It's cycled through a couple different names and locations since its inception in 1976 but Dock's Clam Bar & Pasta House has always been owned by the same family. Kim and Trisha, daughters of the original owners, run the restaurant today. During their tenure as managers, they’ve revamped the menu to include homemade desserts and blackboard specials, and oversee chefs who stock the raw bar with half shells full of clams and oysters, heap linguine with shrimp, and stuff ravioli with lobster. Mixologists, meanwhile, rattle cocktail shakers full of spirits and tropical juices, to serve up fresh cocktails and drown out distracting siren calls.
McGinn's offers patrons a cozy respite from the hustle and bustle with a collection of cold brews, comfort foods, and all New York sports on the TVs. Diners-to-be sally through the saloon doors with a good friend or frenemy triplets and belly up to the long wooden bar for the cheese-infused Johnny burger seasoned in secret and topped with bacon. While sipping a fine domestic brew or soft drink, masticators can linger over the complex flavors of a burger with cheese cooked right inside the patty, or enjoy the salty goodness of the accompanying basket of sweet-potato fries or straight-up white-potato fries. Patrons choosing not to disco skate to the pub find plenty of places to stable their cars while they strap their own feed bags on.
Rab's Country Lanes seems to stretch endlessly into the horizon, housing 48 lanes, each with touchscreen computers and 42-inch LCD monitors hanging overhead. Late night cosmic bowling adds dazzling fluorescence to the alleyscape, and automatic bumpers keep the game fair for children and people who just stepped off rollercoasters. In the laser maze, aspiring spies can slither through a web of lasers, attempting to clear the course without tripping the alarm. Gennaro's snack bar refuels indoor athletes with pizza, burgers, and coffee.
With a barbed-wire fence as its backdrop, The Looney Bin Comedy Club, opened just last year, promises its patrons a night of cutting-to-the-core comedy provided by both up-and-coming and veteran stand-up comics. As giant portraits of Eddie Murphy, Dane Cook, and Don Rickles look on, you will exhaust your internal laugh-engine at any show, thanks to the funny-bone fuel of such glee-gas-pumpers as mirthful magic-maker Chipps Cooney, appearing on Saturday, October 30, or punch-line slinger Joseph Anthony, appearing on Saturday, November 6. As your eyes drink in the chill, relaxing vibes of the club's space, each ticket holder's taste buds will drink in two selections from The Looney Bin's bar, featuring adult libations such as Samuel Adams beers, long island iced teas, and Bloody Marys, able to lubricate vocal chords sore from constant chuckling.
With six handcrafted beers on tap and a full menu of delicious pub provisions, J.J. Bitting Brewing Company enrobes taste buds in warm, comfortable flavors. The Blazing Brewhouse wings ($5.95) perk up palates with a tangy zest that earned them the title of Best Hot Wings in Woodbridge by BestHotWings.com. Wrangle the Colorado burger's bison patty into hungry mouths aided by sautéed onions, mushrooms, and sun-dried-tomato pesto mayo ($7.95), or follow the delicate salmon steak's incredible journey through pan-searing and potato-breading before rousing it from snug beds of rice and fresh veggies ($15.95). Like the cool table in a high-school cafeteria, Bitting's homegrown pints ($4.50 each) stay popular with or without delicious food. The Garden State IPA balances appealing bitterness with a floral aroma, and the heavily roasted Black Jack Stout swoops up from cellars to slake any thirst in the house.
At Lucky Dublin, entrees born in Irish and American pubs come together over foam-topped pints of Guinness. Multicultural amalgamations such as irish nachos—fried potatoes with cheese, bacon, jalapeños, and scallions—whet appetites for hearty entrees such as shepherd's pie, bacon cheeseburgers, and Reuben sandwiches served with crispy natural-cut fries. Cocktails and beers, including Yuengling, cultivate a merry atmosphere in Lucky Dublin's dining room, where tall wooden chairs proffer views of sports games on flat-screen TVs. The restaurant further embraces tomfoolery with special events throughout the week, such as Latin DJ nights and "Grown and Sexy Fridays," during which guests are encouraged to don swanky little numbers sewn from their most recent tax returns.
Since taking over the 17 Thomas Street location in 2005, J. O'Neill's Place owners Jennifer O'Neill and Shannon Lalley have overseen a complete facelift of their restaurant. The most recent update transformed the dining area into a bistro-like space, where romantic lighting casts shadows across sleek hardwood floors. More than just a welcoming ambiance, J. O'Neill's fills bellies, too, including with its fresh fish and shrimp during its popular Fish Fry Fridays.