's Kitchen & Cocktails, which borrows heavily from American regional fare. The kitchen stokes dreams of the Old West by gracing tables with lamb shanks from Colorado and salmon from Seattle, each teeming with tales of a life of train-hopping and hitchhiking east. Chunks of shellfish nestle into the New England–style lobster roll, and shrimp simmer in creole barbeque sauce, giving diners a taste of New Orleans.
A curved bar extends from exposed brick walls, which frame shiny dark wood floors. These floors match the tall, bistro-style tables and the high-manteled fireplace, which gleam beneath the light of cascading chandeliers, giving the room a refined, yet cozy feel. Diners can also find seating on an outdoor patio, where they can feel the breeze on their face, a sure sign that the moon is sneaking up behind them to steal their dessert.
Behind the hostess stand, an archaic-looking Japanese painting glows on a sleek black wall. Juxtaposed with chandeliers and black tube lighting around the stand, it echoes the way in which modern and traditional Asian culinary traditions mingle on the menu at Peninsula China Bistro & Sushi Bar. Udon and soba noodles, staples of Eastern cuisine, emerge from steaming pots in the kitchen. Beneath the clouds of billowing warmth, chefs slice scallions and ginger and sprinkle red curry into Thai dishes or the contact lenses of rival chefs.
A floor-to-ceiling fountain murmurs quiet haikus in the dining room, the water passing over rough-hewn stones and into a pool full of lotus flowers. The aquatic sound cuts through the noise of a crackling hibachi grill to hint at the colorful rolls and slices of seafood tucked behind the sushi bar.
At Kobe Hero Japanese Steak and Sushi Bar?s 16 tableside grills, masterful Teppan chefs elicit delighted gasps and occasional shouts of, ?Fore!? as they toss and sear the meat, seafood, or veggies that comprise their signature hibachi dishes. But sizzling plates of shrimp and lobster tail or filet mignon and scallops represent merely a portion of the menu; the other part is occupied by sushi delicately crafted by the deft chefs behind the bar. Much like a theatre professor?s living will, each colorful roll is designed and presented artistically, with selections such as the Poison Spider roll showcasing the oranges and greens of soft-shell crab, spicy crab, masago, lettuce, green onion, and cucumber.
FireWater Restaurant & Bar's spacious, multi-level dining room encompasses many large tables and a bar, but thanks to some smart partitioning and plentiful columns, it all feels pretty private. While the venue suits a casual evening out, the menu contains some artfully plated treats. Snacks include everything from Vietnamese-style chicken wings to pimento dip and mussels in beer broth, and entrees are even more elaborate. Chefs prepare seared-tuna medleys with a green and wax-bean salad, cheesy penne pasta with shrimp, and filet mignon plated snugly with mashed potatoes that soak up excess juiciness.
Galway Hooker and Comedy Zone fuse an authentic Irish pub, hulking portions of tasty homespun cuisine, and a rotating stage of renowned jesters to create a comfortable arena for both comedy and consumption. Sate a laugh-starved belly with one of a bevy of shows, such as Mutzie, a jokester whose website says he’s appeared on Comedy Central and Showtime. Then, dig into chef Steve Jordan's extensive menu of traditional Irish dishes and delectable seafood. Nosh hearty Dublin fries ($7.95) or the Southwestern Kobe burger ($8.95) as beefy soliloquies emanate from the stage, or dig further for poetry in the shepherd's pie ($10.95) or bangers and mash ($11.95).