After sliding across the soft leather of a horseshoe-shaped booth or finding a spot on the sunshine-dappled patio, visitors can begin their journey through Incontro’s award-winning Italian dishes and wines. The upscale yet cozy restaurant inhabits the recently restored, 14,000-square-foot historic Brookdale Mill, with a dining room, lounge, billiards room, and private banquet rooms offering multifarious settings for romantic dinners, receptions, or celebratory meals following the end of a grueling pasta strike. Incontro's chefs prepare much more than just pasta, however: they also crisp Napoletana-style pizzas in a wood-fired oven; arrange parmesan-crusted pork tenderloin beside porcini risotto and garlicky spinach; and grill citrus-spiced salmon until the fish’s bathing suit completely burns off.
Rhode Island Billiard Bar & Bistro has kept the polished pool balls clicking seven days a week for more than 100 years, recently returning the tin ceilings and mahogany bars of its billiards room to their full luster. Hone your skills at felt croquet on any of 15 9-foot tables and one 7-foot table ($3.50/hour for members, $5.50 for nonmembers). In between rounds of foosball, pinball, or watching the bocce bomb tournament on 15 TVs, mad gourmands can commingle menu items such as the calamari fritti ($7.99) and chicken fingers ($6.99) into clawed, ink-spraying gullet monsters.
Flat Top Johnny's is a frequent winner of Boston magazine's Best Pool Hall Award for its fleet of 12 tournament-sized tables surrounded by the pitter-patter of pinball machines and dartboards and the foamy lathers of crisp draft beers. The menu of tasty grub includes ciabattas, wraps, sliders, salads, and classic American appetizers. Buffalo tenders come with carrots and celery for blue-cheese dipping ($7), chicken and veggie skewers are glazed in either teriyaki or peanut sauces ($7), and hot pretzels dress themselves in beer mustard or honey mustard ($3). The Greek ciabatta with grilled chicken, feta, roasted red peppers, olives, and olive oil makes a filling hand-steadier for wobbly cues.
Since 1959, rollers have been zipping spherical missiles down Town Hall Lanes' 32 well-kept bowling corridors. Though similar in concept to the more familiar form of 10-pin punishment, duckpin bowling differs in that its frames permit competitors three rolls rather than two. The balls used in the game are also smaller and lack holes for fingers, making them less unwieldy for youngsters or phalange-less manatees. Even well-versed bowlers will have to bisect lanes with preternatural precision and power to scatter the 10 duckpins, as their lightweight structure makes bowling a strike much more difficult. The short, squat shape of the pins adds to the challenge and recalls the days when bowlers improvised their own games using nothing but factory-rejected cola bottles.
You'd probably expect to find a few pool tables at a place called Corner Pocket Billiards & Grill. What you might not expect is that the seven high-grade billiards courts beckon to patrons at no cost on Friday and Sunday nights. Thanks to foosball, darts, and 15 flatscreen TVs, as well as two massive projectors, Corner Pocket is an entertainment power house. The pool room fuels nights out with a menu of hearty pub classics, weekly drink specials, and an ever-present selection of 16 frosty draft beers. Bi-weekly karaoke nights drown out the clatter of sunken shots and give patrons an acceptable venue to try out their one-man barbershop quartet.