The culinary faculty behind Manhattan’s captivates diners with dense lunch and dinner menus inspired by the sights and meals of New York City. Rouse dormant appetites with an order of Times Square overstuffed mushrooms, sizzling caps packed with crab and salmon ($10), or the Maumee Bay, a grilled asparagus salad sprinkled with blue cheese and pine nuts under a strawberry-vanilla vinaigrette ($10). Metropolitan bellies find fulfillment in a plate of the tortellini di sausage, tossed with sweet peppers and tomato sauce ($16), or a New York 12-ounce certified angus strip, grilled and topped with a red-wine compound butter ($23).
PJ's and Gracie's join forces on a nightly basis to saturate Southeastern Michigan with rotating genres of live and recorded music. Travel between the establishments without paying double cover, enjoying Gracie's eclectic mix of acts and PJ's spacious dance floor. Depending on the night, you may swing to a big band, sway to a rock group, or juggle the rave ball to the sounds of a DJ. Check the website for upcoming ear enticers. With your bucket of beers, you can raise a glass to a gleeful guitar solo or toast to a toe-tapping tympani roll. Scoop up this side deal for a cover-charge-less jaunt through two of Ann Arbor's most aurally aware bars.
Vegas-style drag shows. DJ-helmed dance parties. At Stilettos, there is no such thing as a dull moment—the hot spot has been entertaining the Detroit metropolitan area, particularly the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, for almost two decades. On any given day, performers take the stage to incite revelry, backed by a host of drink specials, making the nightclub an ideal locale for bachelorette parties and birthdays. Both female and male impersonators strut their stuff, showcasing their best Cher, Reba McEntire, or Michael Jackson performance. Bands such as singer-songwriter duo Mama's Black Sheep croon blues-tinged tunes, and DJs pump infectious hits to move the crowds without periodically pulling the fire alarm.
Though well versed in whipping up hearty salads and gourmet pizzas, the true culinary calling of iBurger Lounge’s chefs lies in the art of burger creation. As chefs man the sizzling grills and chop cheese into thick, meltable slices, savory wafts of halal-certified beef patties and sautéed wild mushrooms drift from the kitchen to greet patrons eagerly awaiting their meals in the window-lined dining room. Daring to depart from the burger’s traditional beefy nature, the staff delights in assembling atypical bun-ensconced noshes, from a burger forged from crab cakes to a vegetarian iteration that replaces the patty with a portobello mushroom. In the warmer months, an alfresco eating area beckons guests outside for open-air munching, protecting them from the elements with snowy white umbrellas who aren't afraid to punch the wind.
Nested in downtown's historic Kresge Building, The Red Grape Lounge fetes Motown history and soul with retro décor, choice tunes, and a savory menu. A roster appetizers encourages bellies to warm up their digestive chops as fingers nab crisp sweet-potato fries or couples synchronize chews with six fiery jalapeño poppers. Teeth tear into succulent entrees, from 9 ounces of marinated rib-eye steak to one of four burgers to fried catfish on a bed of greens. Meanwhile, a bottle of wine from Red Grape's curated list accompanies quartets and inspires conversations about renaming a child "Chardonnay", with eight varieties from Australia, including Lineman's Bin medium-bodied '99 pinot noir that lingers on the tongue with aromas of red berry.