As patrons ascend to the 19th floor of the Hyatt at the Bellevue, the Roman numerals that comprise XIX Restaurant's name suddenly make sense. The elevator doors open and present guests with a bird's-eye view of the cityscape through floor-to-ceiling arched picture windows—an impressive prelude to what Gayot hails as "one of the city’s most sophisticated dining experiences." The design firm of Marguerite Rodgers transformed the hotel's historical apex into a space that fuses classic architecture with contemporary accents, dividing the area into three distinct sections. A 19-foot Italian chandelier dangles from the restaurant's massive central dome, and handcrafted strands of pearls form an intricate web around the chandelier and above diners' heads. The café adopts a similar stately feel with its decorative alcoves and long, unbroken booths trailing along the curving walls. The bar area adheres to an entirely different aesthetic altogether, immersing guests in a cozy environment of mahogany and dark leather furnishings while a fireplace crackles in the corner. Each section promises its own dining experience, but the chefs demonstrate a singular focus on subtly refined, bistro-style New American cuisine. Seafood from across the Eastern seaboard takes a starring role, especially in the ivory-tiled raw bar that fills the center of the restaurant area. Servings of oysters and littleneck clams help prime palates before diners settle on a heartier entree from the menu. Wild-mushroom hash and thyme jus complement the savory flavors of a pan-roasted organic chicken breast, and the Black Angus rib-eye steak arrives with a silken purée of vidalia onions and creamy potatoes with a hint of gruyère cheese.
At Bossa Nova, it’s okay to begin a meal with cupcakes. In the baked chicken cupcakes—one of many tapas plates on the menu—mashed potatoes are substituted for frosting, and there’s a garnish of sautéed zucchini. Such innovative recipes are mixed in with a number of classic ones; you can also try fried calamari, spicy tuna tartar wrapped in cucumber, and a bacon, brie, and potato sandwich. These dishes are centered on a communal dining experience, which encourages you to try whatever tapas plate your friend is eating without first pretending to have somehow misplaced your own. In addition to tapas, the kitchen serves up larger entrees such as Spanish chorizo and beef filet.
The restaurant's space is just as eclectic as the cuisine, with a circular bar covered in mosaic tiles acting as the centerpiece. Stop here to order wine and cocktails, and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, guests head to the dance floor during DJ sets. Chandeliers and vibrant artwork surround the tables spread throughout the dining room, and there are nooks embedded into the walls if you want a more intimate setting.
Hard-rock juggernauts Five Finger Death Punch give audiences four for flinching on their Share The Welt tour, a high-octane evening of nail-driving metal and chugging aural concrete. Since bursting onto the scene in 2007 with its gold-selling debut, The Way of the Fist, Five Finger Death Punch has scaled the charts and the musical food chain, gulping its competition like a possessed Takeru Kobayashi. For the tour in support of its latest effort, American Capitalist, the gang enlists an entire posse of heavy hitters. Massachusetts metal mavens All That Remains, fresh from melting soles on the Vans Warped Tour, bludgeon audiences with an arsenal of hits, and hardcore shredders Hatebreed share unkind words as they haze the speed of sound. Adding power-chord crunch to the show, Fort Wayne’s Rains sprinkles audiences with raw and emotional sonic sleet.
Over the last 50 years, The Park Tavern has perfected the convivial trifecta of eating, drinking, and bowling. A menu of gourmet burgers and traditional pub fare mingles with a drink menu of domestic and imported beers and wines for between-frame refueling. On Mondays, the alley fills with high-energy tunes, and bowling balls careen all night during the $5 all-you-can-bowl nights. The Park Tavern rolls out its varied bowling buffets for corporate events, birthday parties, or the anniversary of the end of bowling prohibition during the Nixon administration.
In 1989, Dan Gallagher and Dan Smith joined their respective names and began pursuing one common goal: to bring a contemporary alternative to Berks County's dining scene. The 40-seat eatery was successful in the Dans' hands until 2005, when Bill Woolworth and MD. Monir stopped in for dinner, fell in love with the place, and decided to buy it.
Though much of the space's original charm remains intact, the new owners gussied up the decor with white tablecloths and floral arrangements, and they solicited the help of executive chef Jason Hook to lighten the rotating menu. Jason draws on his experience studying in France and working at The Four Seasons in New York to craft healthful, contemporary French- and Californian-inspired dishes. In every preparation, he highlights the ingredients' natural tastes, often pairing local cuts of meat and poultry with fresh, seasonal ingredients and luxurious flourishes such as truffles or Lamborghini-scented foam.
Hook, Woolworth, and Monir also frequently evaluate their wine selections to ensure that they pair well with the evolving menu, which changes every week. While sipping glasses of red or white, diners can question servers about the building's rich history in the Penn's Common Historic District. Before the restaurant settled into the space, it was inhabited by an old-style soda dive, a prison doctor's home, and a grassland populated with roaming dinosaurs.
• For $20, you get a general-admission lawn ticket (a $29.50 value before fees, or up to a $40 value online, including all ticketing fees). • For $31, you get a ticket for seating in sections 201–202 or 205–206 (a $49.50 value before fees, or up to a $62.50 value online, including all ticketing fees).