Bar 145 is named for the internal temperature of each of its burger patties, which are cooked to medium-rare perfection?a warm, pink interior, slightly crispy exterior. When the patty's done, the burger-making process has only just begun. Next, the team enhances the meat with a choice of 10 artisanal cheeses and more than 20 toppings, from peach-habanero chutney to roasted duck.
Gourmet burgers are just one of the gastropub's specialties. Another is bourbon, a focus reflected in a drink menu stocked with more than 25 takes on the liquor. The third is live music from a rotating array of live bands, who entertain patrons with guitar riffs and danceable hits.
Owner and executive chef Aaron L. Ruggles char-grills flank steak and tops it with pickled sweet summer peppers and smokes fresh Atlantic salmon on a cedar plank. Succulent wild-caught scallops come pan-roasted with avocado-roasted corn orzo pasta salad and smoked red chili sauce. Moody, romantic lighting surrounds diners as servers ferry plates of pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas to four-top tables alongside house-baked focaccia bread, widely considered to be more delicious than bread baked from dismantled houses. On Wednesday nights, the original Cheap Date Night menu proffer plenty of options for every type of occasion, as do a series of daily specials, such as Monday's $5 burger-and-fries special and Tuesday's retail-wine night. A kids menu is always available.
Chef Chuck Crawford channels his 20 years of culinary experience when crafting his seasonal steak-house cuisine, casting a new spin on classic favorites with his native East Coast flair and southwestern influence. Within the landmark eatery—The Rusty Nail has been serving up juicy steaks since 1967—he tops tender filet mignon with tangy blue-cheese butter, sears flaky seafood fillets, and whips up daily soups.
As guests sidle up to a rustic, octagonal wood bar and dip bread into house-infused oil and butter, bartenders shake up gin martinis and pour global wines and seasonal draft beers. Wait staff bring dishes to tables on the outdoor patio or serves them inside, where a wood-burning fireplace offers a convenient way to thaw cold bodies during Ohio winters. On select nights, The Rusty Nail hosts live entertainment, car and bike cruises, and karaoke.
Sometimes eateries attached to golf courses blend into the background, but the restaurant at The Fairways at Twin Lakes stands on its own two feet. Even if you have no interest in hitting the links, the locally sourced, seasonally changing menu should be enough to warrant a visit. Herb-stuffing-filled filet mignon, pretzel-wasabi-crusted scallops, pasta, and sandwiches are all served at the restaurant.
Stationed across from Kent Free Library, Wild Goats Café tramples hunger with its selection of homemade comfort food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Inside the dining room, wood trim runs along the top of sand- and pistachio-shaded walls, creating a warm atmosphere often filled with the smell of fresh-roasted coffee. Friendly servers pirouette between booths and tables delivering omelets in the morning and sandwiches in the afternoon, such as The Goat—an open-faced fusion of melted cheddar, tangy hummus, and veggies stacked atop pita bread. For dinner, the cooks craft a handful of entrees featuring a variety of enticing ingredients, such as organic chicken breast, house roasted sirloin, and homemade tomato cream sauce. Throughout the week, specials reward diners for their visit, including Buck Buck Brinner Wednesday, when eight menu items cost just a dollar apiece, making it the ideal night to finally take your pet elephant out for dinner.
A railroad-themed eatery in a refurbished train depot where canoes and stagecoaches hang from the ceiling, The Pufferbelly Ltd. serves hearty American fare such as smoked St. Louis?style ribs and reubens made of corned beef or saut?ed grouper. For Sunday brunch, cooks build a sprawling buffet from housemade muffins, eggs benedict, and crispy, made-to-order waffles. As festive as a pi?ata stuffed with birthday cakes, friendly staffers throw seasonal parties galore, from breezy autumn clam bakes to vibrant Mardi Gras fetes.