Bartenders mix more than 30 specialty martinis at Lounge 33, a riverside bar that owes its sophistication to owners Angela and George Tavaglione. The owners’ extensive menu of mixed drinks includes nods to highbrow entertainment, including The Godfather, a drink that fuses Johnnie Walker Green Label and Disaronno amaretto, or the Dirt and Spice martini, an avant-garde combination of Absolut Peppar and olive juice, Tapatio hot sauce, and lemon. Though the focus is on mixed drinks, the Tavagliones also stock wine and beer, while their skilled cooks prepare flatbread pizzas and italian meatball sandwiches guaranteed not to pop a meatball out and send it rolling to the top of Mount Smokey.
Ra Pour's executive chef, Greg Stillman, draws upon culinary wisdom culled from stints at famed restaurant The French Laundry to curate upscale renditions of comfort fare, nabbing buzz from Taste Terminal and a dozen other media outlets. An open kitchen affords prime views of chefs as they garnish pizzas with handmade mozzarella and truffle oil before tossing them into a wood-fired oven. Succulent meats from local farms boast exotic flourishes such as North African–style harissa, Buddha’s hand marmalade, and a single unicorn tear. Live beats flow from a raised DJ platform toward the bar, where mixologists fashion original cocktails against a backdrop of dramatic green and purple lighting.
A family Mexican restaurant by day, Tequila Bar & Grill transforms into a nightclub at night, at which point couples groove to salsa tunes played by live bands and Djs or sing Spanish and English karaoke. Patrons dine on authentic cuisine, such as tacos, quesadillas, and enchiladas amid exposed brick walls and south of the border-inspired tiling.
Toro Sushi Bar invites you to join the bite-sized culinary festivities in a chic modern setting. Its menu features a wide variety of hand-made flavorful treats, from sushi to sashimi to full entrees to tapas. Enjoy the geometric perfection of a Creole Roll with crab, veggies, and seared Cajun tuna ($15) or the insistent adoration of the Loveulongtime Roll, which unites shrimp tempura, crab, avocado, masago and tobiko with a duo of eel and dynamite sauces ($15). If you've chosen to don your "Me and My Sushi and Sashimi – No Two Ways About It" custom tee-shirt, head straight into a carefully orchestrated array of blue fin tuna Maguro, octopus Tako, Hawaiian white tuna Ono, Japanese Red Snapper Carpaccio ($15), and the Kobe Beef Tataki with green onions, garlic chips and crispy red onions ($25). For even smaller eats, peruse the tapas menu for calamari, monkey balls (tempura style mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese, spicy tuna, and avocado), and edamame. You can complement your meal with specialty drinks, sake, wine, and beer.
Comfy leather booths surround a bumping dance floor at M15 Concert Bar & Grill, making the club’s prerogative known from the get-go. If it wasn’t clear, though, a rich menu of classic grill fare such as rib-eye steaks and shrimp scampi shows off the kitchen’s devotion to food, whereas a weekly lineup of musical and comedy acts demonstrate the venue’s commitment to entertainment. Tribute acts regularly wind back the clock onstage, whether yowling like Axl Rose or sporting the invisible reptilian crown of Jim Morrison. Actual stars of yesteryear have been known to make appearances as well, including Tommy Tutone and Bow Wow Wow. M15 Concert Bar & Grill’s dance parties might be themed around the music of decades past or be soundtracked by DJs spinning dub step, hip-hop, and electronica—whatever it takes to get guests shaking their hips into the night.
Comedians Bob Perkell and Jeff Capri met through an act of deceit. When Perkell was gearing up for one of his first productions on the other side of the curtain, Capri called him to get a booking for one of the comedians he said he managed: Jeff Capri. But the charade didn't last long: the show was a success, Capri revealed his real identity, and, eventually, the two channeled their teamwork into a comedy club of their own. During Surf City’s shows, guests can order from a list of sweet, wine-centric cocktails and two dozen beers, including taps of Fat Tire and Shock Top.