Equinox Restaurant and Bar’s chefs craft a constantly rotating roster of seafood, steak, and pasta dishes using fresh and seasonal ingredients harvested from the Pacific Northwest. A rainbow of signature cocktails blooms on candlelit tables inside an industrial-looking space, and the dining room’s laid-back vibe spills out onto a landscaped courtyard that welcomes up to 45 diners. The eatery was built from recycled components, and further appeases Mother Earth by employing renewable energy sources to cook dishes instead of forcing diners to do it themselves.
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Question Ambrosia Restaurant & Bar chefs on how their pizzas acquire a rich, smoky flavor, and they'll point you toward the wood-fired oven that burns brightly near the restaurant's main entrance. Inside its superheated walls, pans of crusty crostini, lasagna, and thin-crust pizzas bake at high temperatures that seal in juices and bring out flavor. After checking on pizzas, chefs return to the kitchen, where they fold fresh herbs, premium meats, and fresh seafood into the pastas and regional Italian classics lauded by reporters from Ethos magazine.
Diners at Ambrosia await their meals amid the high ceilings, exposed-brick walls, and rustic accents of a multilevel dining room. Behind an antique wood bar, servers blend specialty cocktails and uncork bottles from the restaurant’s extensive Italian wine list, which was honored with a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. On the first Wednesday of the month, staffers host a wine event in their private tasting room, where guests intent on honing their wine skills can learn about different varietals or practice juggling water balloons filled with fine champagne.
When Honeywood Winery first began in 1933, it wasn't a winery at all, but rather a distillery that produced fruit cordials and brandies. Today, it's one of Oregon’s oldest operating wineries, producing a wide variety of fruit wines and a handful of reds and whites. In all, 50 different housemade wines are available, enough to float a battleship or a houseboat owned by a Rockefeller. And the winery's location in Salem isn't random—its proximity to Willamette Valley grants it easy access to many stalwart vineyards of the area. Visitors can peruse the marketplace for bottles, edibles, and gifts, or head to the tasting room for a complimentary sampling of wines.
Shonna’s menu of hearty pub grub and potable potions pairs perfectly with the lively environment, which include pool tables, Thursday karaoke, and high-definition televisions. Make stomachs soar with a dozen chicken wings ($8.95) before satisfying carnivorous cravings with a classic cheeseburger served with fries ($7.95). Mouths in the mood for triangular shaped cuisine can snack on Shonna’s homespun pizza, available by the slice or pie (starting at $9.95), or test the hyperbolic heroism of super nachos ($8.95). Complement nighttime noshing with a sample from Shonna’s lengthy list of libations, ideal for providing patrons with beverage-inspired boldness needed to take the karaoke stage on Thursdays' Ladies' Nights for heart-warming ventriloquist renditions of “Danny Boy.”
SuperDog's menu is stocked with a variety of chicken, pork, beef, and vegetarian hotdogs with tons of savory toppings and sides. Sink your teeth into one of 19 gourmet sausages and hotdogs (including the eponymous SuperDog, $4.45 each) and nosh on classics such as bratwurst, spicy Italian, Polish sausage, and veggie dogs made by Boca. Fowl up your meal with a SuperBirdDog ($4.45 each), such as the apple chicken sausage and the Italian turkey sausage. Sausages can be topped nine ways, including Coney Island–style (with Tillamook cheddar and chili, add $1) and garden style (with grilled peppers, onions, and mushrooms, add $1). For a full meal, opt for the SuperDeal, which pairs a SuperDog with a bag of chips or cookie and a 21 oz. soda ($6.45). SuperDog also has numerous free condiments to choose from, along with sides including slaw ($3.50), barbecue baked beans ($3.50+), and fresh veggies and salad dressing ($1.25).