Live music fills the air every night in Sambuca 360's futuristic lounge space, urging hips to sway with strains of everything from acoustic rock to high-energy dance music. The food is equally energetic—chefs craft globally influenced entrees and small plates such as lobster enchiladas in a poblano cream sauce and tempura-fried buca beignets stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto. Mixologists craft more than 30 creative cocktails—many of which are designed with low-calorie diets in mind—at a glowing, saffron-colored bar that touches the stage, allowing revelers to sip an agave-nectar margarita or mango-peach martini between cheered requests for the band to play a favorite tune or play in a favorite guitar tuning.
At Kismet Hookah Lounge, DJs’ beats pound out from the speakers, smoke pours out of hookah pipes, and the bottles of high-end vodka, cognac, and gin make their way from the backroom to tables. The twinkling ceiling lights and colorful hues set a festive tone inside for a night of smoking and socializing. Plush couches invite parties to plop down, pick from a variety of hookah flavors, and watch the vapors curl from their mouths and vanish into whatever dimension all smoke disappears to. Between breaths, customers can chow down grilled steak tacos and order full bottles of Belvedere, Johnny Walker Black, and Hennessy to toast a special occasion.
All-important opening acts include the tableside-prepared guacamole ($12 if not dining on Tuesday or Wednesday), which is freshly sliced, diced, mashed, and smelted before the salivating eyes of feasters, or the classic Nachos Amador con Langosta, topped with lobster, black-bean puree, avocado, jack cheese, roasted-tomato salsa, and jalapeño jelly ($12). Brace your buttons for a mariachi-inspired bursting with one of Trece's main entrees. Options range from the vegetarian-friendly chile relleno vegetariano stuffed with spinach, goat cheese, and pecans ($18) to the hearty 12-ounce New York strip ranchero ($32), a mesquite-grilled cut topped with dark forest mushroom, morita-chile salsa, and chorizo.
Founded in 2010, the Wish Opera mounts productions that speak to contemporary audiences and sport the fashions of Canadian designers, sparing performers the indignity of having to don musty cravats and moth-eaten horse costumes. Rose Marie, an operetta set in the Canadian Rockies, tells the story of a French Canadian girl, an English Canadian miner, and the Mounties and misunderstandings that interfere with the course of true love. The 1,330-seat theatre’s ear-tickling acoustics enable Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart’s music and Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics to keep the plot moving forward and ensure that “When I’m Calling You” stays in the audience’s brainpan for one calendar year.
As a live DJ sends electronic beats skittering through Sushi Axiom's interior, a bartender skewers two lychee fruits for an exotic cocktail garnish. In the midst of the music and the colorful lights, Real Housewives of New York City alumna Kelly Bensimon and others have conducted meet and greets with hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. As the glamorous clientele mingles, chefs deftly slice sashimi and sample culinary traditions from across the world without finding passive-aggressive notes on the United Nations refrigerator. One recent fusion dish is the Asian jalapeño poppers, an appetizer that D magazine writer Jennifer Chininis praised for "the delicate crunch from the tempura, the heat from the sriracha, the coolness of the softened cheese.":