A resurrection of Al B. White’s 1939’s vaudeville landmark, the “new” Retro Lounge serves up a menu courtesy of executive chef Nilka Hendricks, best known for her work on season seven of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen. Chef Hendricks' diverse array of palette-pleasing dinner dishes ranges from the grilled rib-eye steak rubbed with jamaican jerk seasoning ($23) to the zesty shrimp and crab enchiladas with saffron rice and a lobster bisque sour cream sauce ($14). At lunch, guests can build their own sandwiches from more than 50 different fillings culled from beasts of the land, sea, air, and soil ($4.25–$5.25), or gobble up a slew of salads ($6–$7.50) or gourmet paninis such as the Brooklyn Avenue, with veggies slathered in goat cheese, olive tapenade, and balsamic-honey ($6.75).
The savory aroma of grilled chicken lingers in the air of Austin Grilled Chicken as chefs marinate birds in juices, herbs, and spices for 48 hours before tossing them on the grill. They cobble together local ingredients into poultry-based dishes such as chicken pot pies and grilled-chicken salads, and sides such as coleslaw, potato salad, and mashed potatoes, which are all made from scratch daily. Diners can sup at an abundance of tabletops scattered about the vibrant pink-and-yellow, casual eatery, or opt for takeout service to feast within the comforts of home or a kiddie pool filled with dipping sauce.
Chef Chris Randell has always had somewhat of a wandering streak. After growing up in Southern California on the North Dakota recipes of his mother and grandmother, he spent two years cooking Mexican food in New York, blending the Lower East Side's traditional Jewish and Spanish cuisines. Later, he and his wife Heather—whom he met while working at a restaurant in San Francisco—decided to distill Chris's culinary passions into one restaurant: the tin-ceilinged Left Coast Kitchen and Cocktails, a "casual gastro-pub," in the chef's own words. Inside the kitchen, Chef Chris crafts a range of high-end pub dishes influenced by recipes from both the East and West Coasts, from mini crab burgers echoing a New England bay to root-beer-glazed pork chops inspired by the Pacific's sugary tides. Nearly 50 craft beers and 80 wines pair with the meals, whose aromas waft among bistro tables, brass ring chandeliers, and art in vibrant colors, surrounded on some nights by the equally eclectic sounds of live musicians.
Kevin Liebov has labored in the kitchens of high-class restaurants throughout New York—from the Enoteca Toscana in Queens to Andiamo in Manhattan. In 1996, Kevin and his father, Charles, opened Nicholas James Bistro, where the chef continues to draw from years of study, experience, and experimentation to craft his inventive menu of contemporary American bistro fare. His cooking techniques eschew heavy creams and vegetables made out of frosting in favor of organic and whole-wheat ingredients.
Outside Liebov's kitchen, towering mirrors reflect the white-clothed tables of his elegant dining room. A bar stretches across the space—just as galaxies named after candy bars stretch across space—where bartenders dole out fine wines and martinis. Throughout the month, the restaurant hosts live music, featuring many local acoustic, jazz, and rock bands.