Vista Alegre, an eatery that opened in January 2013, serves up large portions of traditional Peruvian cuisine. Cooks marinate fresh seafood in lime juice to make refreshing ceviche, sauté pans of piquant Peruvian-style spaghetti, and grill rib-eye steaks to taste. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week.
Spotlight Theaters? screens enrapture audiences with first-run movies. In each movie house, digital sounds and visual projections of fresh Hollywood films alight inner emotions of audiences resting in plush, high-backed seats?each outfitted with a coin-operated mustache comb?or thrown directly into the action through 3-D technology. As eyes and ears relish motion-picture pursuits, soda, candy, and bounties of salty, crunchy popcorn emerge from the concession stand to occupy chatty mouths or catapult towards the screen to feed the hungry actors. Front Street?s brand new Spotlight Theater also houses a full-service restaurant and will soon feature themed movie-and-food pairings, such as French cuisine with French films.
Before catching a thrilling blockbuster or whimsical cult classic at Spotlight Theatres, hungry moviegoers drop into Front Street Bistro—the sleek American eatery located in the theater’s lobby. Smartly dressed servers bustle about the cushy booths of the airy space, balancing trays of artisanal flatbreads, sizzling burgers, and Mediterranean-inspired specialties. Behind the bar, mixologists dole out glasses of specialty martinis, muddled cocktails, and drafts of craft beer. After dinner, the theater invites guests to bring drinks or a bottle of wine into the theater to sip on while watching a film.
The chefs at Gio's Restaurant & Lounge cater to virtually every taste with a menu of eclectic international and American cuisine. They craft hearty pizzas with freshly kneaded dough, whole-milk mozzarella, and signature red or white sauces, as well as 24 toppings such as ricotta cheese, bacon, and hot peppers. The cooks spend the rest of the mealtime hand-battering buffalo wings, shaving off slices of gyro meat, and grilling half-pound burger patties over one of the kitchen's many Bunsen burners. Neutral-toned walls and plenty of open space help to create a welcoming ambience in the dining room, while the lounge area's red sofas, flat-screen televisions, and pool table encourage diners to stay for a bit after eating.
In every production, TheaterWorks aims to create a safe space for voices of all kinds in the midst of bustling downtown Hartford. Banners outside its newly restored Pearl Street home base playfully symbolize this mission with a lion bearing a live mouse within its jaws as tenderly as a child carrying a frog that’s probably magic. The company specializes in high-stakes dramas with social implications from playwrights such as Moises Kaufman, Richard Greenberg, and David Mamet.
The Russian Lady's two locations, one in Hartford and one in New Haven, straddle the line between tradition and modernity. In the midst of Victorian wall sconces, orthodox church windows, heavy wooden doors, and neoclassical gilded gratings, guests dance to live music under the glow of neon lights. At both locations, a stone sculpture of Catherine the Great watches over the entrance and checks IDs as revelers peruse an extensive menu of red wines, single-malt scotches, and dozens of variations on a Russian staple: vodka. At the New Haven outpost, small plates from an internationally inspired tapas menu are paired with 40 draft beers, including eight local Connecticut brews.