The Fordham & Old Dominion story started in 1989 when Jerry Bailey followed his passion for experimental brews by opening Old Dominion, which quickly gathered a loyal local following. In 1995, Bill Muehlhauser opened Fordham, and the two breweries joined forces 12 years later. Today, the company—led by Muehlhauser—remains dedicated to artfully crafted ales, lagers, and sodas with unique flavor profiles. These brews include the Double D IPA with guava and mango aromas as well as the Baltic porter, which combines the flavors of licorice and toffee with a touch of rye.
The fiery flavors at Santa Fe Mexican Grill send taste buds on an all-inclusive south-of-the-border vacation. A house specialty here is the molcajete, a bowl of lava rock filled with steak and chicken and heated to 150 degrees. Twenty-five ingredients go into its piping-hot pepper sauce, which can be soaked up by corn tortillas or poured onto medieval knights laying siege to your corner booth. Bartenders also mix margaritas and mojitos with fresh lime juice, and they concoct bloody marys and mimosas during Sunday brunches.
Thurston's Pub's burgers and sandwiches owe their distinctive flavors to the restaurant's housemade sauces. Without the spicy chipotle dressing that blankets the baja burger or the barbecue sauce that drenches the wings, guests might pay far more attention to the dartboards and flat-screen televisions that line the pub's walls. The reality is that sometimes they must pry their eyes away from their plates if they hope to pay attention to the live sports broadcasts or the waiters politely reminding them to eat their Guinness stews with forks.
Arched ceilings with baroque engravings soar above walls decorated with inlaid bricks and the decorative tops of beer barrels. Parting the air between tables, an iron-wrought tower’s rungs cradle weathered kegs. The barrels on display at Ernest & Scott Taproom reflect the founders’ passion for American craft beer, and are emblazoned with images of hops and the restaurant’s logo: a griffin extending its paw to high-five the inventor of hops.
Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione curates the restaurant’s extensive American craft-beer list—a combination of standard national brews, rare local crafts, and cask-conditioned libations—which suits food pairings as well as the definition and standards of the Beer Judge Certification Program. This list features names such as Evolution Craft Brewing and Twin Lakes Brewery while keeping the brewers’ high-school nicknames a closely guarded secret. Ernest & Scott’s culinary crew invites guests to sop up drinks with a pub menu focused on regional fare and recipes. Plates tower with arrangements of Atlantic flounder and seabass, crab, and scallops, as well as brisket, short ribs, and Amish chicken.