Players plugs gamers into a cavalcade of entertaining diversions while fueling competitive spirits with eats and drinks from a menu of pub mainstays. Satisfy pin-busting urges by bowling on one of 12 sleek lanes ($2–$4.75/game per person; $2.50/shoe rental). Each lane sports a massive flat-screen hovering above pins, helping bowlers catch the game while dominating their own opponents. Decamp to Players’ billiards lounge for lessons on trick shots, geometry, or the mating habits of eight-balls staged atop one of the contemporary pool tables ($8–$10/hr.). Players' bar and dining area basks under warm amber lights punctuated by the blue glow of 25 sports-affixed TV screens. Gab with old colleagues about advancements in office pranks over frothy brews (bottle $3.25–$4; draft $3.50–$4.50), goblets of vino ($5+), or one of 10 burgers ($8.99–$10.99). The under-21 set stays occupied in the 8 Ball Lounge, a youth-friendly hideaway packed with shuffleboard tables and sleek seating.
The hills above Milwaukie bear many secrets, including a turn-of-the-century estate called Amadeus Manor with sloping roofs, heavy wood doors, and stunning views of the Willamette River and Portland skyline. This hidden gem—a three-story stone manor built in 1921—emerges from the bowed limbs of enormous trees and shrubbery, welcoming people inside for a romantic dinner of continental cuisine.
Its menu is culled from European classics, with a focus on the owner's home country, Austria. For the schnitzel Amadeus, the chefs trim pork tenderloin by hand, and for the steak au poivre Madagascar, they paint a grilled new york strip steak in a peppercorn cognac demi glace and pair it with mango chutney. Dinners sweetly conclude with a rotating menu of desserts made in house and a cup of house coffee served with luscious clotted cream.
Guests linger over the meals at tables set with fresh flowers while nearby, a fire roars in a stone hearth. Dusk is particularly enchanting when the setting sun illuminates iron-framed windows and the manor's glittering chandeliers twinkle in the soft pink light.
Taking advantage of the region's specialty in wine production, Topaz HomeStyle Bistro offers an enviable selection of the region's fermented goods, including complimentary wine tastings. The winery on show changes weekly, providing motivation to come back and check out which grapes are impressing the owners during any particular fortnight.
In addition to that focus on wine, the kitchen proudly sends out its chefs' own twists on classic dishes and internationally inspired small plates, which give diners the chance to gather, share food, and feel like they're part of the Topaz family. Executive Chef Adam keeps the menu fresh, taking advantage of the harvestable bounty of wine country to make his signature dishes. Customers can enjoy the tequila-lime chicken quesadilla—stuffed with jalapenos, tomatoes, fire-roasted bell peppers, onions, cilantro, and cheddar-jack cheese—and the three signature slider sandwiches, such as the turkey burger with mixed greens and cranberry aioli, each of which can be shared or purposefully withheld from tablemates.
Barkeeps dispense 21 rotating drafts and pour out more than 500 microbrews and imported beers at Birra Pub, which derives its name from the Italian word for beer. Soups, salads, and hot and cold sandwiches concocted from local ingredients complement each hop- or malt-heavy libation. Amid a colorful interior of neon beer signs, arcade games, and a flat-screen television, the Pub hosts regular beer tastings where customers can win unique prizes, such as cryogenic freezing chambers that keep beers chilled for up to 100 years. In addition to brews in the eatery, visitors can bring home sudsy treats in bottles, cases, or kegs in a variety of brands and sizes.
The chefs at Lucky Bistro cull fresh ingredients to form an extensive menu of Chinese meat, seafood, and vegetarian favorites, including 38 varieties of dim sum. Diners sink into cushy booths or circle around group tables as tabletop hot pots simmer meat and noodles in curries and other flavorful broths. They also sauté fried rice with chicken and salted fish, heat savory porridges to just-right temperatures, and gussy up tofu and eggplant with sampan and other regional spices.
When it comes to food and sports, it's hard to think of an area that Lu's Sports Bar & Lounge doesn't have covered. The night's biggest games and cutest team huddles not only flicker across the bar's massive 82-inch flat-screen, but also its eight 52-inch high-definition TVs. Those, in turn, surround Lu's potpourri of gaming stations: pinball machines, air hockey tables, dartboards, pool tables, and a shuffleboard court to top it all off.
Other gaming opportunities, such as video poker machines, await in Lu's lounge, which is equipped with its very own bar backed by more flat-screens. The main screens here, however, are dedicated to karaoke, which takes place every night.
Both bar and lounge stay open until 2:30 a.m. nightly, and accommodate patrons as they savor the mix of Chinese classics and American comfort food that emerges from Lu's kitchen. The menu mixes eastern dishes such as Szechwan shrimp with western staples including wings served dry or tossed in a choice of four sauces.