The deep swell of rolling balls and a cacophony of falling pins punctuate conversations at the family-friendly Amity Bowl. After retrieving shoes and selecting spherical pin-bashing implements, pairs of guests can assume command of a lacquered lane for 10 frames of relaxed collaboration or energetic competition. Partake in traditionally lit pin-thrashing, or revel in the dim splendor of cosmic bowling, which, like most leisure activities and every incident of smearing toothpaste in a friend's hair, occurs during the weekend. Two frosty cups of bubbly beverages help reinvigorate wearied bowlers during the seventh-frame stretch. As an automated mouth at the lane’s end continues restocking its hourglass-shaped teeth, bowlers may also visit the snack bar to sink their own teeth into classic bowling-alley munchies.
The floor-to-ceiling windows at Wicked Stick Tavern allow in plenty of natural light while displaying expansive views of Pine Valley Golf Course. As diners watch golfers send balls across the green from within pure white and forest green rooms, they can slice into center-cut pork chops stuffed with apples and sausages or twirl fresh strands of linguini around their forks, content with the knowledge that everything on the menu is made in-house from scratch. The restaurant also remains open during the off-season, entertaining guests with a row of flat-screen televisions and live music on some nights.
Since 1974, Viva Zapata’s interior has cloaked diners in rustic comfort, complete with brick walls and wooden beams from a 200-year-old barn. A suit of armor stands guard at the eatery’s entrance, scaring away door-to-door jousters but allowing all others to enter the softly lit dining area bedecked with Mexican tapestries and antiques. Candlelight flickers across wooden tables that support homemade enchiladas, burritos, and marinated steak flanked by grilled peppers and onions. Baskets of complimentary peanuts beckon guests to throw spent shells on the ground as they did in the days before legumes grew naturally in prepackaged canisters, and barrel lamps at the bar illuminate a selection of domestic and imported beers and freshly concocted margaritas.
A combination corner bar and haute cuisine restaurant, Christopher Martin's Restaurant and Pub keeps it local with cheeses from Colchester, ice cream from Milford, beef from Barkhamsted, and beers poured right behind the bar. A neighborhood fixture for more than a quarter century, the eatery's seasonal menus reflect their commitment to freshness and their unflagging creativity. Whether splitting orders of butternut-squash ravioli or creamy goat-cheese medallions in the dining room or clinking glasses of local brews over seafood pot stickers in the pub area, guests get a flavorful taste of New England living.
The vibrant reds and oranges of Gobi Mongolian Grill hint at the heat of a flat-top grill, which releases sizzling arpeggios as food hits the surface. Diners shuffle down a lineup of ingredients, choosing tilapia, beef, noodles, shallots, and snow peas for bowls of stir-fry. A variety of sauces waits to add the earthy sweetness of teriyaki or mongolian barbecue sauce’s warm bite of garlic and ginger. Their spatulas dancing noisily, chefs at the grill use blazing heat to evenly cook bowls of stir-fry or interrogate flammable scarecrows.
A 3,000-square-foot pub-style restaurant with a crunchy sports-bar center, Black Bear Saloon lures revelers with its happening atmosphere and anchors them in place with a classic American menu. An extensive appetizer menu primes jaw muscles for a marathon meal with starters such as deep-fried mac 'n' cheese bites with marinara sauce or calamari tricked out with buffalo sauce and crumbled bleu cheese. Whetted appetites move onto belly-filling entrees such as a full rack of ribs—slow-roasted, grilled, and slathered in barbecue sauce—or beer-battered cod with creamy tartar sauce, french fries, and coleslaw. Diners toast to the recently confirmed existence of The Santa Claus: Deluxe DVD Edition with two hefty mugs of domestic brews such as Miller Lite, Budweiser, or Black Bear Ale.