Owners Aura Showah and Douglas Waterbury attribute the success of Widow Brown's Cafe, which has been in business for more than 35 years, to culinary consistency, a family-friendly ambiance, and an eclectic menu that has earned the eatery a feature in the News-Times. While two-handing a burger or steaming sandwich, patrons can peruse the chalkboard around the fully stocked bar for a list of weekly events, such as trivia, karaoke, and raucous tax-preparation luaus. Wooden wall panels glow in the light of wall-mounted TVs as forks venture south for American comfort fare or globetrot with Asian-, Irish-, and Italian-inspired dishes. As frozen drinks or draft beers chill boothside, diners can bust billiards at one of the café's pool tables or surf the café's free WiFi for instructional videos on how to correctly execute robot dance moves.
Beach Boy and local resident David Marks considers Tavern on 37 his favorite restaurant in Danbury. It's not hard to see why—the eatery imports sun-ripened Italian tomatoes, and chef and owner Adam Moss crafts each pizza with housemade dough. He tops the dough with fresh ingredients such as pepperoni and olives before placing it inside a wood-fired brick oven, which renders the crust crispy, the cheese gooey, and the sun useless.
Every Tuesday and Friday night, the worn wood of the dance floor at Coyote Maverick is cleared, welcoming line dancers to strut their stuff. If dancers work up an appetite, they can snag a seat at a table and order from a menu of wings, burgers, and slow-smoked barbecue baby-back ribs. On Saturday evenings, live bands or DJs provide a country soundtrack for eaters and drinkers to tap their boots to.
Diners at Legends on Pearl dig into a menu of juicy burgers and fried appetizers as sports coverage buzzes on several large flat-screen TVs. After patrons go to bat with the golden spears of fried pickle ($6), oven-baked bread slices and fearless foam fingers can take a swan dive into the gooey salsa queso of a fondue bowl ($8). The ranch-seasoned cowboy burger ($10) stacks a juicy, half-pound patty with bubbling pepper jack and crispy onion rings, and the Draft Pick cheese panini ($7) gives grilled cheese a facelift with a choice of fillings such as mozzarella and crumbled blue.
Backed by the 60-piece human melody machine of the Johann Strauss Orchestra, conductor and violinist André Rieu enchants audiences with an evening of swooning in seats and dancing in the aisles. A violinist since the age of 5, André radiates his lifelong love of classical music to the audience with celebratory renditions of beloved pieces. As Rieu interacts with the audience, the air fills with kaleidoscopic balloons, lilting tenors and sopranos, and special surprises, which may include a John Philip Sousa séance or an explosion of confetti fired from tubas.
Chef Mark D. Graham crafts menus at taste that showcase culinary techniques honed over more than two decades in the kitchen, including several years working as the sous chef at the Palo Alto Spago under Wolfgang Puck and Michael French. It was time well-spent—his menu presents inventive New American cuisine that led the Times Union to declare the chef's vision as being "bright, creative and precisely tuned...Graham isn't shy about crafting a menu that tempts you to try favorites of his you may have forgotten about or never sampled to begin with." Carnivores can delight in the grilled lamb chops or feast on Heather Ridge Farm chicken wrapped in bacon and the envious stares of nearby diners. Vegetarians also have plenty to celebrate, whether its the polenta with braised fennel and olives praised by the Times Union for being "a truly Mediterranean melange" or roasted acorn squash enhanced by brussels sprouts and king oyster mushrooms.