As seasonal brews flow from taps behind Flanagan’s Restaurant & Pub’s wood-paneled bar, the waitstaff flits past the dining room’s framed artwork and hanging plants to deliver platefuls of Irish and American comfort classics to tables. In this congenial setting, buffalo wings, littleneck steamers, and crocks of french onion soup pave the way for 8-ounce burgers and fresh seafood.
Under the umbrella of The Bowling Proprietors' Association of North Jersey, an eclectic group of alleys work together to fill the region with the thunder of scattering pins. At most of Bowling Proprietors' bowling centers, bowlers keep track of pummeled pins with automatic scoring, and bumpers, which arrive at the call of a button, keep balls on course without filling the gutters with retired VCRs. Snack bars at some locations bolster ravenous bowlers, and game rooms in select centers keep hand-eye coordination in peak condition. Free WiFi is available in some centers so that winners can exercise bragging rights.
Big Shots' massive, three-floored space bombards sports fans with walls covered in flat-screen televisions, ensuring they never miss a kick, toss, or posttouchdown pirouette. While patrons soak up multimedia entertainment from every direction, cooks whip up a menu of classic bar grub, such as specialty pizzas and burgers named after NFL teams, including the brown-gravy-drenched Chicago Bear and the cheddar- and bacon-topped Green Bay Packers. At night, the establishment can transform into an all-out dance party led by live bands and DJs.
You might expect the menu at Oh' Brian's on the Green to be just as casual as its atmosphere—after all, the restaurant is surrounded by a golf course, and sports games regularly broadcast from its many flat-screen TVs. You'd be mistaken, however. Appetizers of oysters rockefeller and osso bucco marrow bones emerge from the kitchen shortly before an array of gourmet entrees such as gnocchi pomodoro, Hudson Valley duck breast, and Sterling Silver filet mignon. Of course, the chefs don't overlook the need for classic game-watching eats, as burgers, sliders, and mac 'n' cheese dishes populate the menu as well. Thursday through Saturday evenings, live music suffuses the space courtesy of local rock bands, acoustic musicians, and pianos dueling over which one is the grandest.
The aroma of Harp-battered fish and fresh-cut potatoes frying in the kitchen mingles with tender filet mignon browning on the grill at Molly Maguire's Irish Pub & Restaurant. Chefs also prepare traditional Irish dishes such as shepherd's pie and corned beef and cabbage. They help diners wash down their bites with sips of Guinness or Smithwick's Irish Ale poured from the full bar into pint glasses or lengthy top hats. The dining area's dark wood panels bedecked with Guinness signs add an Irish ambiance to a traditional pub atmosphere. Twelve high-definition flat-screen TVs broadcast NFL games, and music from karaoke, acoustic sets, and DJs fills the pub on weeknights. Live rock bands take the stage each Friday and Saturday night.
For more than 27 years, the customers of NJ's Tavern & Restaurant have relished its elevated tavern fare. They dunk french dip sandwiches—stuffed with thin sheets of roast beef—into steaming bowls of au jus, or sink their teeth into juicy Monster burgers tamed by the restaurant's special sauce. The kitchen crafts pizzas with seasonal organic vegetables and infuses the crusts with parmesan. On weekends, diners choose from a brunch menu with both sweet and savory options, including pancakes, crème brûlée french toast, and frittatas.