Founders Restaurant elevates the essentials of traditional Southern cuisine with sophisticated dishes made from fresh, local produce. The dinner menu treats carnivorians with selections such as a Black Angus 16-ounce New York strip steak ($26) and aquaphiles with wild Norwegian salmon roasted in cast iron and accompanied by mashed potatoes, asparagus, and a light herb cream ($25). Pecan-crusted chicken gets dressed up in a fashionable frock of pecans and accessorizes with coriander gravy, turnip greens, and garlic mashed potatoes ($16) before knocking on mouth doors and calling on eligible young taste buds. Garnish your appetite with any of the restaurant’s locally sourced sides ($3.50 each), including Logan Turnpike cheddar grits, sautéed kale with walnuts, and sweet potato hash.
Bench Warmers lures revelers with a sports-centric bar and anchors them in their seats with a mouthwatering menu stocked full of wings, burgers, sandwiches, salads, steaks, and pastas. Under the luminous glow of neon lights and big-game-beaming televisions, patrons can coronate their meal with an order of 10 chicken wings, cloaked in homemade blue-cheese or ranch dressing ($7.99), or accentuate an argument about John Wayne's given name with an appetizer of southwestern egg rolls ($7.99). Corned beef and grilled sauerkraut rest on palanquins of swiss cheese-topped rye bread to form palate-pleasing grilled reuben sandwiches ($7.99), and the lightly seasoned bench steak ($12.99) goes on the offense for a heavy, hunger-hitting lineup of gourmet entrees.
The cooks at City Tap serve up a varied menu of shareable tapas and casual entrees, and the bartenders pour an array of libations. The bruschetta's toasted garlic bread comes topped with tomatoes and fresh basil, and the Dual Major starter lets guests study a sampler of cheese and a sampler of smoker meats and then take home a degree made of cocktail napkins. Signature barbecue sauce slathers the whiskey-pulled-pork sandwich, and fresh veggies top the artisan pizza. To wet the whistle, guest can sip imported beer, wine by the glass, and carefully crafted cocktails or live, local music that plays several nights a week.
The chefs behind Cravings American Bistro please palates and eyes with elegant arrangements of hearty American and seafood fare, escorted to tables atop simple china. Begin a night of lively discussion and synchronized digestion with a choice of six appetizers, including lobster mac 'n' cheese smothered in truffle oil, jumbo broiled crab cakes swimming in sweet-chili aioli, and house-rubbed ribs glazed with a mango barbecue sauce. Seafaring entrees such as the tropical, pan-seared Island grouper and the spicy, fettuccine-laced shrimp Diablo occupy tables with sunken-treasure-finding tips before succumbing to the white noise of chewing. Ravenous carnivores can opt for a 12-ounce new york strip steak—a choice cut of Montana strip loin accented with fingerling potatoes and asparagus stalks that double as stylish stirring sticks for a date's martini.