With a motto like: "Where you don’t have to have a good time to drink," it may come as no surprise that the staff of James Joyce leaves the socializing up to its patrons. The bartenders and servers keep their visitors fueled with a bounty of traditional American and Irish pub food. The kitchen adds a homemade touch to a few classics: they blend a pimiento cheese spread in-house, and brine their own corned beef before layering it onto brioche buns. A few entrees, such as Guinness–battered atlantic cod and chips and Guinness shepherd's pie, round out the menu. A beer list displays American craft brews alongside unique Irish imports.
Clinking glasses and scraping plates aren't the only sounds that echo across the pub's fenced-in beer garden or its dimly-lit, wood-filled interior. The staff organizes regular events ranging from open mics to trivia nights. Additionally, the pub screens Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United football games during the season, and sometimes twice if the players' mothers are visiting.
Stadium 10 at Northgate's theaters transport audiences into the worlds of first-run movies with immersive picture and sound, comfortable stadium seating, and ample snacks. Plush, high-backed chairs prop up viewers against the torrent of crashes, booms, and Wilhelm screams blasting from the DTS digital-sound systems as they ogle current releases. Handfuls of fluffy Orville Redenbacher's popcorn keep bellies full, and frothy sodas keep tongues wetted while guests stare agape at epic action scenes. Screens also glow during showings in RealD 3-D, giving landscapes, set pieces, and two-dimensional action stars a feeling of depth.
Six Plates Wine Bar minimizes customers’ food indecision with a concise menu that pairs six upscale small plates with six wines by the glass. Despite the menu's diminutive size, there's no lack of variety—the foodies in the kitchen constantly swap out dishes to make use of as many local ingredients as possible, while a clipboard bears a list of more than 150 wines, and 30 beers, sold by the bottle. Mentioned in the New York Times for its use of local food, Six Plates Wine Bar puts an upscale take on comfort foods with its plates, which are about half the size of a traditional entree.
Six Plates Wine Bar's resident wine lover, Matthew Beason, curates a wine list that hails from around the globe—from behind the bar, he'll recount the tale of his first wine love, a 1995 JL Chave Hermitage Blanc that broke his heart when it eloped with a bottle of Boone’s Farm. Each glass romances tongues beneath crystal-drenched chandeliers in the warmly lit dining room, where eclectically framed vintage photos and mirrors share space on exposed brick and deep-amber walls. Diners can recline on red-upholstered armchairs, at the bar, or at intimate, candlelit tables flanked by backed barstools.
Dark-wood paneling, stained glass, and a rustic stone archway lend Doolin’s Irish Pub and Cafe a timeless feel that harks back to the traditional pubs of its namesake village in County Clare. Shiny pressed-tin ceilings seem to blend seamlessly with the old-fashioned beer and whiskey ads that populate the warmly lit bar, and the menu blends together the best of Irish and American comfort fare to suit tastes on both sides of the pond.
Prime beef burgers arrive dressed with sun-dried-tomato aioli and rashers—also known as irish bacon—and creamy cheesecake becomes doubly indulgent when topped with fresh whipped cream and infused with a splash of Baileys. Authentic Irish specialties include a traditional corned-beef dinner with Aliquot mashed potatoes as well as Shannon boxty, a West Ireland specialty that combines grilled, marinated vegetables and a tender potato pancake with the joy of getting to know your dinner on a first-name basis.
Peruse the menu and start your barroom tongue brawl with an appetizer of the pub's loaded fries (french fries with cheese and bacon, $6.95; add homemade chili for $1); fried or grilled wings with mild, hot, or teriyaki sauce (one dozen, $9.50); or fried-chicken tenders ($7.50). Lunchtimers routinely find solace in an order of the pub's fish and chips (beer-battered cod with the pub’s fried potato chips, $9.95) and the North Carolina barbecue-pork platter, with french fries, coleslaw, and hushpuppies ($9.95). For dinner, try the barbecue rib platter (half rack $10.95, full rack $20.95) or an avocado and tomato quesadilla ($11.95), or stick with a classic from the sandwich menu such as the oyster po' boy (fried oysters with coleslaw or Cajun rémoulade in your choice of a hoagie or wrap, $9.95).