At Rudi’s Bar and Grill, it's easy to lose track of time when faced with the eatery's combination of sports, beer, and finger-licking grub. Ten TVs encircle the bar, surrounding the place in the sights and sounds of the season’s sports, from basketball or football to competitive snowball fighting. Hungry customers can thwart their stomach’s growls with a menu of classic American bar fare. Appetizers such as fried mac and cheese, spinach dip, and sliders precede traditional and boneless wings, black-and-blue cheeseburgers, and pulled-pork sandwiches. On weekends, live music permeates the crowd, which grows throughout the night thanks to a lack of cover charges.
There's always something going on at Village Idiot Pub, where drink specials abound and live music takes the stage each weekend. A menu of pub grub tempts diners with starters such as lobster wontons and mac 'n' cheese wedges, along with beefy burgers topped with bacon and jalapeños. For finger-licking eats, the pub also prepares chicken wings in 11 sauces, from trademark buffalo to the super-spicy atomic.
Castello di Borghese Vineyard & Winery cultivates its grapes in Long Island soil, but its culture can be traced back to ancient Italy. In addition to Italian-inspired and wine-centric events, owners Marco and Ann Marie Borghese use old-fashioned growing and fermentation techniques to create their red and white wines. A fruity pinot noir and crisp sauvignon blanc are among their most popular varietals, but they also produce cabernet franc, meritage, and chardonnay. These wines—and the care that goes into them—have earned praise and awards from the New York Wine & Food Classic and the New York Times.
At Richie B's Diamond Club, an amiable sports-bar atmosphere presents eight large-screen televisions proudly broadcasting events such as football. On weekends, live music and comedy shows entertain as patrons dine on burgers, wraps, wings, and appetizers. Balls scatter across the blue felt of two pool tables as a jukebox plays on.
O’Reilly’s flame-wielders dish up an eclectic menu of traditional Irish-pub fare amid fetching period décor and games fit for the whole family. Imbue taste buds with the savory flavors of a twice-baked shrimp potato ($7.48) before unbridling a gallant fleet of forks upon a legion of irish-sausage links straddled with mashed potatoes and sautéed onions ($14.98). Or invoke the Earl of Sandwich without donning a fluffernutter-encrusted crown by perusing O’Reilly’s selection of handheld eats, which includes the succulent short-rib grilled-cheese sandwich slathered in horseradish sauce ($10.48) and the Bookmaker—a robust layering of filet mignon, sautéed onions, and mushrooms ($13.48). Homemade by O’Reilly’s crack chefs, the strawberry-rhubarb cobbler robes itself with regal dollops of whipped and sweetened Jameson butter ($4.98).
Swathed in muted earth tones, the interior of Common House Kitchen & Bar is chic but low-key. That's good, because it keeps the focus on the food: an all-day menu of classy and contemporary American cuisine. Signature items include crab cakes spiked with lump crabmeat over a red pepper aioli, and colorful beet sliders served with goat cheese and tender greens. Located inside the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel, Common House is also open for breakfast. Then, chefs plate up classics such as eggs benedict or new dishes with a creative twist?such as corn-flake encrusted French toast with bananas and strawberries.