When the Bluejays take the court, you can expect to see a sea of bright blue shirts at the Sam & Louie's at the corner of 24th and Cuming in Omaha. The location has been one of Creighton University's homes away from home since it opened in 1994, but its welcoming atmosphere is found at each of the eatery's 24 locations. There, friends and families bond over great conversation and an eclectic mix of casual cuisine from a menu inspired by traditional New York–style pizzerias. Eighteen specialty pizzas are hand tossed into thin-crust pies before being decorated with more than 35 toppings such as creamy alfredo sauce, sliced Italian meatballs, and canadian bacon. In deference to those with special dietary needs, almost all of these specialty pizzas are available in gluten-free pizzas.
In addition to pizzas, cooks also craft their daily-made dough into calzones and strombolis, which ooze with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. The menu culminates in five third-pound Black Angus burgers, Italian hoagies, and eight types of pastas. In addition to hosting guests inside their welcoming pizzerias for both lunch and dinner, the cooks at Sam and Louie's also take their food on the road, offering catering services for events both large and not-so-large.
Each season, the menu of Harvest changes as chefs build hearty, new-American dishes around local, in-season fruits and vegetables. It's all part of the restaurant's farm-to-table philosophy, which includes sourcing the freshest ingredients from places like Plum Creek Farms and Little Red Barn. The Spring menu features such inspired fare as a blackened salmon and pear salad, and tender, pillowy gnocchi tossed with spring veggies. Of course, some dishes never go out of style, so you'll find Harvest's popular chicken salad on the menu year round.
In addition to the fresh, ever-changing cuisine, Harvest boasts a wine list featuring more than 60 varietals, the majority of which are sourced from Napa valley. To take the stress out of meal pairing, Harvest also lists suggested wines under each entree on the menu, but guests are welcome to use the eenie-meenie-miney-mo-method, if they prefer.
The Reel's menu of delicious wines and clever martinis tickles taste buds with slurpable sips. Wines are available by the bottle and include Old World and New World whites, reds, and sparklings, from Californian Ravenswood zinfandel ($20) to German RELAX Riesling ($20). Moderate oenophiles can enjoy house wines by the glass ($4 each), including Lindeman's chardonnay. The real belles of the ball, however, are Reel's martinis ($7–$9.95), which range from classic to inventive and pack an alcohol-infused punch to the kisser. Sophisticatedly sip on a judgment-altering dessert, such as the butterscotch martini, chocolate martini, or grown-up chocolate-covered cherry, derived from a strain of hydroponic cherry trees George Washington developed in the White House's basement. Or fulfill the booze pyramid's suggested serving of liquid fruit with a crisp appletini, a tart Cosmo, or a juicy Fuzzy Naveltini.
The extensive menu at Clancy’s offers filling pub fare for lunch and dinner. Start with an order of chicken wings ($7.99 for 10), available in five levels of spiciness, or opt for a basket of breaded cauliflower ($5.99) and dunk the crispy-fried treat into a creamy cheese sauce. Entrees at the eatery include a bountiful selection of hearty hand-held burgers ($7.49 and up), pizzas (starting at $4.50 for a six-inch individual pizza), and specialty sandwiches. Try the jumbo tenderloin sandwich ($7.99), with a deep-fried pork loin slumbering in a bun bed, or Clancy’s classic corned-beef sandwich ($6.99), sure to evoke memories of long days in the kiting fields of Kilkenny. Plated portions of the beer-battered fish and chips ($9.49) or the classic chicken-fried steak ($7.99) promise to please even the most discerning diner, while a meal-concluding slice of Clancy’s Bailey’s Irish Cream cheesecake ($4.99) offers a stomach-warming conclusion to the meal.
Funny Bone Comedy Club's horseshoe-shaped stage braces itself for an oncoming whirlwind of hilarity delivered by a well-traveled cast of accomplished comics. The wildly expressive Greg Morton (April 25–29) uses his deep voice and malleable face to perform frighteningly accurate impersonations of Star Wars characters and to convey personal observations on various subjects, such as the obvious generation gap. Paul Mecurio (May 2–6), who won an Emmy as a writer for The Daily Show, turns up the volume with his raucous investigation of cultural disparities, fearlessly taking on issues of race and what he perceives as oversensitivity. Meanwhile, the suspender-clad Sandman the Hypnotist (May 23–27) transforms audience volunteers into the stars of the show during his hypnotism routines, which reach their comedic peaks with an impromptu Jerry Springer show and the frightening disappearance of reproductive body parts.
The Lauter Tun's veteran purveyors of bacchanalian beverages curate extensive lists of rare craft beers and classic and contemporary cocktails. Culled from all corners of the globe and the moon, the ever-expanding selection of draft beers currently features 22 different pours. Chilled bottles house the classic Belgian Delirium Tremens, Pilsner Urquell from the Czech Republic, and Canada's La Fin du Monde, among myriad other stouts, wheat beers, porters, and IPAs. The cocktail list stands out with its old-fashioned drinks, such as Pimm's Cups, Gin Rickeys, and Brandy Alexanders, which haven't been seen since Truman took over as the prime minister of Arkansas. These effervescent pints and deftly shaken cocktails ripple in their glasses in time to the live music of local bands and balladeers who grace The Lauter Tun's stage most nights of the week.