You'd probably expect to find a few pool tables at a place called Corner Pocket Billiards & Grill. What you might not expect is that the seven high-grade billiards courts beckon to patrons at no cost on Friday and Sunday nights. Thanks to foosball, darts, and 15 flatscreen TVs, as well as two massive projectors, Corner Pocket is an entertainment power house. The pool room fuels nights out with a menu of hearty pub classics, weekly drink specials, and an ever-present selection of 16 frosty draft beers. Bi-weekly karaoke nights drown out the clatter of sunken shots and give patrons an acceptable venue to try out their one-man barbershop quartet.
Cafe 55 cultivates a relaxing atmosphere by cushioning guests in plush white booths and turning the lights low. Towering hookahs filled with fragrant tobacco invite patrons to take a puff of rich flavors such as mango and vanilla before expelling smoke into the air to make swirling patterns or 3D Rorschach tests. Appetizers and drinks, including beer, sangria, and nonalcoholic smoothies, pair with the hookah action.
If you peruse a photo album of Nami's food, it quickly becomes apparent that the staff has a knack for presentation. They lay out a wide range of Japanese food—from sushi to teriyaki chicken—in geometric patterns on plates, with crisscrossing sauces adding color. But it's not just the cuisine that's presented elegantly. Inside the restaurant, wood tables flanked by plush green booths welcome diners. The sushi bar is lit from underneath, like anyone telling a ghost story around a campfire or walking the catwalk of a large sports dome.
Sneak a peak into the pans in the kitchen at Z Bar and Grille, and you'll find a variety of fresh and local ingredients—wild mushrooms, plump littleneck clams, and farm-raised eggs. Inside the oven, you'll find baking focaccia croutons, while atop the fiery wood-grill, you'll spy tenderloin burgers and juicy chicken. Diners await the fruits of the kitchen out in the elegant dining room, clinking cocktails over white-clothed tables.
Hercules Mulligan's combines American traditions with Irish flavor, not unlike the man for whom it was named. The real Hercules Mulligan brought his family to the newly prospering New York City in 1746, eventually becoming a friend of Alexander Hamilton, an intelligence agent for the Revolutionary Army, and a backup singer for musician Joe Cocker. In tribute to Mulligan’s hearty disposition, customers can fill up on dishes such as irish nachos, made with thinly sliced potato chips, cheddar cheese, bacon, and sour cream, or the Hercules sliders—butter-grilled, locally baked rolls topped with housemade meatballs or handcrafted crab cakes.
Mulligan's fearlessness may be best reflected in the restaurant's ghost-chili chicken-wing challenge: participants eat 10 wings or 8 tenders that have been tossed in a sauce made from the ghost pepper, one of the world's hottest peppers. Those who can devour them all in 10 minutes and withstand 5 additional minutes without drinks, blue cheese, bread, or sing-alongs of “Frosty the Snowman” to cool their tongues receive the dish for free, plus a $10 gift card.