Of all the hooting and victory dancing coming from the group in the corner booth, only half of the commotion is a result of the game of Sorry! the group is immersed in. The other half occurs during breaks in the action when the competitors dig into the decadent morsels in front of them?desserts forged from ingredients such as rum mascarpone cream and homemade marshmallow. Evenings of spirited merrymaking capped with sweet treats are standard at Candybar, where seasoned pastry chef Cathleen Li handcrafts a rotating menu of cakes, ice creams, and sorbets.
To complement Li?s signature desserts, mixologists further tantalize taste buds with inventive cocktails, such as the strawberry kiss. Throughout the candlelit dining room, minimalist bulbs dangle from ceiling tracks, casting dancing shadows across plush red couches, black-and-white damask poufs, and contemporary artwork. A collection of board games infuses the dessert lounge?s chic atmosphere with a touch of whimsy and encourages good-natured rivalries between friends or high-stakes games to determine who gets the last bite of the ice-cream sundae.
Like the popular enotecas of Italy, Uva Enoteca heavily emphasizes good wine (the word "enoteca" translates to something like "wine repository" in English). Wine director and general manager Boris Nemchenok pairs meals with a selection from an extensive list of Italian wines from boutique producers. He even serves the wine quartino-style, which means the wine is presented in a small decanter. But all this isn't to say the food doesn't have its own charms. Executive Chef Ben Hetzel presents a menu of locally crafted meats and cheeses, pizzas topped with egg and shaved brussel sprouts, and wild boar ragu. Like terrible crime scene investigators, the two men's fingerprints are everywhere in the restaurant. Not only did they help design the restaurant's rustic confines, which consist of exposed brick and tiled walls, marble counters, and dark stained-wood floors. They also had a hand in creating the red cedar tabletops that host diners seven days per week.