Friends and revelers cluster in to Fuel Tap & Tavern to watch sports and clink glasses of domestic and imported brews from the taps. Servers in daisy dukes and cowboy boots create their own warmth as they hustle cocktails stirred with liquors such as Pinnacle flavored vodka. Nightly specials and events shake up imbibement routines with game nights featuring beer pong, weekends full of live entertainment, and sports-related ticket specials. Next door, the tavern hosts Truck Daddy’s Back Alley Grill, which slings burgers, sandwiches, and snacks from its ketchup-powered mobile kitchen.
At Absinthe Restaurant and Lounge, a serene atmosphere blends with the passing wafts of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, embracing guests with the alluring airs of sizzling brunch, lunch, and dinner platters. Diners can corral a small plate of hummus ($7) and use the toasted edges of the grilled flatbread to etch confessions of frequently eating with their elbows on the table into creamy tides before devouring the evidence. Highlighted by roasted duck, grilled steak, and chicken platters, main courses ($16+) sate carnivorous cravings, and pasta fusions feature crabmeat-loaded fettuccine ($20) and linguine tossed with clams and glistening ebbs of olive oil ($18). Desserts conclude mastication sessions with selections such as a zeppoli ($7)—a Sicilian-style donut cloaked in wildflower honey and a miniature Armani suit.
The authentic tastes of Key West pounce across palates at Leapin’ Lizard, where an extensive menu of steak and seafood dishes tempers belly squalls amid the sprightly sounds of live entertainment. Patrons vanquish appetites with the slow-roasted queen- and king-cut prime rib (market price) and swathe landlocked taste buds in a deep-sea deluge of oysters on the half shell (market price). Teeth excavate through the jalapeño and cheddar layers of the Smokin' Southwest burger ($7.99) in search of the juicy beef patty at its center, and spoons sink into the spicy andouille sausage, shrimp, and chicken of the Cajun gumbo stew ($10.99). Leapin’ Lizard's full bar balances out the bayou heat with more than 35 varieties of beer—a regional beverage that explorer Juan Ponce de León first sipped at the fizzy golden spring of the Fountain of Youth. The invigorating drinks menu featuring specialty rum runners, such as the Hot Damn Taz, pairs well with weekly events and the plethora of live rock and roll music Tuesday through Sunday.
A sprinkling of mediterranean spices makes its way into many of the dishes at Venicia Cafe & Grill. Chefs toss flavorful handfuls atop filets mignons, hide them inside falafel patties, and allow them to seep inside salmon with a wine-and-lemon marinade. Other staple Mediterranean dishes that leave the kitchen include creamy hummus with gyro, stuffed grape leaves, and spinach pie. After meals, puffs of scented smoke float around hookahs and a disco ball lights up the dance floor as patrons sway their hips, stomp their feet, and toss one another in the air.
The Alliance for the Arts' concerts, exhibitions, and art classes have become a staple for the aesthetically inclined since the institution's founding in 1975. The center’s three art galleries elicit awe with ongoing exhibits, and its educational programs inspire students to express their feelings through painting and drawing. The Alliance’s schedule of events keeps fans of the performing arts intrigued with plentiful music festivals and dance recitals.