Phoenix Theatres transports its audiences to exotic lands, forbidden romances, and CGI-animal kingdoms of the 100% digital silver screen. With some films shown in RealD XL 3-D, crowds can immerse themselves even further into the suspended belief of film. Phoenix Theatres' Ensemble offers a rotating selection specialty programs such as plays, operas, and ballets. Concessions provide free refills on sodas and large popcorns, fueling imaginations for sprints toward stories' thrilling or heartwarming resolutions.
You could argue that, as a self-proclaimed gastropub specializing in "burgers, bands, and bourbon," Bar 145 is not quite a cozy bar and not quite an upscale restaurant. Or, you could say that it offers the best of both worlds. The menu appeals to refined and socially responsible palates alike with local produce, cheese from Zingerman's Creamery in Ann Arbor, and all-natural, humanely raised beef from Niman Ranch. The line between fine dining and casual is further blurred when the waiter arrives at your table wearing red Chuck Taylor tennis shoes and holding a build-your-own burger atop, of all things, white china. Even the name Bar 145 is a hybrid: the first portion points to its hefty beer and bourbon reserves, and the 145 refers not to an address or the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a truffle french fry, but to the ideal temperature of a medium-rare burger.
The label-defying hot spot is also known for its live music, tuning up acoustic sets, dueling pianos, and full bands from Ohio and across the country six nights a week. Bar 145's musical roots run as deep as those of its chef, Robby Lucas, who once cooked dinner for Metallica after its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, according to the Toledo City Paper. The space itself leaves plenty of room for air-guitar solos at the 50-seat, oval-shaped bar on the outdoor patio.
Owner Joe Skaff is well aware that Star Bar and Grille is off the beaten path. He doesn't begrudge its hideaway status, however—it lends the venue an air of exclusive mystique and allows for the two criteria he demanded when planning the place: ample parking and an impressive patio. In the spring, diners can embark past a wall of glass to sit outdoors, snacking on inventive flavored-fare. Their tables might host servings of pulled-pork quesadillas, a seared-tuna salad, or the popular surf 'n' turf tacos: grilled shrimp and flank steak in separate tortillas, divided by yellow rice and black beans.
Inside, a parade of televisions and low-hanging lights glint above the sunken bar. The walls behind them sport contemporary art in the form of undulating red panels, matching the lava-like color of the lamps suspended over nearby booths. These illuminate the weekend crowds drawn by DJ Matt Lewis, who reverberates the space with music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Weekdays, on the other hand, schedule a more relaxed scene of solo artists to supply dinner dates with catchy songs and one-man conga line performances. Star Bar’s ambiance is one of vibrant modernity, with inventive meals to match the crisp decor.
More than a few local legends swirl around Dublin cheesemonger Pat Hyland, better known as Paddy Jack. One tale has him traveling more than more than 1,000 miles to retrieve a cow that had been carried off by a tornado?no mean feat when one considers the rarity of tornadoes in Ireland and the fact that the island's only 250 miles from Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay. Another tells of him hiding the recipes to his finest cheeses in a cave beneath Dublin, possibly just below the Temple Bar market where he sold them for 10 years.
Paddy Jack's strives to match Hyland's passion for quality, exemplified by his phrase: ?People can taste the effort you put in.? That effort can be tasted in the establishment's more than 20 stuffed grilled-cheese sandwiches. The Memphis Mac is the chef's favorite, lined as it is with pulled pork and topped with mac and cheese. But the Loco Jack makes it a contest with its splash of special sauce and hidden depths of crushed Doritos. Running throughout all the sandwiches, however, are cheeses that could stand with the best produced by Hyland on Co Laois, his farm in Cuffsboro.
Inside Miss Cue Sports Cafe, guests are greeted with the clatter of pool balls on 22 tables intermingling with the sound of laughter. Between table times, players shore up hand-eye coordination with games of shuffleboard and darts or play shrunken-down versions of sports, such as basketball shootout and foosball.
Sports fans keep one eye on the televisions scattered about the space and the other on the menu of Harry's Hot Dog Hut. The pure vienna beef hot dogs come with innovative toppings such as creamed peas, bacon, baked beans, and a spicy mango chutney made with a house recipe. The full-service bar stands at the ready to concoct libations that wash down dogs better than frosty mugs of mustard.
Like a camera obscura built around a dinner table, Home Slice Pizza stays forever focused on its cuisine. Within the brick-lined establishment’s kitchen, chefs toss and fire large and extra-large thin-crust pizzas topped with ingredients as classic as pepperoni and anchovies or as original as artichoke hearts, seasoned steak, and A1 sauce. Under this flavor ornamentation lies the pizzas’ true foundation: cheese. Blends of mozzarella, feta, ricotta, cheddar, parmesan, and romano provide a solid base for creative ingredient combinations and add a gooey warmth to every bite. Not content to be confined to pizzas alone, cheese also douses orders of pan-baked cheese bread and supports focaccia subs flecked with herbs and stuffed with hot ham, turkey, bacon, and veggies.