Sharing a meal out strengthens family bonds in a civilized way, unlike invading the neighborhood block party and laying siege to the bounce castle. Subjugate your hunger with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of casual comfort fare at The Varsity Lounge & Grille, located inside the Millennium Hotel Durham.
Inside The Varsity Lounge & Grille, the hum of plasma-screen TVs harmonizes with maws munching on a menu of pizzas, sandwiches, and casual comfort fare. House-made crust bubbles like a molten jacuzzi under two toppings, such as pepperoni and mushrooms, before chefs yank trattoria-style pizzas (8", $9; 14", $12) from a brick oven's sweltering embrace. Crisp baguette bread splinters apart to flaunt grilled new york strip steak on an open-faced sammie embellished with caramelized onions, garlic aioli, and mushroom bordelaise sauce ($12). Servers interrupt hushed conversation with the arrival of a shrimp and grits entree, which teams up black tiger shrimp and blue mussels with cheesy grits drizzled with shoepeg-corn-bacon sauté ($19).
In The Varsity Lounge and Grille's laid-back dining space, scarlet stools and cushy leather chairs cloaked in chocolate hues huddle around candlelit tables. Complimentary WiFi lures businessmen with laptops in tow, as well as adrenaline junkies determined to surf Mother Nature's most unconquerable wave: information.