Blu Tavern's chefs conduct a diverse chorus of Asian, Italian, and Latin American flavors to entertain taste buds with an eclectic dinner menu. Alongside sips of the night’s featured wine, evening feasts commence with savory appetizers such as coconut-curry mussels steeped in a fragrant bath of coconut milk and green curry or smoked sea-salt tuna ceviche served with chickpea relish, sweet potato, and peruvian corn. Hearty menu headliner herb-crusted salmon mignon satisfies stomachs' aching need both for seafood and self-fulfillment. Forks can also dig into main dishes such as pan-roasted bone-in pork chops topped in a balsamic-and-herb glaze and chicken adraki simmered in a spicy yogurt sauce. For dessert, diners can dive into slices of key-lime pie or croissant bread pudding to get the sugar rush required for participation in marathon readings of ancient Etruscan love poetry.
The Southern Professional Hockey League’s champions for the 2006–2007 season, the Cottonmouths face their frozen nemeses with an attack that blends skill, power, and dauntingly good sportsmanship. Witness the graceful warriors’ February 20 cage match against the league’s 2008–2009 champs, the Knoxville Ice Bears, a tilt with the potential for brutal body-checks, high-velocity slap shots, and less-popular penalty-box sulk sessions. Purchasers of today's deal get a lower-level view of the action, just behind the ice-level seats, safe from out-of-control pucks and wild zamboni stampedes.
The turrets of Star Castle climb high above Mall Boulevard, its drawbridge lowered to lead visitors into to a grand hall filled with treasure and adventure. Inside the 28,000-square-foot entertainment stronghold, children glide across a solid-wood skating surface, rolling around to top-40 hits and classic tunes spun by a resident DJ. Coats of arms and archways surround the rink and lead to other fun-filled chambers, including a video arcade where guests can test their skills on games both nostalgic and new and redeem tickets for prizes or sew them into giant ticket sweaters. As if that wasn't enough, the castle also contains a 4,000-square-foot laser-tag arena, where future knights engage in simulated battles beset by black lights and fog, all under the supervision of an arena attendant and any friends or family members who wish to watch from the spectator room.
A place where the whole family can get to gliding across the ice, The Cooler not only hosts frequent open skate sessions, but also offers lessons and leagues for all ages. Hockey leagues separated by age allow even kids younger than seven to participate, while summer hockey camps get kids out of the heat to hone their ice skills during the season's off months. Those who haven't yet learned the how to skate can sign up for beginner classes, open to kids as young as 4 all the way up to adults. Figure skating lessons are also available, instilling US Figure Skating fundamentals for students who hope to compete or throw in a toe loop while they walk the halls at school.
The sound of skate blades scraping to a stop constantly fills the air at The Marietta Ice Center, known as the MIC. Aspiring skaters gain confidence on the ice during learn-to-skate classes that teach basic skills, such as how to glide and how to stop without going into a belly flop. Hockey hopefuls learn similar basics during learn-to-play sessions that prepare them for joining one of the rinks leagues or pickup games during sticktime. Patrons regain their ice legs during public-skate sessions, with rental skates available for those who need them.
Roller skating often evokes images of ‘50s-era teens clad in poodle skirts and the black-and-white makeup that was customary at the time. But at both freshly renovated Sparkles Family Fun Centers, roller-skating proves itself as a 21st-century pastime by incorporating contemporary technology. From a DJ who spins family-friendly beats at both locations to the laser-tag zone and black lights that set the Gwinnett rink aglow, modern-day touches pervade each space. The arcades are stuffed with extra helpings of bells and whistles; skee-ball and electronically scored basketball compete for attention with racing video games that re-create famous auto duels or the 1954 Drake Relays. At nearby multistory indoor playgrounds, kids get back to physical recreation, scurrying across bridges and whipping down slick slides.