Cultural Arts Playhouse has been fostering the development of up-and-coming actors for more than 15 years. At its Musical Theatre and Acting Academy, students from 1st–12th grade hone their on-stage skills by taking classes on singing, acting, and improvisation under the tutelage of an experienced teacher. Kids get to show off these skills in full theatrical productions, with main-stage shows opening up auditions to the entire community so people can see their neighbors' acting chops and dusted-off fake skulls. Cultural Arts Playhouse alumni have found success in New York and throughout the country, appearing in HBO's The Sopranos, and such Broadway productions as Les Miserables and Aladdin.
The chefs at Four Food Studio and Cocktail Salon craft a new seasonal menu every 13 weeks that highlights fresh, local ingredients transformed into imaginative Asian-American fusion fare. Like misguided Battleship game pieces, fangs sink into the Four Style peking duck, half a roasted duck served extra crispy with cucumber, cilantro, and hoisin ($32). Cravings for carnivorous fixes and nostalgia meet their match with the Kobe meatloaf slathered in gravy and accessorized with peas and baby carrots ($21). The winter-squash ravioli brims with toasted pumpkin seeds and crispy bacon chips in a balsamic reduction ($24), and the 48-hour braised short ribs ($35) outshine their daylight-savings-time brethren, which only take 47 hours to prepare.
True to its name, Crossroads marks the intersection of two seemingly dissimilar hangouts: it houses an elegant dining room clad in black linens and yellow wall sconces where pastas, steaks, and seafood are served, as well as a sports bar stocked with pub grub. As Crossroads' famous marinated skirt steak and seafood fra diavolo top plates in the dining room, the bar's 15 TVs—each one baked fresh that day in time for the game—join a jukebox in wooing eyes and ears. Special events include visits from a local medium who tries to connect clients with the afterlife, get-togethers to cheer on the Rangers and Jets, and holiday meals.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Centers reverberate year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters, which allowed the teens who had previously been hand-setting the pins to focus on perfecting their jazz hands for upcoming street rumbles.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. They attempt to knock them down during leagues, club play, and events such as birthday parties and fundraisers.
Between frames, AMF keeps players energized at onsite food zones stocked with wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
As hot and "howling mad" sauces souse The Black Wolf's signature chicken wings, barkeeps stand by, ready to relieve overheated mouths with sips of bottled and draft beers from brewers including Yuengling, Magic Hat, and Guinness. As televisions glow with sports and State of the Union reruns, chefs customize beef, turkey, and veggie burgers with guacamole and caramelized onions, roll up wraps of chicken and flounder, fry pickles, and anticipate guests' hankerings from the extensive menu of pub fare and comfort food.
At Cue Nine, hunger-havers and pool-hall junkies come together to pocket stripes and solids while feasting upon foodstuffs from eclectic lunch, dinner, and late-night menus. Perfect stick-trickery while playing host to the french fry’s better-dressed cousins, the pommes frites, which arrive in capes of grated parmesan and the posh scent of truffle oil ($9). A profusion of leafy alternatives includes the pear-and-walnut salad, a mixed-green landscape dotted with candied nuts and peaceful streams of citrus vinaigrette ($9). A ground-beef patty heaped with caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms forms the eponymous Cue Nine burger ($11), and pork enthusiasts revel in a slab of St. Louis–style ribs, known simply as “The Rack” to frighten away meat-thieving medieval heretics ($20).
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