With ingredients grown at local farms and in Maranello Restaurant's own garden, Chef Gabriel Glasier brings life to a mixture of traditional, regional, and contemporary Italian recipes drawn from the old world’s tastiest corners. His farm-to-table dishes change seasonally, with weather-appropriate items such as butternut squash ravioli and grilled Scottish salmon with cauliflower spaetzle gracing tables only when the time is right. Gabriel also tops hand-tossed pizza with grilled chicken and fire-roasted tomato sauce and crafts desserts such as a flaming s'more with homemade marshmallow and chocolate cashew butter cream.
To help wash down each hearty helping, mixologists behind Maranello Restaurant's antique 1920s bar whip up signature house cocktails, pull pints of draft beers, and pour reds and whites imported from Italy and made at small, regional California wineries. No matter the date on t he calendar, guests can savor their feasts at the bar, in the main dining room, or inside a covered, heated patio that maintains a constant outdoor vibe with abundant plants and tranquil fountains rather than roaming bears.
Re-imagined in 1999 as a haven for live music, Powerhouse Pub hosts multiple concerts weekly from such sell-out performers as Elvin Bishop, Pablo Cruise, The Drifters, The Coasters, Edwin McCain, Tracy Lawerence, and Little Big Town. As the sound of music wends through the labyrinth of bars and patios, guests dance and drink a variety of uncommon libations fetched from a rolling oak ladder. When the stages die down, the owners turn up the 15 televisions and digital projection screen to capture sports action such as Monday Night Football.
Every inch of Powerhouse Pub is intricately decorated. The walls drip with musical paraphernalia and texture, the fine-grained wood is lit by intricate glass chandeliers suspended above animal- and floral-print carpets. Plush, velvet-topped stools cozy up to every horizontal surface, but leave plenty of room for games of pool and, most importantly, dancing, the only known cure for the starving artist besides money.
Corner Pocket takes its title as a sports bar very seriously. Hooked up to 15 satellite receivers, the nearly 10,000-square-foot bar's 35 flat-screen televisions constantly air games, from baseball and hockey matches to ultimate-fighting bouts. The TVs surround eight balls sinking into the pockets of 16 billiards tables and darts striking the bull’s-eyes of six dartboards. Not to mention balls rolling into goals on a foosball table, pucks gliding along a shuffleboard and gamers competing on Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation consoles.
But amid all its emphasis on sports, Corner Pocket never loses sight of its bar duties. Domestic and imported beers from 14 taps pour into pints, mugs, pitchers, or directly into patron’s mouths. Along with wine, the brews complement Corner Pocket's classic approach to bar food, which includes Angus beef burgers, chili-cheese corn dogs, and housemade potato chips. The bar stays open until 2 a.m. daily, so patrons can celebrate their team’s win until the wee hours or dance the night away to karaoke on Sundays and Thursday or live music on Saturdays.
Streets of London Pub harks back to traditional London pubs with ice-cold pints and ample coverage of rugby and soccer. On the menu of hearty English fare, fries in the witness-protection program call themselves "chips" and lay low under toppings such as gravy, cheese and beans, or cheese and bacon, or pair up with fish in a platter of classic fish 'n' chips. The bangers-and-mash meal allows thick, juicy sausages to snuggle up on a hill of mashed potatoes. Along with food, the pub dishes out events; diners can throw back Guinnesses during weekly pub quizzes, compete for everlasting fame during monthly bingo tournaments, or stop in for Pint Night to enjoy pints on the outdoor patio.
Tommy T's Comedy & Dinner Theatre turns the mic on local and national entertainers as casually dressed patrons sip ice-cold liquids between chortles. Stop by September 8–11 to catch Alonzo Bodden, Last Comic Standing's season-three winner, who has gone on to act in major films and perform nonspeaking roles in animated features. Bodden will take the stage with his “cynically good-natured” brand of storytelling. A monthly calendar chronicles weekly engagements with other comedians and troupes who aim to incite laughter by telling humor jokes or tickling random crowd members. Doors open one hour prior to 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. performances and a half hour before 10 p.m. shows. Seating at Tommy T's is first come, first served, and an extensive menu, although not included in the price of the Groupon, complements the supplied refreshments and rousing guffaws.
La Huaca Restaurant's chefs prepare elegant presentations of Peruvian cuisine in a sleek space outfitted with imaginative decor. Waiters hustle dishes of citrus-infused ceviche made with fresh fish, shrimp, or octopus past shelves of glass jugs filled with rainbow-hued liquid, and carry glasses of Peruvian wine to tables set along a wall of knotted ropes. The pachamanca tres carnes pairs a medley of slow-cooked chicken, beef, and pork with Andean tubers and a Peruvian corn cake, and the lomo saltado seasons pieces of filet mignon with a sauce made from pisco, a South American brandy made with grapes too bold to become mere jelly. The smooth-tasting liqueur also makes its way into the dessert menu and steeps into the rich layers of the tres leches sponge cake.
In 1913, the Sheepherder Bar & Grille’s building on Folsom Boulevard was known as the Citrus Inn, and the hoteliers supplemented their income selling produce in front of the building. A 2006 renovation restored the hotel to glory with beautiful wooden rafters, three grand fireplaces, and solid stone columns, creating a refined, rustic vibe. The food has gotten an upgrade since then, too. Guests can enjoy tender prime rib from Niman Ranch or burgers with Boar's Head bacon, traditional shepherd’s pie, or wild-caught salmon with dill-infused tartar sauce. The double-cut pork chop comes drenched in red wine sauce and apple-cinnamon butter, and the meatloaf sports a coat of house-made Jack Daniels barbecue sauce. Later, head over to the Citrus Bar (named in honor of the original establishment) for an after-dinner drink and staring contest. Guests arriving on Friday nights will find live music wafting through the restaurant, and a happy hour held from 3–7 p.m. invites diners to kick dinner off in style.