Classic Italian dishes—including chicken parmigiano and gnocchi bolognese—highlight the eclectic menu at Joia Fabulous Pizza & Martini Bar. Chefs make fresh pizza dough daily, which are hand-tossed, rolled out, and then baked in a brick oven. Pizzas are topped with traditional toppings as well as exotic ingredients like Portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, black olives, and eggplant.
The main dining room is adorned with a black tin-plated ceiling, exposed brick walls, and eclectic Italian-themed artwork, including noodles coiled around a giant fork. Purple velvet walls and burgundy banquettes are found in the private dining room. Painted clouds span the inset ceiling above the eatery’s bar, and spotlights illuminate red- and gold-printed curtains that flank oversized windows.
The crowd noise and referee whistles of a football game aren’t complete without some other sounds. At Buckets Tavern & Tap, a full roster of domestic and craft beers click together in cheers. Eight-ounce Angus burgers sizzle on a grill, and five styles of wings crackle in a fryer. While bartenders sling drafts and bottles from Budweiser, Blue Moon, Magic Hat, and Dogfish, televisions with a wide range of channels broadcast games played by Florida teams and any team whose mascot is a family of sleepy baby raccoons. Bowls of buffalo shrimp and jalapeño poppers clatter onto tables, alongside baskets of clams with fries and slaw, burgers, and chili.
Stucco walls and Spanish tiles line the former hotel that houses Ciro's Speakeasy & Supper Club, swathing guests in the exotic aesthetic of the early 1920s. Inside, festivities unfold in private suites enveloped in beaded curtains and candlelight. Groups gather around nesting tables to nibble on savory snacks such as cheese fondue, lobster bisque, and black-truffle popcorn, all while drinking in the sultry jazz of Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. For the entree course, chef de cuisine Mary Paff sears diver scallops in succulent juices and crusts racks of lamb with crunchy cashews. Layered between belgian waffles and topped with bacon, orange zest, and Valrhona chocolate, her hand-spun Newcastle-ale ice cream sates cravings for sweet, tart, and salty.
Cameron Parker founded Orlando Pub Crawl, LLC in 2005 to organize the bar-going experience into a convivial group event. The company's primary mission is organizing trips for up to 1,000 revelers at a time, styled after themes and occasions including the Kentucky Derby, '80s Nights, and Cinco de Mayo. Partiers hop from bar to bar, enjoying complimentary drinks, admission, and other specials as they mingle and socialize amid festivities, games, and libations. The pub-crawl team can also tailor private crawls for groups of 100 or more, allowing companies, organizations, and poker-playing dogs to journey to bars in organized packs. But not all the company's events are drinking-themed: there are also madcap challenges such as The Amazing Mind Race, which sends teams scattering across cities to solve clues and discover checkpoints.
Under the spotlight, the uproarious T.K. Kirkland keeps cracked-up crowds in stitches during a show that combines laughter, music, and poetry, with proceeds benefiting breast-cancer research. Reprising crowd-pleasing material from Are There Any Questions?, T.K. Kirkland quizzes audiences on such universal subjects as relationships, self-esteem, and who does their dental work. The comic’s placid demeanor juxtaposed with his sharp and outrageous humor has won him spots on P. Diddy’s Bad Boyz of Comedy, the movie Comedy After Dark, and HBO’s Def Comedy Jams. Comedian-cum-host L.C. steers audiences through the evening, which also features live music and poetry to soothe inflamed funny bones. A special package for Groupon holders bundles goodies such as two souvenir glasses and a photo with the comic, who will also pose for brief still-life paintings.
Produced by the Davis Islands Chamber of Commerce, the second annual Bluz & BBQ event sates senses with live music and barbecue from local vendors, contributing to the fundraising effort for the revitalization of the historic Roy Jenkins Pool, a Davis Islands landmark. Like any good roast-beef market, the currency at Bluz & BBQ comes in the form of Little Piggie Bucks, which are valid for a number of menu items including Yuengling drafts ($3), Cigar City Brewery drafts ($4), and barbecue plates ($6–$12). Event attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and a picnic blanket that doubles as a giant handkerchief to the event, ensuring comfort and cleanliness during six live blues performances from musicians such as Damon Fowler, a roots-rock virtuoso and Florida native.