Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar's hibachi chefs pull double duty, acting as entertainers in addition to grillmasters. They captivate large groups of diners with whirling knifework, dynamic spatula twirls, and the occasional spout of flame at tableside hibachi grills, flipping hot portions of lobster and chicken directly onto waiting plates. Behind the bamboo-finished bar, the sushi chefs move more slowly as they carefully seal colorful combinations of veggies, seafood, and vinegar-anointed rice within sheets of delicate seaweed. Like a poltergeist beauty pageant, not all of the talent is visible to the eye—the culinary team makes some of the restaurant's most exotic dishes, such as kobe beef sliders and wasabi-crusted filet mignon, behind the closed doors of the kitchen.
Inside the homey neighborhood gathering place, physical competitions such as football light up TV screens as barkeeps pour on-tap domestic, international, and craft favorites. In the kitchen, multitasking chefs sauté shrimp, slow-smoke barbecue St. Louis ribs, and grill bratwursts and new york strips. The upscale grill fare mixes with comfort food classics, such as meatloaf in mushroom gravy, five-cheese paninis, and juicy burgers crowned with premium toppings. Some nights, guests perform their own renditions of classic tunes during karaoke.
For Sean Ulley, the owner Smokehouse Barbecue in Somerville, grilling meats is a family tradition; his father runs his own barbecue joint in Andover. To infuse ribs, brisket, and pulled pork with deep flavor, Sean seasons the cuts with a dry rub and smoke them for up to 17 hours—as deliciously described in the Somerville Today. The cooks also make good use of their fryer, deep-frying everything from corn on the cob to Oreos. Patrons can also opt for fried chicken, burgers, or Creole dishes such as the Louisiana Steampot—a medley of clams, mussels, crawfish, and shrimp served over rice and garnished with a strand of sautéed Mardi Gras beads. In the summer and spring, diners can head to an outdoor patio to eat in the warmth of the sun.
When most people hear "fondue," they think of a warm pot of cheese. While that might be the most popular variety of the dish, Melting Pot also specializes in less well-known fondues. A simmering pot of broth in the center of the table can cook nuggets of meat or vegetables that diners hold there, a method of eating that's very conducive to dinner-table conversation and sharing. The chefs at Melting Pot have adapted these techniques to ingredients from around the world, filling their kitchen with everything from lobster tails and curry to ravioli and teriyaki glazes.
Cooks at Hansel n’ Griddle grill half-pound Angus burgers with swiss cheese and mushrooms and stir pots of housemade soups each day. To accompany American entrees, the cooks also blend fresh-fruit smoothies made with whey protein and real fat-free yogurt.
Its location across the street from the Middlesex County Courthouse flavors the atmosphere at Mike's Courtside Sports Bar & Grill, which blends judicial trappings such as wall-mounted gavels with sports memorabilia autographed by local athletes including Derek Jeter. The servers' T-shirts proclaim, "You've been served" as waiters and waitresses sling plates of rib-eye burgers, 12-inch personal pizzas, and other satisfying comfort grub. Two bars—one on each floor—serve up six rotating draft beers and more than 30 bottled brews as sports fans watch games on 1 of 13 MLB-package-equipped HDTVs. Mike's Courtside Sports Bar & Grill also features year-round outdoor seating and hosts Friday and Saturday night performances by live DJs and holograms of dead DJs.