The aromas of Middle Eastern spices and grilled meats waft through the restaurant’s windows and doors, drawing passing noses closer with every outpouring of scent. At Prestige Lounge & Lebanese Cuisine, chefs reproduce authentic Lebanese recipes that draw from both Eastern and Western culinary influences to give diners a taste of the Middle East that lingers on in memories with expressive herbs and sizzling meat dishes. Chefs build their culinary sonatas using only halal meat and prepare yogurts and build on their flavor profiles all in the restaurant’s kitchen, ensuring that each bite is fresh. As live entertainment gets rolling on Friday and Saturday nights, the food gets a worthy competitor for diners’ attention spans. Belly dancers perform on weekends, and other talents, such as Middle Eastern singers and DJs, electrify the dining room with their lively shows.
Besides being a sports-bar and grill, Peabody’s Billiard and Games racks up good times in the triangle of pool tables, dartboards, and foosball. Of course, the 70 TVs and on-premises liquor store don’t hurt either. Periodic all-you-can-drink happy hours and other special events take place every week, offering table athletes of all stripes an arena for friendly competition. Patrons might square off in the weekly beer-pong rally, or pit their psychic skills against each other in the weekly poker tournaments. All the while, the kitchen bustles into the night, preparing late night items using only the freshest ingredients such as the Southern-style fried calamari and Peabody’s signature wings in one of nine sauces.
"In street food, one can find the true spirit and culture of the local people." With this one statement on its website, the Flight Restaurant & Lounge team sums up the impetus for its entire restaurant. At the modern eatery, visitors can celebrate a cross-section of global flavors and culinary traditions that have been passed down through generations by both written recipes and subliminal messaging in top-40 songs. The menu spotlights dishes from around the world, including Cuba, the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Pakistan—each crafted with authentic ingredients such as fried plantains and pickled okra.
The perfume of warming spices permeates the vibrant lounge, which often hosts live music and displays the works of local artists in a gallery section. The gallery, illuminated by overhead spotlights arranged in the shape of an airplane, donates 100% of its proceeds to the artists and charities including Instruments 4 Life, Global Community Outreach, and Advocates for World Health.
A cultural fixture in the islands of the South Pacific, kava is derived from the roots of the Piper methysticum, and is typically consumed at a nakamal, or central village meeting area. Bula Kafe transports these traditions to the shores of the Florida Gulf, filling coconut shells with the cool beverage and serving them at its outdoor commons. Known for its medicinal properties, the kava root is first ground into powder and then steeped in water, resulting in an elixir that helps calm the body and relieve anxiety brought on by a phobia of dry powder. Along with traditional kava beverages, the bamboo-framed hut purveys such hot and cold delights as spiced chai, fruit smoothies, and frozen horchata.
Set amid an all-outdoor bar, Bula Kafe turns up the fans during hot months and warms its barstools with space heaters and tiki torches during the winter. Throughout the entire year, guests enjoy bouts of table tennis and darts, or compete in high-stakes sessions of board games such as Apples to Apples and Battleship as others strum on acoustic guitars, sip silently as they read a book, or surf the internet on free WiFi. Though the listed closing times are midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends, the staff is known for accommodating late revelers with advance notice.
Tryst Gastro Lounge’s chefs draw in diners with their roast duck breast with maple glaze, which helped earn them recognition as one of America's Most Popular High End Restaurants in 2012 on Urbanspoon.com. Behind the full bar, Logan Owens, the Tampa Bay Times’ Ultimate Bartender in 2012, also does his share to lure customers as he crafts specialty cocktails with muddled fresh fruit, herbs, and spirits. Owens infuses a pear lychee-tini with lychee purée and sake or custom blends an off-menu libation dubbed a "Logan Special," which he designs to suit each imbiber's palate. Tufted leather booths inside the black-and-white-wallpapered dining area absorb posteriors while taste buds absorb cocktails. Alternately, the outdoor patio gives guests the chance to raise their glasses up high in a toast to clouds that look like Winston Churchill.
What began in 1990 as the gymnastics and dance company of competitive athlete and Broadway dancer Christopher Harrison has evolved into something of a worldwide phenomenon. AntiGravity NTF's staff members are some of the same athletes and acrobats who soar over audiences with the AntiGravity theater group, and who appear in high-profile celebrity musical acts and Hollywood productions. Current director Daniel Stover's work, for example, was featured in the 2012 movie Step Up Revolution, for which he choreographed a scene in which AntiGravity NTF dancer-athletes vertically scale a wall using bungee cords.
These performers practice and share their knowledge of the aerial arts in an impressive facility, which boasts equipment that is the stuff of sports performers' dreams. It includes a wall-running track suspended 40 feet in midair, which allows athletes to scale the walls, do flips, and easily dust away ceiling cobwebs. The trampoline staircase puts extra pep in climbers' steps, as do custom-enhanced AntiGravity boots that act as jumping stilts and gravity-defying silk hammocks, specialty harnesses, and an aerial cube. In the dance and gymnastics studio, students bounce on competition-style mats and flooring, whereas an outdoor conditioning field helps boot campers get fit, and a pole-dance fitness studio invites people to strut their sultry stuff.