Executive chef Sutat Anthachai weaves Eastern influences into classic pub grub at Samuel’s, which scoffs at the Gregorian calendar by serving its dinner menu until midnight 365 days a year. Culinary companions learn important lessons about sharing by carpooling to dinner on a unicycle or divvying up hot and cold tapas, such as blackened scallops ($9) and truffle risotto balls ($7). English-style fish 'n' chips sheathe tender whitefish in a homemade ale batter ($12), and a quartet of fragrant noodle bowls buoy chicken, seafood, beef, and veggies in an aromatic pho broth ($7+). Jumbo party wings ($11) and cheddar-stuffed pretzels ($8) evoke the sports bars Samuel’s so deftly transcends, and 37 widescreen TVs flank a 156-inch jumbotron that allows fans to count every crumb in Mike Ditka’s mustache. Imbibers can admire high-end spirits and robust wines, as beers from Goose Island and Magic Hat pour from 19 foam-flecked taps at Samuel’s quadrangular wooden bar, which anchors a convivial dining area ensconced in exposed brick.
Petra Café’s gustatory gurus transform pita or ciabatta bread into greek gyros and italian sandwiches at lunch. Diners send spinach-pie emissaries, made with phyllo dough, fresh spinach, and piquant feta ($3.50), to stomachs to pave the way for the Santorini lamb salad ($12.99), a vegetable-and-meat combination more satisfying than a genetically engineered hot-dog tree. Ruminators munch on attic classics, such as pitas stuffed with gyros meat ($6.49), falafel ($6.99), or, in a surprising twist, hundreds of miniature trojan horses. Taste buds can travel across the Mediterranean with the sicilian panini—grilled ciabatta bread enveloping pepperoni, genoa salami, and monterey jack and covered in layers of basil pesto and spicy mustard ($8.99).
The two screens of Tower Theaters host an eclectic cast of characters, from the flying superheroes of summer blockbusters to elaborately costumed opera singers. And 3-D technology propels many of them toward the audience with the vivid clarity of digital projection. The dancers and singers appear as part of a monthly opera and ballet series, which showcases stage productions such as Caravaggio or Die Fledermaus in digital HD. But on the first Saturday of every month, film and live performance combine with midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, during which a shadow cast poses in front of the screen to mirror the cult classic's plot and catch Tim Curry when he falls out.
More than 30 LCD televisions and an 8-foot high-definition projector surround Maximum Capacity, where patrons enjoy 19 beers on tap downstairs and groove to the beat of live performances by DJs and cover bands upstairs. The venue’s list of performer’s has earned acclaim from The Valley Advocate, especially for bringing in big-name stars such as Vince Neil of Motley Crue. While taking in show or a Pats game, diners munch on classic pub favorites such as one of eight specialty sandwiches, five types of burgers, and eight signature pizzas.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba.
By following the blueprints found on a sprawling menu of wraps, sandwiches, and pizza, the culinary experts at JP's Restaurant battle flavor shortages against a sports-bar backdrop. The beef stroganoff blends braised beef tips with sautéed mushrooms, sour cream, and a network of penne noodles ($14.99), and the chicken française attacks hunger with a battalion of sautéed mushrooms, an infantry of white-wine lemon sauce, and a division of angel hair pasta commanded by a general of boneless chicken breast ($14.60). Pie-mongers can nibble one of 14 specialty pizzas, such as the large chicken pesto ($14.60), which is smothered in mozzarella-based goodness, while lunchers can open cuisine gates to massage teeth with a Cajun chicken-fajita wrap ($7.99), a burger slathered in hickory sauce ($7.45), or a hot basalt stone.