Southwedge Colony's classic pub cuisine quiets grumbling stomachs with a distinctive selection of freshly fired sandwiches. Furnish vacant table space with the loaded french fries, smothered with cheddar cheese, jalapeños, and bacon ($7.25). Or prove your love for hamburgers in a way that naming your first child, Hamburger, never could by adopting a black-bean burger, topped with crispy lettuce, succulent tomato, and zesty onion ($6.50). Meanwhile, the Colony Plate arrives with two 1/3-pound Angus beef patties stacked over macaroni salad, a choice of fries or tater tots, and slathering of meat sauce and chopped onions ($9.95).
In Solera, owner John Fanning creates an accessible and inviting wine bar with knowledgeable staff, a wide selection of fine local and imported wines, and gourmet nibbles. Visitors can sip a glass of 2007 Mendoza chardonnay from Argentina ($6) or 2007 Jeanne Marie California merlot ($6) while grazing on an artisan-cheese board with three imported cheeses, sliced apples, baguette, and honey-drizzled apricots ($10). A bottle of French Domaine Dupeuble beaujolais from France ($28) or Indian Chenin blanc ($28) pairs well with both promising or tedious first dates, and effervescent conversation finds its match in a bottle of sparkling Australian shiraz ($32). Suds seekers can nab an Ithaca pale ale, Brooklyn lager, or Victory prima pilsner, among other brews ($4 each), while sampling an olive-oil flight with sliced baguette and sea salt ($7).
Pinch hunger in the sciatic nerve with the colorful menu at Open Face, boasting sandwiches of all shapes, sizes, and astrological signs. Try the Open Face sandwich ($9.95)—freshly roasted beef or turkey topped with the soup of the day, parmesan wafer, and French-fried onions over toasted wheat, sourdough, rye, or mixed greens for grain-haters—or quell cravings for cured cuisine with the Genoa salami sandwich ($8.25), with roasted red pepper and mixed greens, topped with a parmesan wafer and drizzles of olive oil on a baguette. Venn diagram–doters can opt for a sandwich tasting ($8.50), which provides two sandwich halves (additional $0.50 for Open Face sandwich half), offering selecting sandwichers the best of multiple breaded worlds. All sandwiches are served with ginger carrots, baguette chips, or a simple salad. For dry-mouthed diners and cotton-mouthed culinarians, Open Face offers a distinctive bottled beverage selection that includes the joy of a cool, bottled Moxie ($1.85). A selection of fresh-baked sweets and treats are prepared and priced daily.
Hedonist Artisan Chocolates specializes in handcrafting a wide variety of sweet delights, hewn from French chocolate and all-natural ingredients. Saunter in to the shop while clad in a wide apron for gathering truffles, which run the gamut from five goat-cheese truffles ($12) of black currant, chile cinnamon, and more, to 10 classic truffles ($20), flavored in hints of espresso, hazelnut, and white mint. The goat-cheese truffles are made with goat cheese from the local Lively Run Goat Dairy. A relaxing cup of lavender-and-lemongrass drinking chocolate ($6.50 for a two-ounce packet), mingled with vanilla and white chocolate, melts Jack Frost's cold heart on a snowy summer's day, while the pistachio ginger bark ($10 for a five-ounce bag), semi-sweet chocolate shards sprinkled with salt, tingles the tongue with an offbeat mouthful of deliciousness. Silence the moans of your sweet tooth with the treats of Hedonist Artisan Chocolates.
At The Beale, the rhythmic riffs of live-blues music float alongside aromatic scents of pit-smoked barbecue. To launch meals, diners can review or translate the café’s menu into Pig Latin before reeling in the Cajun-battered crawfish ($7.99) that populate platters of mudbugs. The half-pound Santa Fe burger totes a redolent cargo of monterey jack and peppers ($8.99), while slow-smoked pork ($13.99) and blackened delmonico steak ($18.99) step out from behind a grill’s billows. Apple-cider-glazed chicken breast comes with a sweet-potato crust ($12.99 for one breast, $15.99 for two), making for a culinary harmony unseen since the California Raisins dominated the airwaves. Capsize feisty appetites with the seafood creole, a sizzling lineup of shrimp, crawfish and deep-sea scallops ($19.99), or attempt to tackle the Concert ($39.99), which harbors enough whitefish, crawfish, brisket and pork ribs to feed two people or 0.14 Mark McGwires.
No Irish pub is complete with the customary decorations: vintage Guinness posters, etched Jameson mirrors, and tin Magners signs. Caverly's Irish Pub has it all, along with a smattering of four leaf clovers and Ireland?s flag standing guard over the bar. And just like any bar, the libations flow freely. Bartenders pour Smithwicks, Harp, Guinness, and Magners into 20-ounces glasses. They also top off pint glasses with a bevy of craft brews, and wine is available for the oenophiles.