The culinary faculty behind Manhattan’s captivates diners with dense lunch and dinner menus inspired by the sights and meals of New York City. Rouse dormant appetites with an order of Times Square overstuffed mushrooms, sizzling caps packed with crab and salmon ($10), or the Maumee Bay, a grilled asparagus salad sprinkled with blue cheese and pine nuts under a strawberry-vanilla vinaigrette ($10). Metropolitan bellies find fulfillment in a plate of the tortellini di sausage, tossed with sweet peppers and tomato sauce ($16), or a New York 12-ounce certified angus strip, grilled and topped with a red-wine compound butter ($23).
Voted 2010's 2nd Best Trendy Bar by the Fox 8 Hot List, The South Side dishes out a succulent menu of gourmet tavern fare overflowing with fresh takes on traditional pub mainstays. Quack for a small plate of chipotle barbecue duck pizza, featuring roasted tomatoes, scallions, provolone, mozzarella, and cilantro-lime vinaigrette ($9.50), or study a sandwich's delicious cheekbone muscles with the open-faced chorizo meatloaf topped onto sourdough and drizzled with rosemary cabernet gravy ($10). Grilled german bologna on a pretzel roll comes dressed with caramelized onions, spicy mustard, and horseradish havarti ($10), while hazelnut coffee-crusted sockeye salmon is served with seasonal squash purée and chocolate buerre blanc ($10) . Every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., diners just waking up after a long night of unsuccessfully building an egg-juggling robot can dine on a brunch menu heaped with zesty midmorning fare such as chicken and waffles, which layers tempura, airline breast, belgian waffles, cinnamon butter, Ohio maple syrup, and a side of hot sauce ($7).
After dinner, Liquid undergoes a transformation. While diners are finishing up hearty pulled-pork sandwiches and fried pickles, a DJ steps into a booth. A switch is flipped, and multicolored lights shimmer across the low-lit interior as house music thunders from the speakers. The crowd goes wild.
Part restaurant, part bar, and part nightclub, Liquid spans three rooms, from a large dance floor to rows of tables and booths. Servers whisk bar-friendly eats to revelers until 1a.m., from spicy chicken wings to summer salads.
The cooks at Nova Bar and Grill purvey a menu brimming with Argentina’s characteristic blend of Mediterranean influences, from Spanish to Italian, using ingredients derived from South America's agricultural- and livestock-focused traditions. A trio of empanadas snuggles a blend of cheese, cumin-tinged veggies, and either spinach, beef, or chicken in its crispy pastry shells ($6). Churrasco, or grilled skirt steak ($16), showcases Argentina’s famously beef-centric cuisine, and a full cast of meats takes center stage in the parrillada's blend of skirt steak, short ribs, chicken, and argentine sausage ($29). Bites into the Angus burger's manchego cheese, bacon, and avocado ($12) energize palates more effectively than garnishes of pickles infused with pop-rocks, and slices of la argentina pizza serenade taste buds with an orchestration of red peppers, hard-boiled eggs, and tomato. As they dine, guests at Nova Bar and Grill can take in the eatery’s modern, geometric décor, with ceiling-high, cylindrical-shaped columns, as well as back-lit, rectangle-shaped cutaways and chrome, chair-shaped chairs.
Nested in downtown's historic Kresge Building, The Red Grape Lounge fetes Motown history and soul with retro décor, choice tunes, and a savory menu. A roster appetizers encourages bellies to warm up their digestive chops as fingers nab crisp sweet-potato fries or couples synchronize chews with six fiery jalapeño poppers. Teeth tear into succulent entrees, from 9 ounces of marinated rib-eye steak to one of four burgers to fried catfish on a bed of greens. Meanwhile, a bottle of wine from Red Grape's curated list accompanies quartets and inspires conversations about renaming a child "Chardonnay", with eight varieties from Australia, including Lineman's Bin medium-bodied '99 pinot noir that lingers on the tongue with aromas of red berry.
As the doors of Skybar Lounge’s wood-paneled elevator slide open, customers are immersed in a sleek atmosphere enlivened by driving bass beats and the icy rattle of the bartenders' shakers as they prepare 25 signature martinis. Moroccan-style lamps cast a warm glow over patrons sharing tapas plates of prime beef sky sliders and calamari with house sweet chili sauce in between enjoying panoramic views of the city skyline, flickering streetlights, and nannies flying back to England.