Most people don't go to a restaurant to sing. But that's not true at Jolly's American Beer Bar. Here, diners sway and croon at their tables as two pianists at adjacent baby grands animatedly play popular tunes from a range of eras. The dueling pianos, an entertainment form hailing from the 1930s and a fixture at this University City establishment, imbues the space with an ecstatic and raucous energy. The professional ivory ticklers' hands cascade across the keys, covering songs from icons such as Billy Joel, Elvis Presley, and Lady Gaga. In between melodies, the musicians treat the audience to bits of ribald humor and plates of deep-fried quarter notes.
In the midst of the crowd sing-alongs, patrons can sip from a cache of American craft beers from breweries such as Russian River, Dogfish Head, and Rogue or sup on handmade morsels in the form of thai chicken wings or a Carolina–style barbecue pulled-pork sandwich.
Most of the action in Pi Coal Fired’s kitchen centers on the oven. At 900 degrees, it imparts a smoky, charred flavor to everything from the Neapolitan-style pizzas to the chicken wings and calzones. This flavor pairs well with the chefs' sauces and ingredients, from the San Marzano tomato sauce to the fresh mozzarella, romano, and olive oil sprinkled on every pie. The chefs tend to stick to traditional Italian combinations, using spiced sausage, roasted red pepper, and a variety of cheeses to create simple yet satisfying plates. These pies are served along with other classics such as hand-pressed paninis, offering guests a chance to experience the true essence of Europe without roasting baguettes over a burning gondola.
Krocks Grille Pub ushers pub fare toward casual diners gathering for a night out or laid-back meal. The Krocks' menu features hot plates from its arsenal of gut-tickling appetizers and filling entrees. Homemade chicken fingers ($6.95) get mouths warmed up in anticipation of the jaw-stretching honey-barbecue bacon cheeseburger ($8.25) or obstinate hard-c rejecting krab kake sandwich ($7.95).
Not all the cooking at Flinchy's is done in the kitchen. Using the Hot Rock, a volcanic stone heated to a sizzling 500 degrees, diners can sear select cuts of steak and seafood?such as filet mignon or a skewer of jumbo shrimp?right at the table. The chefs take the reins back for the Canadian bison burgers and broiled lobster tails stuffed with crabmeat. Their massive menu focuses on creative riffs on the classics, from tuna-salad sliders to gluten-free pizzas crowned with prosciutto and snow peas.
All of these feasts unfold inside the restaurant's smoke-free dining room or on its Train Wreck Deck, which houses a 360-degree bar that's manned by either a team of bartenders or a single octopus. On Wednesday through Saturday, the glass walls between the bar and dining room retract into the floor as Flinchy's transforms into a live music venue.
Landmark American Tap & Grill aims to live up to its name, providing a dining destination for patrons seeking classic, seasonal American cuisine matched with a rotating selection of craft draughts and bottles. The ever-evolving menu features appetite-slaking classics such as wings, burgers, and ribs, and a unique brunch spread showcases brioche french toast and savory breakfast nachos made with home fries. Bites pair with beers crafted in stateside cities such as Detroit and Grand Rapids, as well as those from overseas locales.
Diners sit at the polished bar or pull up vibrant red chairs to tables, sharing conversations and toasts to toasting amid exposed brick walls. The Landmark also provides a late-night menu to ensure performances aren’t underscored by growling stomachs.
Campbell’s Place is an inviting tavern, with a century-old bar on one side of the long and thin space and four-person booths next to an exposed-brick wall along the other. The menu – a hearty mix of contemporary dishes and popular classics – is written on three mirrors behind the bar, each separated by beautiful carved-wood dividers depicting classical-looking figures. Longtime locals love to chow down on lunchtime menu items like sandwiches and burgers, while an array of comfort food entrées like shepherd’s pie, meatloaf, bacon-wrapped flat iron steak and miso-glazed tilapia make for an evening meal. Campbell’s Place is more than just a neighborhood hangout, too; the old world eatery has been serving up their particular brand of charm in Chestnut Hill for nearly 40 years.