The dessert-inspired martini list at Olive or Twist hosts a range of sweet digestifs including the cake-batter cocktail, the tiramisu martini, the chocolate-covered-pretzel martini with a salted rim, and the key-lime-pie martini. In addition to inventive mixes, Olive or Twist hosts a wide selection of craft beers, ensuring guests find the ideal beverage to compliment upscale American fare from the full kitchen. Its range of appetizers and entrees sate any size of appetite, with options such as truffle fries, housemade crab cakes, and filet mignon with peppercorn sauce. While they dine, patrons can feast eyes on the dark-mocha wood accents that lace the bar and lounge areas at Olive or Twist, offsetting the cream-hued plush seats.
Presented by PNC Broadway Across America, Rock Of Ages rallies the thunderous voices of its talented cast to tell an arena-rock love story scored to the most recognizable hits of the ’80s. American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis stars as love-struck singer Drew, who transports theater-goers back to the most hair-conscious decade of the 20th century, where love blossomed to the vibrato of Journey, and cities rose and fell around the lyricism of Jon Bon Jovi. Housed in the Benedum Center, Rock of Ages playfully parodies Sunset Strip rock lore while enthusing audience members with exuberant dance numbers, acid-washed denim, and an acute absence of pocket protectors. Adults will be instantly transported back in time to senior proms and Reaganomics, but children younger than 14 may not understand the historical significance of men’s jewel-encrusted spandex pants, so parental caution should be exercised for younger viewers.
Eclipse Lounge’s exposed brick walls and candle-laden black tables create a warm ambience, luring late-nighters into relaxing and sampling the diverse menu of appetizers, wines, beers, and specialty cocktails. Settle into a zebra-striped chair to sample the hummus and pita ($10) or the assorted cheese-and-fruit plate ($12), while confiding in friends about the travails of the workweek and suspicions about the true intentions of robotic vacuum cleaners. Get a french kiss containing raspberry vodka, pineapple juice, and drop of Chambord ($8), or tingle tongues with a round of champagne martinis ($9). Oenophiles can select wine by the bottle or glass, and beer lovers can choose from domestic or imported varieties.
AVA is an upscale lounge that dishes out nutritious, Mexican-inspired meals in a softly lit atmosphere. To start, dig into a tortilla chips basket, furnished with cups of green salsa and fried beans ($4, $5 with guacamole). Beer-thirst can be slaked with one of five brews on tap, such as the Franziskaner weissbier ($5.75) and Woodchuck amber cider ($4.50), while myriad bottles, specialty drinks, and wine round out the portal to potable potations. For a main course, fill up on health-conscious eats such as the veggie burrito, a mixture of tofu, rice, spinach, and mozzarella encased in a multigrain tortilla ($7). Satisfy a jones for poultry with a nontraditional torta, which piles breaded chicken, mozzarella, a bean spread, avocados, and chipotle sauce on top of toasted bread or a multigrain wrap ($7). To correct the false belief that avocados are vegetables, order a side of guacamole ($3), proving once and for all that they're actually concentrated happiness.
Hookah Bookah wafts the gentle aromas of its tobacco arsenal, allowing patrons to customize their hookahs with various flavors, a number of bowls and hoses, and an appetizing menu of munchables. A single bowl ($9.95) can brim with one of 22 premium, flavored tobaccos, such as mango, jasmine, or honey ($1 for single flavor), or with a heaping of 1 of 14 exotic tobaccos from a list that includes banana split and pomegranate ($3 for single flavor). Lung-powered fog machines can arrive sporting up to three distinct hoses ($4), although Hookah Bookah's policies foster sanitary smoke-ring creation by mandating that no more than three guests may share a multihose hookah and only one person may use a single-hose hookah. Patrons can accessorize their mini-cloud generators with natural coals, ice in the base, or political bumper stickers for additional fees.
Villa Southside attracts diners and dancers alike with its two-floor layout, happy-hour specials on drinks and small plates, and minimalist décor. Chefs craft small-plate dioramas showing crisp fresh-cut fries searching for their reflections in malt vinegar ($4), Villa wings pursued by an angry mob of hot sauces ($8), and lightly breaded calamari ($10) dancing on the edge of a marinara volcano. An extensive drink list includes Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Sam Adams' seasonal selection on draft, and eight wines by the glass. Specialty cocktails include the banana-cream-pie martini, which melds the abandon of drive-by pie-tossing with the elegance of a sippable dessert ($9–$14).