Limelight’s lasagna, steaks, and salads compete for space in stomachs as patrons in an adjacent card room compete in Texas hold'em and blackjack. A wooden bar next to exposed-brick walls keeps glasses full and brains busy with questions about the presidential line of succession during Tuesday-night trivia. During weekend brunches, omelets and pancakes ornament the plates of diners still musing over last night’s dreams about a dolphin water-polo league.
GrubCrawl USA’s cuisine connoisseurs lead customers on carefully plotted culinary journeys marked by free appetizers, discounted drinks, and fellowship with other foodies. For the Harry Potter IMAX movie crawl, revelers meet at 5:30 p.m. at Tequila Museo Mayahuel, a tequila museum and restaurant, the first of four stops at various area eateries. Each destination features complimentary appetizers preselected from their menu and discounted drinks with which to wash down their wares. The evening culminates at the Esquire IMAX Theatre, whose eight-story-high screens entrance spellbound viewers as they witness Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the finale to the blockbuster film franchise. The screens, which are the size of half a football field, boast a curve that encompasses vision to the periphery, filling sightlines more dramatically than reading glasses doodled with a Sharpie.
Nestled inside a hub of chance-based games, Casino Royale's kitchen sates families and high rollers with a menu of American and Asian specialties. Nachos, buffalo wings, and other regular bar appetizers share the spotlight with tightly wound egg rolls and tiger prawns fried crispy and served with spicy mustard, soy sauce, and a miniature lion tamer in case flavors get too wild. Omnivores sink their teeth into both the grilled rib-eye steak coated with rich cabernet demi-glace and its roasted sidekick of yukon gold potatoes. Asian specialties send taste buds sailing across the Pacific while savoring the pepper-salted shrimp stir fried with jalapeños, sweet peppers, and snow peas or a vietnamese salad tossed with noodles and topped with grilled pork, grilled chicken, shrimp, or beef short ribs.
Red and cream-colored walls, dark woods, and a cozy fireplace flank the genuine family paintings and antiques in de Vere's spacious dining area, suffusing it with the lively, lighthearted atmosphere of a true Irish pub. Friendly, attentive servers serve up hearty Irish fare for lunch and dinner. Scarf down traditional dishes like the fish and chips, the bangers and mash, or the Irish stew—which harbors tender, whiskey-braised beef—and stick around for Irish music Sundays and a host of other events.
When Primo's Swiss Club in Oak Park closed, its empty building was left to the elements, growing more dilapidated with every year. That is, until the owners of Arthur Henry's Supper Club & Ruby Room stepped in. They painstakingly restored the historic building's interior, exterior, and secret trans-dimensional wormholes, creating an elegant supper club and late-night lounge. The renovation's piece de resistance is a large, communal grill placed in the center of the dining room—here, diners grill their own rib-eyes, filet mignons, and skewers of marinated tenderloin or scallops exactly the way they desire, complete with seasonings. Once the meat is grilled to perfection, diners return to their tables where side salads and slices of house-made garlic bread await.
To help wash down every bite, the bar serves a well curated selection of craft beer and mixes cocktails ranging from classic mint juleps to house creations such as the Dancing Grizzly: a blend of scotch, simple syrup, and fresh orange juice. On many nights, live musicians provide a lively soundtrack to dining and drinking.
Every month, Florez Bar & Grill's bartenders reach for a new bottle of premium tequila to pour tastes for the restaurant's Tequila Tuesdays. Drinkers learn about the difference between añejo and reposado tequila and which varieties flavor certain cocktails best. However, that's just a taste of what's available at Florez. Chefs cook up a full menu Mexican classics, from homemade tamales to carnitas tacos and shrimp fajitas, as well as select American dishes, including turkey-club sandwiches at lunch.
The mariachi band that entertains on Friday nights and Sunday mornings also mixes it up: though the ensemble calls themselves "Mariachi Tradicional," they've been known to break out into Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" given the excuse. The mornings are also made special by Florez's breakfast. It's served until 3 p.m. each day for any late risers or confused time travelers, and the Sacramento News & Review named it the Best Under-the-Radar Mexican Brunch in 2013.