The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
Wielding knives and sword-like skewers, the servers at Texas de Brazil seem prepared for impromptu duels. However, they only brandish the blades to replenish dinner plates, slicing meat from their spears at the behest of each table. The cuts of steak, lamb, and brazilian sausage are all slow roasted over an open flame in traditional churrascaria fashion—a technique that stems from the campfire meals of Brazilian gauchos, and one that fed the family behind Texas de Brazil during their life in Porto Alegre. In an effort to bring the South American style to the States, they established their first restaurant in Texas, thereby merging down-home charm with Brazilian spice.
Today, Texas de Brazil has expanded to several award-winning locations across the country. Despite the lofty ceilings and chandeliers that characterize their venues, the staff remains rooted in ranchers' habits. They conscientiously grill and season their meat, bake brazilian cheese bread in-house, and pass classic cocktails and loaner saddles over the bar for cowboys who consider chairs unnatural. To complement savory bites, guests can browse more than 50 gourmet sides at the salad bar—a compendium of soups, vegetables, and appetizers such as imported cheeses. They can also ask the resident wine specialist for recommendations on suitable pairings from the cellar.
A fragrant mélange of garlic, curried lamb, and imported spices greets diners as soon as they arrive at Cedars of Lebanon Restaurant, giving them a brief introduction to the menu’s assortment of fragrant Middle Eastern spices. Inspired by the cuisines from Lebanon, Morocco, and Armenia, the chefs sear entire skewers of marinated chicken, roast tagines of curried lamb, and layer open-faced flatbreads with herbs and spices.
Moorish archways, Middle Eastern lanterns, and tapestry-lined walls blend with the aromatic cuisine to evoke the feeling of dining amid the warm breezes of the Mediterranean. On Friday and Saturday evenings, belly dancers weave throughout the dining room and the hookah lounge, dazzling patrons with undulating dance moves and an ongoing prank war with local hula dancers.
Zest Kitchen & Bar was built on a farm-to-fork philosophy, meaning the restaurant relies almost exclusively on organic, local, and sustainable ingredients. The result is a menu packed with globally inspired and seasonal dishes, such as stuffed avocado with spicy seasoned walnuts, pico, and cashew sour cream. Following the kitchen's lead, Zest's bar features cocktails handcrafted with fresh ingredients, as well as organic wines, beers, and other spirits. Such variety enables the restaurant to transform into a colorful late-night lounge complete with live music from a resident DJ on the weekend.
Murphy's Bar and Grill combines the homey menu of an Irish pub with the nighttime hours of a neighborhood bar, remaining open until 1 a.m. seven nights a week. The bartenders pass the evenings serving drafts and bottles of domestic and imported beers, although they also pour more potent tipples from the stock of single-malt scotches and triple-distilled waters. To accompany these drinks, the cooks carefully forge a menu of hearty comfort foods that includes Reubens with kosher corned beef, beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips, and flame-grilled burgers.
Salty Dinner Theater, which ABC 4 describes as ?bringing a twist to traditional on-stage classics,? combines professional actors and proficient chefs to stage productions performed at area eateries. Audience members gobble supper as performers interact with them before and during the production. Regularly inhabiting Madeline?s Steakhouse, The Old Spaghetti Factory, Joe Morley?s Smoked Beef & Bar-B-Q, and Mimi?s Caf?, among other locales, the show-accompanying meals range from scratch-made baked lasagna with ground beef and pork to a pound of succulent smoked-beef brisket.