The owners of First Break Sports Bar & Grill turned a tragic fire into an opportunity. After the loss, they took time to update the space beyond its original condition, and today gleaming granite tops the bar and hardwood floors shine throughout. A typical night sees the latest sports events flickering on 25 HDTVs, while smokers retire to a separate lounge where they can throw darts through the smoke rings they blow. Players send billiard balls cracking at 9-foot Diamond Pro-Am tables, and on Wednesday nights, participants count their chips during Texas Hold 'Em tournaments. But whether they're spectating or playing, diners can fuel up with selections from the bar's menu with sandwiches, wraps, and pasta until 2 a.m.
Since 1984, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with made-from-scratch dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable atmosphere. Amid sunlit dining rooms, diners seated at wooden tabletops can root for their favorite pixels on flat-screen TVs broadcasting live sports. In the kitchen, chefs prepare pastas with grilled chicken and roasted artichokes, pile buns with barbecued pulled pork and spicy buffalo chicken, and fill soft taco shells with grilled steak. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with wine and local craft beers on tap.
Delve into Vinifera's award-winning wine list to plumb the garnet depths, or peruse the menu and try the expert wine-and-food pairings of the sommelier. Executive Chef Bo Palker taps into fresh ingredients, some of which can be traced back to his patio herb planters. Diners can start dining on dinner with a cheese-board appetizer, featuring four specially selected cheeses, toasted Marcona almonds, and Muscat grape marmalade ($12). For the main course, try a pan-roasted sea bass with wild-mushroom risotto and wilted spinach ($30) and teamed with a glass of Whitehaven sauvignon blanc ($11), or enjoy the individually grilled lamb chops with pomegranate sauce, lime risotto, and fig marmalade ($29) with a Red Rock reserve merlot ($9). The celebrated Vinifera paella, with jumbo shrimp, scallops, mussels, free-range chicken, and chorizo ($28) pairs well with Bodegas Julian Chivite’s Gran Fuedo Rosado from Navarra ($9).
Presented by Wolf Trap, an amalgamation of film and live music takes over the scenic, open-air Filene Center, exposing the eyes and ears of thousands of attendees to a memorably magical evening. During Tan Dun: Martial Arts Trilogy, Academy Award–winning composer Tan Dun conducts the National Symphony Orchestra through a series of three concertos and coordinated cheerleading routines based on the films Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Banquet, and Hero. Tan Dun, the original composer of each film's soundtrack, isolates one instrument in each concerto to represent the voice of a main female character. Located in America’s Park for the Performing Arts, the outdoor amphitheater grants audience members views of the musical performance, supplemental film clips, and face-painted superfans singing along in unison to rousing cello solos.
Warm hardwood covers nearly every inch of Backyard Grill Restaurant’s dining room, with flat-screen televisions sparkling like glittering jewels all along the crown molding. Through these pixel-painted windows, diners glimpse sports action and beloved commercials from across the globe, taking in scored goals, touchdowns, and home runs side by side. Several times a week, arena events give way to electronic trivia nights, live music, and karaoke.
A gargantuan menu holds its own amid the onslaught of entertainment. Chefs use the whole United States and several other corners of the world as their pantry, adding Asian sweet chili or Mediterranean olives to seafood, piling North Carolina–style pork atop a barbecue sandwich, tossing andouille sausage into spicy creole jambalaya pasta, and gently waving an American flag over a bacon cheeseburger. The tot-friendly, easily scrubbed interior is capped by a kids' menu that ranges from grilled cheese to steak.
For more than 15 years, the full-time staff at Heart to Heart Introductions has been playing Cupid with a dating database that now holds upward of 24,000 members. Approximately 85% of that romantic melting pot is made up of busy professionals who don't have the time or patience for typical meeting spots, such as bars, coffee shops, or traffic circles. The team creates each member's personal profile based on phone and in-office interviews and then sends them off to other members that match their personality and preferences. When interests are mutually piqued, the staff sets up dates or provides members with each other's digits, using feedback from how the dates go to instruct future matches. When sparks are absent, the process starts over again, with new profiles and pictures sent every two days. The love luminaries help increase the chances of a successful first date by offering tips on proper duds, suitable conversation, and why pretending you invented soccer is bad.