In the evening, Grand Restaurant/Lounge caters to the foodie set, serving upscale bar food amid elegant minimalist decor. Later at night, an array of colored lights begins to glow beneath stairs, along windows, and in the eyes of visiting Terminators. DJs crank up the volume while bartenders sling cocktails below supernova-like chandeliers, but intimate clusters of armchairs provide a respite from the carnival on the dance floor. As they lounge, diners can savor dishes such as lobster ravioli or burgers topped with deviled eggs or fig-balsamic glaze.
A Stamford native, Bobby Valentine made his way from All-State athlete to a professional ballplayer, manager, and analyst on ESPN's Baseball Tonight. Ever the overachiever, he went into the restaurant business more than 30 years ago, and today his career serves as the inspiration at The Original Bobby V's Sports Bar location in Stamford, Connecticut. More than 100 menu items arrive on custom handmade tables in the form of nachos, wings, pastas, and 10 signature burgers. As the beer flows from the taps, high notes emerge from its imbibers on karaoke nights.
The Sundance Café & Wine Bar's kitchen teems with daily deliveries of crisp, fresh vegetables and natural meat ready for soaking in house marinades. Alongside cups of coffee sourced from around the globe, these ingredients create hearty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners of wraps, parfaits, and fondue. A vast salad bar plates custom greens alongside Spirit of Connecticut paninis, named after neighboring towns such as Milford, New Canaan, and Metropolis. Patrons relax in chairs emblazoned with the café's coffee cup logo as they dip bread and fruit into chocolate and cheese fondue and enjoy sips of fruity wine smoothies. Sundance also caters special breakfast and lunchtime meals, and hosts events such as live music and poetry readings beneath soft spotlights.
Black Bear Saloon may have all the wood paneling of a Wild West watering hole, but it boasts many modern amenities, including plasma televisions that deliver sports from around the globe thanks to a DirecTV sports package. It’s inside this lively space that cooks keep stomachs fueled for the action with a selection of wraps, sandwiches, and Angus-beef burgers.
After a game has aired, the staff dims the lights, cranks up the volume, and turns the stage over to a live DJ every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
When fresh cuts of St. Louis–cut ribs, pork shoulder, or beef brisket arrive at Bar Q, they go straight to the award-winning pit team. Chips of locally harvested red and white oak send off smoke from the pit below as the team cooks these meats for hours at a time. Once everything is ready, they plate juicy portions of sticky ribs or pulled pork alongside homemade fixings such as braised collared greens and cheesy grits cakes.
As Bar Q’s name implies, there’s more to the restaurant than lip-smacking barbecue fare. Bartenders craft Southern-style cocktails and pour 26 draft microbrews to complement the hearty meals. And the menu isn’t Bar Q's only repository of Southern charm. Plank wood lines the two-level interior from floor to ceiling, serving as a rustic backdrop to farmland photos and cowhides. Live DJs spin tunes throughout the week, coating their turntable belts in barbecue sauce to keep them running smoothly until 2 a.m. on weekends.