From behind a pair of baby grand pianos, two pianists take audience requests each Friday and Saturday night at The Penguin Dueling Piano Bar, urging the crowd to sing along in a display of musical showmanship. The ivory ticklers hail from all over the country and belt out popular tunes from the past 50 years that they’ve memorized by heart or tattooed on the inside of their eyelids. Onlookers seated at tables around the stage or nestled into plush couches in the lounge sip cocktails, quaff brews, and dive into salty snacks. Although the show runs on Fridays and Saturdays, drinks specials pop up each night and salsa-night Wednesdays promise copious amounts of hip shaking.
Within Anand Indian Restaurant's bustling kitchen, a team of culinary alchemists carefully blends herbs and spices for its diverse range of Indian dishes. The chefs call upon North Indian traditions to craft tandoori plates, where a special clay oven locks seasoned juices inside cuts of meat better than a mime gives directions to the highway. Meanwhile, South Indian recipes forge Uttappam, Indian-style pancakes crowned with chilis and vegetables, and dosa, thin rice crêpes bundled with savory fillings. Meanwhile, more than 20 meatless dishes offer mouthfuls of creamed lentils, house-made cheese cubes, and sweet baby carrots imbued with light spices.
Creating a custom-made wine is a lot more rewarding than producing questionable homemade toothpaste. At Tino Vino Vintners, the 6- to 10-week process begins with you “researching” (tasting) wine varietals to determine what you want yours to taste like. Five tastings will introduce your palate to its options in a round of speed dating for the taste buds. Next, the desired grapes are crushed, pressed, concentrated, and mixed with reverse-osmosis-filtered water, yeast, and other ingredients under the supervision of a winemaker. The winemaker will watch over your mixture’s progress during its two to three weeks of fermentation before stabilizing the wine with an optional clarifying agent and racking (removing sediment). Once your wine has been bottled, you may either pop it open and have a party or stash it away to let it age as gracefully as Burton Gilliam.
A Cincinnati-staple since the early 70's, Uncle Woody's Pub has built a dedicated crew of regulars with its old fashioned bar feel, classic American pub fare, and entertainment-focused atmosphere. The menu tempts guests with half-pound specialty burgers like the BBQ Bearcat or the Ragin' Cajun and guilty-pleasure appetizers such as loaded fries with cheese and bacon, and the full bar boasts daily and weekly specials. Seven flat-screen TVs and a 92-inch projection screen thrill patrons with basketball and football games, and darts and karaoke keep patrons busy on various nights throughout the week while their outside deck accommodates fair-weather revelry.
At Local's Sports Bar & Grill, the food options are numerous and appealing, but it might be the party room that's most appetizing. In that private space, guests who reserve it can lounge back in leather recliners and watch one of five flat-screen TVs. They can even enjoy it catered, as servers can tote in plates of New York strip steak or shallot-encrusted salmon, quite exquisite options at a bar scene. Local ingredients make up a significant amount of the restaurant's culinary roster, and when they're not busy making burgers, the staff celebrates sports by airing NFL Sunday Ticket, ESPN Full Court, and MLB Extra Innings.
As if the big game wasn't reason enough to head to DJ's Sports Tavern, the pub offers game-day specials, such as a beer bucket during Reds games, and daily specials, such as pizza and a pitcher night. Even if patrons aren't there for the specials, they can savor entree after meaty entree. Chefs slather barbecue sauce atop pulled pork, fry pork chops, and assemble the signature Cincy sandwich: thin-sliced prime beef in onions, peppers, mushrooms, and cheese sauce. DJ's pairs these dishes with sides of tater tots and cheese, as well as occasional live music performances.