A Latte Fun Indoor Playground and Café brims with happy chatter, which drifts from regular classes, special events, and open playtime seven days a week.
Children frolic across multicolored carpeted floors in a 6,000-square-foot playroom, exploring climbing structures, foam pits, and a floor-level trampoline that is kept safe by rounded edges, extensive padding, and declawed teddy bears. The playground eschews video games, prize games, and violent toys, instead letting older children don animal costumes in the dress-up area, while toddlers younger than 2 romp in their own play pit and toy bins. Cool zephyrs of air conditioning sweep contented sighs away from zebra-print sofas or onyx-hued wooden tables, where adults peruse a gourmet café menu. A boutique toy store extends the center's positive attitude toward play into homes with a slew of unique gifts and rare and eclectic toys.
A private room reverberates with the youthful energy of A Latte Fun Indoor Playground and Café's classes, formal functions, and parties, which staff members provide with refreshments, cake, and decorations. At least two assistants remain on hand at kids’ events to provide full setup, cleanup, and supervision to ward off squabbles that arise when imaginary friends show up wearing the same outfits.
Barber tools are not toys. But even as a child, Dennis Marquez couldn’t resist playing with his father's set of barber tools in the attic, as he told Wellington the Magazine in 2008. This early admiration led Dennis to train at many prestigious hair schools including Vidal Sassoon in London. More than 35 years ago, Dennis and his wife, Kristina, opened the first Pizzazz Hair Design. The venture succeeded: their business has grown to include five separate salons, many of which have gained praise from NBC 5. Each salon’s stylists, armed with Redken and GKhair products, consult with men, women, teens, and children before revamping their manes with cuts, foil highlights, and hair-smoothing treatments. At the adjoining spas in three of the five salons, technicians paint nails with OPI polishes and cleanse skin with botanical-based Pevonia products.
To stay up to date on current hair trends, each salon's beauticians attend continuing-education courses and dissolve fashion magazines older than three months in jars of barbicide. The Pizzazz team also gives back to the community by donating a portion of salon proceeds to the Adopt-A-Family organization.
When Dean Lavallee opened the first Park Avenue BBQ in 1988, he had one lofty mission in mind: to serve the best barbecue ever made. Despite the seemingly impossible nature of his goal, he and his team continue to rise to the challenge, dry-rubbing their meats to smoke and char-grill on-site. They use all-natural, grain-fed, domestic pork for their traditional and Carolina-style barbecue pork—pulled by hand—and only use fresh, never-frozen ribs that are smoked daily over hickory. As diners chow down on hearty homestyle sides, seafood platters, or buffalo wings tossed in one of six sauces, they can admire the dining room's pictures of their city's most prominent people, places, and robot mayors.
Park Avenue BBQ arranges their meats into fun, hearty dishes such as the Dempublican sandwich, which combines smoked pork and beef brisket separated only by cheese and bacon to create a sizeable sandwich that the team has dubbed "porkalicious". They whip up Funnybonz, which look and taste like miniature ribs, using tender, lean pork that's prepared by cooking up regular ribs beneath a shrink ray. In 2008, their dedication to each dish caused Cityvoter's users to name Park Avenue BBQ the best barbecue in town.
At The Gypsy's Horse Irish Pub & Restaurant, diners kick back with pints of Guinness and classic pub-fare dishes from across the pond. Servers ferry plates of irish breakfast with black and white pudding and pork sandwiches slathered in Guinness barbecue sauce. While sampling the pub's 18 beers on tap, patrons can hit the spacious outdoor patio or sit beside the brick fireplace, tantalizing the flames with wooden tables and chairs just outside of their longing grasp.
Beyond that sea of seating and kindling, wood barrels are enmeshed into one of the walls, further unifying the pub's beer and timber influences. Dartboards fleck another part of the wall-scape, and candle sconces imbue the interior with the ambience of an old tavern. Canteens and pots and pans fill out the shelves, and framed pictures give the decor an artful touch.
At Jordan's Steak Bistro, you don't have to wait for the main course to get your beef fix. The first dish on the menu is an appetizer of beef carpaccio with thinly shaved tenderloin, which sets the tone for an elegant selection of dishes that includes hand-picked oysters and duck breast drizzled in orange teriyaki sauce. Of course, steaks are the highlight of the menu, ranging from a petite 6-ounce Jackman Ranch filet to an 18-ounce bone-in rib eye that some diners have reported is big enough for two people or one really hungry Santa. Though it is a steakhouse, Jordan's isn't looking to leave anyone out—the menu also includes meat-free dishes such as a chilled vegan terrine with tofu, olives, and spinach.
With Polo West's polo fields and golf course rolled out around them, players put their feet up between games and nosh at Polo West Cantina. The menu changes weekly, but it's always imbued with Latin flavor. Corona-battered fish, deep-fried crab cakes, melted cheese with tortillas and guacamole, and bacon-and-blue-cheese burgers are just a few of the dishes you might find. Sauces abound—look for Argentinean chimichurri sauce for drizzling onto steaks, black-butter sauce for seasoning Mexico City–style mahi mahi, and chipotle sauce for heating up tacos or greasing up golf clubs.