The red and black ship cuts through the waters of Matanzas Bay, its sails waving in the wind. On deck, members of a pirate crew call one another by names such as Oly Mackarel, Jaybird, Anastasia, Clipper, and Dirty James as they cavort between bow and stern, dazzling their audiences. Their ship, the Black Raven, was designed as a floating live performance theater—and accommodates more than 120 passengers as a crew of performers in full buccaneer dress produce interactive and dynamic plays in the spotlight. The actors work the crowd with a variety of rehearsed but unscripted skits, geared toward audiences of all ages, and may change their performance to engage specific audience members.
With a dizzying worldwide selection of craft beers and wines, J.P. Henley's fuels a traditional neighborhood-pub atmosphere augmented by a menu of indulgently inventive eats. Parse through the eclectic holdings of 50 custom-designed beer taps and 24 wines by the glass, and begin your gastronomic grub hunt with shrimp and mushroom empanadas ($8.95) or chevre crostini, piled with roasted grape tomatoes, warm goat cheese, and sweet-basil pesto ($6.95). A Voga pinot grigio pairs well with JP's Moroccan eggplant salad ($8.95), and a Brooklyn Black Ops Imperial Stout keeps pace with a hearty Harvest Moon sandwich, an autumnal feast of roasted turkey, sliced apples, provolone, and cranberry aioli ($8.95). Ward off carb-weary vampires with a Rising Sun sandwich, a rooster-certified fusion of grilled ahi, marinated tomatoes, and wasabi cream dressing dressed in spring greens and perched between slices of herb foccacia ($9.95).
Owned by Jack Holleran and Kristin Orr, the garage-themed neighborhood bar churns out hot-pressed grilled panini sandwiches crafted atop house-made pizza bread and washed down with domestic and specialty microbrews. The cash-only Jackson's Garage Bar refreshes patrons' knowledge of dead presidents and keeps a keen focus on specialty import and craft beer. When not squeezed fresh from the tap, brews flow freely from their aluminum casings, which rein superior over glass bottles because they filter out sunlight, lock in flavor, and provide a more structurally sound building block for beer pyramids.Inside the industrial setting, stools line up along a wooden bar decorated with sheet metal, and wall-hung road signs guide brews into glasses as working traffic lights keep motorcycles from popping bar-top wheelies. A leather couch seats patrons at a magazine-riddled table, and patio chairs curl up under the cozy awning of round tables. Live music pours from the instruments of live bands that occasionally play at the garage, and Shakespearean insults pour from the mouths of dart wielders and foosball shooters on a daily basis.
Serving up sauce-slathered eats since 1980, Woody's has garnered praise from publications including the Ledger and continues to woo taste buds with succulent ribs, chicken, pork, and sides. Patrons can perform cheek-stretching calisthenics with the super sampler starter, a piled-high platter of pop-able bites including fried garlic mushrooms, mozzarella sticks, corn nuggets, and onion rings ($7.99), before moving on to a main event such as a full rack of Woody's signature baby back ribs, featuring pork that slips off the bone as sure as a cat slips off an ice sculpture of a larger cat ($14.99). Meat disciplinarians might consider the Sloppy Woody, pulled pork and Woody's secret sauce caught in a prison of formalist bread loaves ($6.99). Vegetarians are invited to pig out on the tossed salad ($2.69) or the country vegetables ($1.89).
Dick’s quickly silences grumbling bellies with a menu of tasty grilled edibles and a tongue-tingling variety of spicy twists. Fried pickles ($4.29), buffalo shrimp ($7.49), or wings in 365 available flavors ($8.99/10) engage mouths as guests wait for the main attraction—half-pound burgers, whose meatslabs are hand-pressed and grilled to order over the heat of omnipresent flame decals. Bacon, swiss, and lettuce enrobe the Squealin' Cheeser burger ($7.59), whereas sautéed mushrooms sit proudly atop the Shroomer burger ($7.59) and a trio of cheddar, american, and jack adorn the Three Cheeser ($7.59). All burgers come with a choice of steak fries or waffle fries and can be sharpened with any of Dick’s 365 sauce blends ($0.59 additional). Before strolling over to the nearby beach to squash sandcastles, diners can clog their molars with chunks of deep-fried Oreos ($3.99), a chocolate tribute to the hamburger and a smooth ending to a spicy ride.
Landshark Café synthesizes savory stomach set pieces to the sound of live music four nights a week. Its dining-room stage serves up a smorgasbord of sonic flavors—jazz on Friday, mellow reggae on Sunday, and spacey theremin solos on the secret eighth day of the week. Meanwhile, the café's kitchen beauticians slather the winter-pale chunks of chicken or shrimp on luau skewers ($12) with teriyaki sauce before tanning them to a crispy golden brown on the grill. Alternatively, beefy bites such as the mushroom- and onion-laced flat-iron steak ($15) and the pineapple-topped Hawaiian burger ($8.25) restore jaded meat prophets’ faith in the healing power of protein. With beers on tap and a laid-back wait staff, Landshark Café hosts garrulous groups for quick victuals or marathon meals to celebrate the end of a Capri Sun–based detox regimen.