When Occasions Divine planted its roots in a trio of historic locales, the event-hosting company made sure to keep most of the buildings' original décor and architecture intact while adding modern kitchens and other amenities. The staff orchestrates an ever-changing combination of themed dinners, wine and beer pairings, multiple-course meals, performances, and art classes.
Signature events, such as 10-course meals and dinners with magic shows, occur within The Propylaeum, a manicured Victorian clubhouse and historic landmark built in 1890. Guests mingle in meeting rooms, private guest rooms, and a third-floor ballroom while surrounded by period-accurate décor enhanced by glow-in-the-dark area rugs. An intimate house built in 1868 hosts Serenity events, including educational family etiquette dinners, which invite patrons to enter through antique doors, traverse vintage carpeting, and learn the difference between salad forks and back scratchers. A communal table presents light meals and traditional english tea, and reconstructed outdoor gardens let patrons reenact scenes from crime-thriller reboots of Romeo and Juliet. Serendipity 2 events convene at The Propylaeum's original carriage house, which did a stint as a children's museum starting in 1925. Parties ramble through the main floor and balcony under tall ceilings and light from antique windows.
Proprietors Kent and Liz Esra set three main goals when they opened Cobblestone Grill. First, they wanted to create a gourmet menu that would adapt to evolving tastes and trends. Second, they emphasized customer service, aiming to provide attentive care to every table. Finally, they aspired to provide a warm atmosphere. Achieving all three objectives, the Esras offer a menu with three steaks and six preparation methods, cheerful table service, and live entertainment.
Whether crusting a 6-ounce filet mignon with blue cheese or submerging fettuccine in tequila-cream sauce, chefs take care to plate dishes with finesse. Servers bring these meals to patrons at the dining room, bar, or brick patio, navigating around jazz and blues musicians. On Monday nights, weather permitting, dogs are welcome to lounge on the patio, lap complimentary water, and bemoan the collapse of the housing market with their companions.
Inside Brunchies, servers carry plates of traditional American diner food, though many were prepared with health in mind. In keeping with the restaurant's name, chefs prepare breakfast and lunch dishes throughout the day. Their signature creations range from a skillet stuffed with cheddar, hash browns, and sausage topped with egg to french toast coated in corn flakes and topped with fruit. They also craft plates of buttermilk pancakes and egg-white omelets, and they stack sandwiches with steak, breaded pork tenderloin, or health-focused ingredients such as grilled chicken and avocado.
With a full bar, frequent live music, and beer-friendly grub from the kitchen, Sidelines Sports Pub is a lively spot to watch the game or sit down for a meal. From an Irish-American themed menu, the kitchen sends out dishes such as Guinness-battered cod and O'Leary's hand-dipped tenderloin sandwiches. Frequent food and drink specials occur during days the bar plays big games, followed by live music from a lineup of bands who frequent the stage.
The multitalented chefs at Hong Kong House are equally adept at perform feats of filleting on searing hibachi grills as they are at crafting delicate sushi rolls from fresh ingredients. A perusal of the MSG-free menu alights on a number of tempting appetizer attributes to kick off a savory meal, including the sideways strut of the soft-shell crab ($7), the flexing of baked mussels ($4.50), or the screaming tantrums of the shrimp tempura ($6.50). With more than 15 sushi rolls to choose from, diners can get their protein fill from the barbecue eel ($9.75) and yellowtail ($4.50) sushi rolls, or coast through a sea of nigiri ($1.50/piece) and sashimi ($1.25/piece) morsels.
Standing in a smoky kitchen, with fine particles of coffee chaff drifting through the air, Darrin knew he had found his calling. It all began with a book, in which Starbucks chief Howard Schultz describes his first taste of freshly roasted coffee. For Darrin, it was as an epiphany: he had to give coffee roasting a shot. And so, standing in his kitchen with whisk in hand, he roasted the first of many batches of coffee.
Fast forward to today, and Darrin's motto is simple: to roast the best coffee possible. At Darrin's Coffee Co., he roasts a handful of different coffees as often as James Bond hires a new martini maker: weekly. Darrin then sells the resulting blends in 6- or 12-ounce bags. Brewed varieties include dark espresso, creamy lattes, and the grasshopper—a blend of green coffee, chocolate, and vanilla.