Part Mexican cantina, part Irish pub, and all cop, Garcia Brogan's blends disparate cultures in both its menu and its decor, which features murals and folk art from Mexico and Ireland. Whether guests want a glass of Irish whiskey or a fine tequila, Garcia Brogan's bartenders keep the drinks flowing, pouring a river of alcohol in which tacos and shepherd's pie bob appetizingly. The restaurant hosts pub trivia nights and live Irish music on the weekends.
A Neapolitan blend of country, classical, and contemporary, The Texas Tenors made a name for themselves in 2009 as top contenders on America's Got Talent, earning their position as the competition’s top finishing vocal group. Turning ear-stalks with their genre-spanning renditions of My Way, Danny Boy, and Unchained Melody, the three offer operatic ear candy, runway-worthy eye candy, and mesquite-flavored nose candy. John Hagen brings the operatic noise, drawing on his tanker-like lungs and national experience to craft a classical sound which gets along with modern lil' doggies. JC Fisher, the romance-tending tenor, belts tunes from twangy country and gospel to show tunes and arias, and seasoned singer/actor Marcus Collins' silky vocal acrobatics add a contemporary edge. With an ongoing world tour, The Texas Tenors are a unique phenom in the making.
If you stumble over a few of the ingredients in Life Alive’s signature Goddess bowl, don’t worry—you’re not the only one. That’s why the restaurant’s website keeps a glossary of its menu’s potentially baffling ingredients and their health benefits. The Ginger Nama Shoyu sauce, for example, may seem outlandish to Americans but “the Champagne of Soy Sauce” shouldn’t be. It’s 100% organic and non-GMO, ages for four years in cedar kegs with less salt than traditional soy sauce, and is completely raw. Ginger adds an extra dose of healing, since it naturally eases digestive issues and nausea, as well as ulcers and inflammation. In this particular dish, the potent sauce flavors a medley of carrots, beets, broccoli, dark greens, tofu, and short-grain brown rice—a nutritional powerhouse all on its own. The Goddess bowl epitomizes Life Alive’s approach to vegan food: it should be organic, whole, and therapeutic, and use ingredients that come from local farms. And, it should meet these requirements without sacrificing flavor or convenience. In addition to nourishing the body, Life Alive believes that cuisine should also benefit the environment and the community. That’s why the restaurant sources its ingredients sustainably, recycles and composts scraps, and uses biodegradable packaging and cleaning materials formulated without chemicals or bacon.
Visions of the Italian coastline flood in through faux archways painted on the walls at Scola’s Restaurant. While waiting for the main meal, guests can nibble on shrimp scampi and eggplant rollotini or settle a bitter arm-wrestling dispute once and for all. The chefs' classic Italian dishes include chicken cacciatore and shrimp piccata. There’s an ample seafood selection, too—steamed lobster, stuffed haddock, and broiled scallops—as well as a few American dishes, including a barbecue steak-tip dinner. Guests can also order up sandwiches such as a fried clam roll or meatball sandwich.
In addition stocking to an international assortment of wine and beer, the bartenders mix up martinis that range from classic cosmopolitans to the Starbucks martini, which combines Starbucks coffee liqueur and Stoli vanilla vodka within a chocolate-rimmed glass.
At Parker House Grille, guests choose their ambiance before they choose their dinner—the cozy, contemporary dining room, or the more casual pub where live music starts at 7:30 p.m. most Friday and Saturday nights. Seafood and steak rule the dinner menu, but there's also a handful of homier dishes, including roasted chicken, hand-rubbed baby-back ribs, and braised yankee pot roast dished with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots. For the lunch-and-pub menu, chefs assemble more than a dozen types of sandwiches, melts, and burgers beside a lineup of lightly-battered seafood options. In preparation for Monday-night trivia battles, patrons can sip martinis and wine as they quiz each other on questions such as, "Where was Elvis Presley born?" and "Soup or salad?"
Combining two romantic gestures doesn't always work—it's hard to write a love letter in chocolate or hug someone while you're kissing their hand. However, Jennifer Dumais consolidates romantic gestures with great success when she bakes up cupcake bouquets that look like flowers in a vase with blooms of icing. She also sculpts and frosts customized cakes for any event, as evidenced by her gallery of edible art. Idiosyncratic cakes that resemble a tool belt or a gathering of jungle animals complement tiered wedding cakes, which can sport spiraling accents and actual flowers.
Jennifer and her staff prep a whole range of homemade confections, from fruit and cream pies to cinnamon chip cookies. Their impressive list of cake flavors covers classic tastes, such as chocolate and old-fashioned lemon, in addition to slices of pumpkin, white chocolate spice, and seasonal passion fruit. All these are available as cupcake flavors as well. Guests can even learn how to bake and decorate their own cupcakes during two-hour parties with optional add-ons such as photographers and goodie bags.