According to the Viera Sun, when Loris and Rafaella Barsiola first moved to the United States from Italy in 1999, they didn't speak a lick of English. A year later they opened Bacco Wine Cafe and let their cooking do the talking for them. Though they're now well acclimated to the States, they still serve their pastas, chicken, and beef dishes they way they did in Savona, Italy: inside a Ferrari. In the kitchen, Rafaella prepares ever-changing menu selections featuring her family recipes. Loris curates a wine list with dozens of varietals from Italy and selects jazz music to play in the dining room.
You might notice every group eating a different dish at Crispy’s Beer & Wine Bar. That’s because the bar has BYOF policy—that’s short for bring your own food—which lets guests soak up the 39 craft brews on draft without having to snack on bar peanuts. This policy inspires patrons to linger over pints of hoppy Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA or bottles of fruity Belgian Kasteel Rouge. The deep brown of Gulden Draak hints at its potent Belgian flavor and alcohol content, and light flits easily through the wheat-golden color of Paulaner Hefeweizen. Televisions overhead chatter, providing updates on athletic events or how scary the weatherman says thunder will be this weekend. Those who didn’t bring food snack on the bar’s small selection of locally produced appetizers and desserts such as chocolate-covered potato chips and beer brittle.
Jesse Rijos and Daisy Rullan purchased Inlet Wines in 2010 and immediately began revamping the retail space’s vibe. Though the shop remains true to its original purpose—pairing customers with craft beer, cigars, and wines from Argentina, Italy, Spain, and Napa Valley—it also now houses a lounge area where customers can listen to live music each weekend. In addition, the space hosts once-monthly comedy shows and Wednesday-evening happy hours to counteract the bad mood that results from inadvertently tossing your dirty dishes in the dryer. All gatherings at Inlet Wines spill out onto a patio where guests can puff on purchased cigars.
It's hard to imagine that there's a libation out there that Crown doesn't carry. With a selection that spans vineyards, distilleries, and breweries from around the world, the bottles lining each location come from both small, artisan makers and those universally famed for their grapes or techniques. Home mixologists can cull inspiration for cocktails from a selection of top-shelf-brand mixers or pair their tipple of choice with gourmet snacks, from bush-pepper macadamia nuts to dirty martini party dip. But tastings may be the most distinctive thing about Crown Wine & Spirits. Whether customers stop in to try each location's daily offerings of wine or spirits—or for special tastings that cover dozens of wines, bourbons or beers—Crown's staff makes it easy to find a new favorite or to make up to your tongue for forgetting so many of its birthdays.
The Loughman Lake Beer and Food Fest, formerly known as the Titusville Craft Beer Festival, sets a spread of up to 70 domestic and craft beers for festival-goers to sample amidst the scenic vista at Loughman Lake. Since 2012, the festival has been a destination for fun lovers of all stripes: guests can chew the fat about their favorite baseball teams or play full-contact chess in the sports lounge, toast digital gladiators in the video-game area, or rock out to live music played throughout the day. Thanks to the new venue, the festival also offers a chance to jet across the wetlands on an airboat with reservations through the lakeside lodge.
Every day until at least midnight, the floor of Bananas Diner is bustling. Often, it's for the bounties of reinvented diner food. Stuffed french toast coated in rice crispies, chicken 'n' waffles, and unusual benedicts—such as the eatery's signature Funky Monkey topped with fried goat cheese, sun-dried tomato jam, and hollandaise—add an element of novelty to the morning. Lunch and dinner bring surprises as well. Take the Garbage Plate, for instance, which smothers burger patties, hot dogs, or grilled chicken breasts with a tower of hash browns, macaroni salad, cheese, onions, and salsa. Nine burger varieties grant the option of an Angus beef, turkey, chicken, or veggie patty, while an array of classic sandwiches pay homage to deli tradition better than a bagel stuffed with take-a-number tickets.
But sometimes, the crowd is there for something else entirely. On weekends, when the diner stays open 24 hours a day, servers dressed in drag ferry eclectic breakfast dishes to customers while female impersonators hold court on stage for the Sunday Gospel Brunch. Other past events have included Queengo (the diner's own take on bingo), Broadway-themed drag shows, and the competition known as Bananas Got Talent. No wonder Bananas Diner has won multiple best-of awards from OpenTable diners.