Froth-topped glasses of house-made beer welcome patrons to Rock Bottom Brewery, where chefs prolong the flavor fun with creative American dishes made from scratch. To pique the interest of coy appetites, kitchen artists toss firecracker shrimp in sweet thai chili sauce and pair ale-brushed giant ballpark pretzels with spicy spinach-cheese dip. Stomachs ready for main fare can request a plate of short rib, braised overnight and dished with white-cheddar mashed potatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, pearl onions, and mushroom sauce. Half a roasted hunter’s chicken lounges in a wild mushroom and tomato demi-glace, and the creole jambalaya’s jumbo shrimp parades into mouths atop a float of andouille sausage, roasted chicken, tomato sauce, and white rice. The pizza selection sends toppings to tables via flatbread rafts, and Bourbonzola burgers bombard mouths with a combination of Jim Beam glaze, creamy gorgonzola cheese, and crisp onion straws—the same mixture that Kentucky gentlemen use as shaving cream.
The 1.5–2-hour event, which starts at 7 p.m. on a Friday of your choosing, takes place in the wine-tasting room. Set in a French Country House, the tastery features Nebraska vintages from sweet to dry, beer, food, and a wine troll. While sipping sips at the special after-hours event, you'll learn wine lessons from the vineyard's owner's daughter, who is studying to be a sommelier. The unintimidating course includes tips on how to rate, taste, and judge a wine, so you'll leave with the ability to determine if a wine has oaky undertones or hints of tire iron.
Bob Curttright knew that wine tasted better when it's enjoyed in a scenic setting. That's why he set out on a search for the perfect setting before opening his winery, Whiskey Run Creek. He found the setting he dreamed of in a century-old barn owned by Julius Bergmann and moved the historic structure?which was built from oak and walnut beams without a single nail?more than 18 miles to a creekside property.
Now owned by Ron and Sherry Heskett, they fill visitors' glasses with wine made from Nebraska-grown ingredients. In addition to varietals, such as Chambourcin and Edelweiss, their winery produces seasonal fruit wines made with apples and cherries from local farms. Guests can relax with their wine on an expansive deck or explore renovated brick caves built in 1866.
The Jaipur?s kitchen originally opened its doors back in 1992, and since then it?s finely tuned a vast menu of Northern Indian cuisine. To boot, since 1999, it?s also presented a selection of American fusion dishes. In the deep-purple dining room, rendered beautiful by sprawling murals, the staff serves the chef?s specials. This specialty selection of fusion plates includes indian crab cakes in a yogurt and sour-cream sauce, as well as grilled lamb sirloin cooked with a flavorful spice rub and served with roasted-tomato chutney. The in-house brewery crafts a variety of beers to complement the cuisine, including jalape?o ale, an IPA, and a nut-brown ale. Additionally, The Jaipur offers 23 wines by the glass and more than 180 wines by the bottle, enough bottles of wine to make the Sahara a fruity swimming pool.
Corkscrews plunge deep into the necks of Nosh Wine Lounge’s cache of bottles, opening with a pop to reveal more than 80 aromatic varietals from California, New Zealand, Italy, France, and other vineyards the world over. Diners can sip these elixirs in small flights or by the glass or commit to full bottles, or kiddie pools. The wines accompany a menu of gourmet snacks, including truffle fries, flatbreads, steak sliders, and bruschetta. Specialty cocktails, such as cosmos with sweet-potato vodka or Tom Collins shaken with cucumbers, offer a refreshing alternative to wine. The lounge hosts special events such as charity events, private parties, wine tastings, and Live Music Wednesdays, which invite guests to recline in curved leather armchairs or gather around granite-topped bar tables as local musicians perform.
The light from 10 plasma-screen televisions illuminates the autographed NBA jerseys covering the walls of Blue Jay Bar and Grill. A spacious outdoor deck juts out into the summer air, overlooking a bustling volleyball court and the Creighton University campus, as servers dole out five different Nebraska-brewed beers from a tap. A menu of pizza, wings, and libations sustains patrons as they flit from one room or activity to the next, clutching pints or buckling down to feast on two-for-one burgers.