Dining out is often preferable to dining in, especially if you're having trouble getting past the bouncer in your dining room. Succeed at eating with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of upscale tavern fare for dinner at Cala's in Manchester.
Cala's pairs a casual dining ambience with a menu packed with savory, New England–style fare. Dinner diners can begin their trip to satiation with the signature fish stew, a culinary hodgepodge of seafood in a lobster-saffron-tomato broth ($12; $22 for an entree portion) or throw back a cup of chowder du jour ($6). Build-your-own pizzas test patrons' creativity in times of hunger, and preassembled edibles include the lobster roll, whose stuffed innards hide beneath a pile of shredded lettuce to avoid conjugation lessons from french fries ($17). Local seafood options play prominent roles in the menu's entree chapter, which tells the tale of fish 'n' chips ($18). At the end of a feast, break pinky promises to the tooth fairy with a slab of peanut-butter icebox cake, a concoction of peanut-butter mousse and chocolate ganache cradled by a vanilla-wafer crust ($7).
Cala's aims for a local flavor, to the extent that one of their regular patrons catches the lobsters that go into dishes such as their lobster rolls. Local flavor infuses their menus, as well, with New England clam chowder among the appetizers and haddock and scallops among the choices for entrees. Diners can build their own pizzas with as many toppings as they please, and many dishes can be made vegetarian-style or without gluten.