At Lucky's Bar & Grille, the crunch from hand-cut french fries and hearty Irish-American pub fare competes with the cheers from sports games on 16 flat-screen TVs. Grilled pizzas brim with locally sourced tomatoes and exotic toppings such as roasted corn and grilled eggplant, and chefs stir macaroni into thick cheddar cheese sauce. On Friday and Saturday nights, live acoustic music echoes off the hardwood floors as bartenders top off pints of 30 varieties of draft beer at the 35-foot granite-top bar.
Hercules Mulligan's combines American traditions with Irish flavor, not unlike the man for whom it was named. The real Hercules Mulligan brought his family to the newly prospering New York City in 1746, eventually becoming a friend of Alexander Hamilton, an intelligence agent for the Revolutionary Army, and a backup singer for musician Joe Cocker. In tribute to Mulligan’s hearty disposition, customers can fill up on dishes such as irish nachos, made with thinly sliced potato chips, cheddar cheese, bacon, and sour cream, or the Hercules sliders—butter-grilled, locally baked rolls topped with housemade meatballs or handcrafted crab cakes.
Mulligan's fearlessness may be best reflected in the restaurant's ghost-chili chicken-wing challenge: participants eat 10 wings or 8 tenders that have been tossed in a sauce made from the ghost pepper, one of the world's hottest peppers. Those who can devour them all in 10 minutes and withstand 5 additional minutes without drinks, blue cheese, bread, or sing-alongs of “Frosty the Snowman” to cool their tongues receive the dish for free, plus a $10 gift card.
A pair of spat-clad feet decorates the sign outside Spats Restaurant & Pub, where patrons put their feet up as they sip craft beers and dig into hearty American and Italian entrees. Lunches of turkey-avocado wraps and thin-crust pizzas loaded with mashed potatoes and cheese make way for dinners of fish and chips and the California Girls burger, whose bites of avocado, onion strings, and bacon taste best when punctuated with the word “like.” Bartenders shake specialty martinis or blend extra-large frozen margaritas, and the bar’s taps release beers from breweries such as Magic Hat, Hoegaarden, and Stone. To keep things lively, Spats hosts special events throughout the week, such as karaoke and trivia, and plays major sporting events on its big-screen televisions.
Outside, gaslight-style lamps and the gilded lettering spelling out Mile & a Quarter Restaurant recall an old English pub; inside, the eatery has a 1940s vibe. Tiffany-style pendant lighting hovers over tables surrounded by deep leather seating. Dark-wood wainscoting beneath exposed-brick walls give the space a warm feel as diners gather to break bread over classic American food. Marinara sauce is crafted in-house and ladled over veal and chicken parmigiano, while roasted chicken rests in natural au jus. The paella dish draws together a sea-faring party including clams, mussels, and shrimp tossed in rice simmered in a seafood broth.