McFadden's Restaurant & Saloon, which now has locations from coast to coast, first opened its doors just a few blocks from Times Square in New York City in 1977. The founder, Steve McFadden, drew upon his Irish heritage when creating the menu and even incorporated his family's own shepherd’s pie recipe. Diners will also find international pub grub such as burgers, sandwiches, and hand-cut top sirloin to accompany the bar’s full selection of beers and cocktails. The atmosphere gets lively after dark here, as groups cheer on their favorite sports teams, shimmy to DJ-spun music, and perform round-off back-handsprings.
Located inside the Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium, Tiburón serves deep-sea treats with courtside views to a 60,000-gallon shark tank. Tiburón's menu features succulent seafood creations made with sustainably harvested fish. The New Orleans shrimp ($12.95) comes sautéed in Cajun spices in a beer-butter sauce, while the firecracker calamari ($9.50) sizzles in a spicy tomato coulis and roasted-poblano aioli. The East Coast is well represented with rich, creamy lobster bisque simmered with jumbo crab meat ($6 cup, $8.50 bowl). The entree choices are equally aqueous and ambrosial—a grilled Arizona pecan-crusted trout ($20) is served with wild-rice pilaf and seasonal vegetables in a lemon-butter sauce, while the shrimp tortellini ($22) comes with fresh asparagus and a choice of alfredo or marinara sauce. Diners who suffer from acute cases of crustacean commiseration can opt for land-based dishes such as the chef's famous roasted-duck tacos ($12.95) or a steak option ($28–$29) with a choice of sides. Each menu selection is paired with a wine or beverage recommendation.
Surprise Hookah Lounge’s menu of more than 50 shisha flavors ignites olfactory senses with the tastes of sweet fruits and savory chocolate. Designed with relaxation in mind, the lounge lets visitors kick back under plumes of hookah smoke or try their hands at games of pool. Music, movies, and belly dancing serve as weekly entertainment. During karaoke on Tuesdays and Thursdays, singers belt out their favorite tunes or hum along to the constant buzzing sounds in their ears.
Phoenix chef Christopher Gross is something of a local legend, having pulled in a James Beard award for his upscale French cooking. At his eponymous Christophers Restaurant, the star chef plates up dishes like a lobster pot pie or wood oven pizza, topped unexpectedly with duck confit, goat cheese and figs. But even amid the sleek, upscale bistro setting with a glass-encased kitchen, he keeps things fun, peppering the menu with playful bites like an excellent burger that’s topped as you wish. At Crush Lounge, next door, the mood is sexier, with loud music, a busy bar and small plates like roasted rabbit salad or a house smoked salmon “BLT” sandwich, each to be paired with the restaurant’s list of over 50 by-the-glass wine choices. Stick around long enough and chef Gross might emerge from the kitchen himself to check in on your table with a handshake and a smile.
Rambunctious headliner Chris Bennett, a comedian previously featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, will comically congregate with top local comedians for Hidden House's signature Comedy on Tap night, a stand-up show that left the Phoenix New Times "feeling buzzed and re-energized." Nosh on Hidden House's cocktails and snacks that can be delivered from Mexican restaurant Mi-Patio (not included in the Groupon) as Bennett slings his high-energy and sometimes improvisational comedy. Three local acts will warm up the crowd, helping them forget about haunted board meetings of the past week, before Bennett takes the stage. Conveniently located near the light rail, visitors need not worry about operating cars or rocket-powered Vespas after having a couple of libations at the show.