In the center of Minglewood Tavern's acoustic space, a bar constructed from 180-year-old barn siding rises from the ground, with posts made from the dried trunks and branches of trees holding various drink glasses overhead. Bartenders swipe those glasses to fill orders of one of the 20 beers on tap, which rotate monthly, or to mix up one of their signature cocktails. As cold sips of icy drinks chill gullets, hot entrees such as hearth oven–baked pizzas or bacon-wrapped entrees travel from the kitchen to weathered wooden tabletops, arriving just in time to catch the end of a set from one of the live bands that plays Wednesday through Saturday or a rare glimpse at the one band that plays Wednesday through Saturday.
When the stage and mics stand silent, high-definition and projection-screen TVs pick up the slack, beaming sports games across the retrofitted bar. Each weekday night boasts its own food special, such as Monday's all-you-can-eat ribs and Wednesday's all-you-can-eat sushi.
New movies abound at the locally owned Gloucester Cinema, where three theaters offer an intimate viewing experience of recently released blockbusters, including those shown in 3D. On the weekends, there are usually four or five reels running critically acclaimed and family-friend flicks at both matinee and evening showtimes. The concession stand proffers popcorn and soda, and the ticket booth doles out discounts for seniors, children aged 12 and under, and those forced to sit behind Frankenstein's wife.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a musical comedy based on the 1988 film of the same name starring Steve Martin and "wild and crazy guy" Michael Caine. The stage adaptation follows competing con men Lawrence and Freddy as they scheme and swindle their way through the French Riviera. After failed attempts to team up, the suave Lawrence and the not-as-suave Freddy make a bet on who can steal $50,000 from a young heiress—the winner keeps the cash, and the loser has to leave the Riviera. The show boasts a Tony Award–nominated score by David Yazbek, the songsmith behind the similarly adapted-from-a-movie The Full Monty, as well as a pyramid scheme's worth of laughs from the capable cast.
Though their dishes are plated with an upscale attention to detail, the kitchen staff at The Wild Horse needs little more to prepare them than ingredients sourced from local farms and an open fire pit. Thus is borne the restaurant?s cozy, New American dishes with a dose of international flair. Broiled haddock, Moroccan-spiced rack of lack, and upside-down shepherd's pie pair with a rotating selection of 24 draft beers, which can include regional favorites as well as brews from across the world. From steaks and wild sockeye salmon to signature sandwiches, burgers, and flatbreads, these dishes accommodate meals from late-morning onwards, including late-night bites.
The Wild Horse's spacious and inviting dining area echoes the rustic spirit of its cooking. An open kitchen lies within full view of the wooden tables and horseshoe-shaped booths. Edison bulbs surrounded by wireframe cages hang from the ceiling and cast a gentle glow across the taupe walls and decorative tree branches.
The chefs at Acapulcos Mexican Family Restaurant & Cantina aim to cook authentic Mexican dishes unaltered by any Tex-Mex influence. Their recipes reach back generations within the owners' family and several miles into their underground tortilla vaults. Spanish-speaking servers deliver simple combinations of protein or veggies, topped with vibrant sauces: carne asada steak dressed in green pepper and guacamole, tender pork loin in tomatillo sauce, chicken in chocolate mole. The chefs' adherence to tradition doesn't preclude experimentation. Case in point: the dessert burrito, a lightly fried tortilla wrapped around apple-cinnamon or creamy cheesecake filling.
Both the menu and the decor change slightly from location to location?a painting of Mexico here, a tiled mosaic there. Each one, however, has a full bar where bartenders mix margaritas and flat-screen TVs broadcasting sports overhead.
Kitty O'Sheas Irish Pub maintains an animated atmosphere with nightly entertainment. Every Saturday through Wednesday, live music echoes against the cozy interior's dark hardwoods, spilling out onto the pub's deck on warm nights. Festivities begin at 9:30, a half hour after the kitchen closes for the night and several hours after the sun sinks back into the center of the earth. Before then, however, cooks sizzle up a lineup of traditional Irish pub grub. They fill bread bowls with their signature Guinness beef stew, top shepherd’s pie with hearty mashed potatoes, and assemble five sandwiches, including an Irish reuben. They also prepare a selection of American favorites, such as burgers and a pub platter filled with chicken tenders, potato skins, and buffalo wings.