Owner Michael Ward and executive flavorsmith Art Ward craft a menu brimming with outside-the-box innovations on classic American fare. Bacon-infused potato skins ($4.89) make for savory starters or sombrero tassels, priming tongues for the Maryland crab melt's flavor volley of crab cake, tomato, crabby-patty sauce, and grilled texas toast ($7.69). Flame-kissed patties leap atop buns to create the kitchen's meaty colonnade of burgers ($4.19+), and traditional sliced rib eye, grilled peppers, and mushrooms nestle within the wheaty confines of a mayo-lacquered philly cheesesteak wrap ($7.49).
Founded by husband-and-wife team Michael and Betsy, the Clayton Steakhouse bursts with fresh carnivorous cuts of meat, savory salads, and homemade delicacies all served passionately and attentively within its homey confines. Dinner patrons can head straight for the meat highway with a house-seasoned signature rib-eye steak ($18.95 for 8-ounce; $27.95 for 16-ounce), or doff a grilled beret at the French-cut chicken breast ($14.95), with all entrees granting access to the salad bar and one side. Or opt for a loaded baked potato entree packed with a plethora of veggies, bacon, cheddar cheese, and chives, plus a visit to the 19-ingredient salad bar ($9.95). Keep hungry youngsters from composing rumbling-belly melodies with the kids'-size mac 'n' cheese served with french fries ($3.95), or reward them for their harmonic handiwork with a Betsy-crafted dessert, such as buttermilk pie ($4.89), triple chocolate cake ($4.89), or sweet-tooth-satisfying sorbet ($3.75).
For the hibachi chefs at Mitchikia Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi, playing with their food is a requirement. Over the heat of the traditional teppanyaki grills, their knives slice through seared steaks and shrimp, sending food flying with spatulas and catapults made of carrot sticks. In addition to the entertaining hibachi dinners, the kitchen prepares a host of Japanese-influenced dishes, in addition to freshly constructed maki rolls and sushi.
The chefs at Draft Carolina Burgers & Beers craft specialty burgers out of high-grade, local beef, boasting an extensive array of chuck cylinders alongside salads, sandwiches, and shareable appetizers. Every day, grass-fed Angus beef is ground in-house, eventually transforming into finger-bound feasts such as the Southern Lovin', a burger topped with fried green tomatoes, Holly Grove Farms goat cheese, bacon, and balsamic. Thanks to their partnership with the Mash House Brewery, Draft Carolina's bartenders decant ice-cold brews such as the Mash House blonde and the Mash House IPA, which won the 2001 Great American Beer Festival medal for Hoppy Hour IPA. Billiards and shuffleboard make ideal after-dinner entertainment, and a casual, welcoming atmosphere greets diners inhabiting all points of the monocle-to-jorts fanciness scale.