Surrounded by dark wooden accents and a single grand chandelier, T.J. Stone’s serves a menu of modern American cuisine peppered with saucy barbecue, fresh seafood, and innovative recipes. Chefs forge tender pasta and savory sausage from scratch for the sausage-and-mushroom pasta, baked in a rich sauce of shallots, garlic, and dry vermouth. Half-racks of pork ribs adorn faces with smoky and stylish sauce beards, served with a selection of two sides, such as coleslaw or baked beans. The pepper-crusted tuna rolls blissfully in cracked black peppercorns before pan-searing in its savory flavors and donning creole-mustard barbecue sauce, baby arugula, and leafy cilantro.
Patrons struggle to narrow down choices from a menu of pizzas, burgers, and seafood at FireFlies while live bands and athletic events on a big-screen television draw cheers beneath eclectic works of art. Chefs slip norwegian smoked salmon amid the seemingly conventional BSLT sandwich's apple-smoked bacon, lettuce, and tomato ($9.99), delighting diners and homesick mermen. Light chipotle jus permeates slow-roasted pork shoulders ($14.99), and ripples of garlicky goat-cheese sauce gurgle among roasted red peppers, onions, olives, and artichokes atop the Red, White & Green pizza ($13.99). Chipotle mayo and guacamole compete for top billing in maws clamping around the half-pound Cali burger ($10.99), which hides beneath a house-made bun like a baker's spare house key. Though they are not included in this Groupon, inventive cocktails such as the FireFlies chocolate toddy, which floats a marshmallow on a dark sea of chocolate sauce, Maker's Mark, and Disaronno, slide down the gleaming bar to chatting patrons. FireFlies' online calendar and Twitter feed contain constantly changing updates about live musicians, trivia, and other events.
Shooter McGee's bolsters its neighborhood pub atmosphere with a menu packed with pub-fare classics and modern comestibles. Chefs prep appetites for satiation with hearty appetizers, including the modern-leaning trio of duck tacos, with spiced duck confit filling out tortillas ($9.99). Patties of Angus beef take up residence between pillowy buns for burgers such as the bacon and cheese, with applewood-smoked bacon and a choice of 10 cheeses, plus a side of hand-cut fries, slaw, mac 'n' cheese, or baked beans ($9). The herb chicken & greens salad piles herb-roasted chicken over mixed greens with fresh mozzarella and a balsamic reduction ($12). Revel in the twin-flavored pursuits of the strawberry-balsamic pork tenderloin ($16), or delicately nibble through the eight hours of flavor that go into each rack of barbecue ribs ($20).
At Fairouz Cafe, waiters ameliorate appetites with a menu of classic Middle Eastern dishes. Hummus bel-shawarma ($9.95) jump-starts eating engines with a serving of hummus topped by slices of beef and lamb, created by cracking a meat piñata over the plate. The chicken kebab platter unites marinated, boneless chicken cubes with rice ($11.95), and the falafel sandwich corrals fried chickpea patties into bellies ($5.95). Combo appetizer plates such as the yogurt salad with diced cucumbers ($3.50) or the shakshouky, an eggplant salad with diced tomatoes and pomegranate extract ($5.95), juxtapose simple ingredients to accentuate their flavor, much like PB&J sandwiches or barbershop quartets with one rapper. Escort meals to hunger-vanquishing glory on a cascade of nonalcoholic beverages such as juices and smoothies ($4.50) or a toasty pot of Turkish coffee ($3.95). During meals, diners can enjoy the smoky flavors of a hookah (not included with this Groupon), soak in live or DJed music, observe the sensual stylings of a belly dancer, or keep up with sports on wall-mounted televisions.