America's Backyard hosts daily drink specials and events that include the beer-pong-fueled College Night, and Lady's Night, where women drink premium cocktails free of charge. Those whose feet are trapped in perpetual motion can slip into a pair of dancing shoes and head to one of the DJ dance parties. After working up an appetite on the dance floor, patrons can select from a menu brimming with American eats, such as heaping servings of pound 4 pound wings available in one-pound ($8.75), two-pound ($15.75), and five-pound ($34.75) proportions. And classically conditioned diners can spruce up a half-pound Backyard burger ($8.75) with a guzzle from das boot, which is filled past the ankle with a choice of imported ($11.75) or domestic ($10.75) beer.
When Gerald Bennett began work as head chef at the InterContinental Hotel in Cleveland, he was accustomed to whipping up dishes for celebrity clientele. But when the royal family of Dubai came to visit and he served them in their opulent suite, he never thought they'd ask him to leave with them as their personal chef. Since returning to the states and stepping into his role as the president of the Private Chef Association, Gerald has worked to bring his gastronomic prowess to the masses through Food Fun Adventure’s classes and tours. He passes along a visible passion for culinary fusion, which shines through in dishes blending French and Thai or American and German influences.
Culinary tours take participants to local sushi houses, steak houses, and bistros, each highlighting specialty dishes. When head chefs come out to greet their visitors, they often divulge culinary secrets and answer questions about curfew hours for free-range ingredients while doling out tapas and other small plates.
In a more hands-on culinary experience, customers gather in classes and learn to refine dishes based on a chosen theme. Using mostly local and organic ingredients in two kitchen classrooms, chefs show students how to craft delicacies such as scallion waffles with orange-zest chicken and tagine-roasted rack of lamb. In one kitchen, which doubles as an art gallery, knives flick through ingredients, and pots clatter at island stations and small burners. The company’s event center, Heaven, fills with chatter as up to 40 pairs of students filter in. Beneath projectors for screening chef demonstrations and documentaries about the life of a paring knife, separate kitchens equipped with ovens and burners fill with the bustle of creation, which gives way to reverent exhalations as patrons finally sample the fruits of their labor.
Jamaican natives Desmond and Catherine Malcolm migrated from their home country to Canada in 1977, where they catered myriad events—including their own wedding—until relocating to Florida in 1988. Combining Desmond's culinary chops, Catherine's business and customer-service expertise, and the duo's passion for Jamaican cuisine, the Malcolms opened their first Jerk Machine in December 1989. Jerk Machine dispenses delectable heaps of jerked and curried eats alongside traditional sides all concocted fresh daily without preservatives. Each locale greets patrons with pimento and scotch-bonnet-pepper aroma, a bouncy reggae soundtrack, and a 30-minute secret handshake as they await their meals.
Little can be said about great food, mainly because of all the chewing involved. Find yourself pleasantly speechless with today’s Groupon: $20 for $45 worth of mouth-watering American cuisine at Himmarshee Bar & Grille in Ft. Lauderdale.
Green Room serves as a hub for culture and high society to dance, chat, and sip a panoply of delectable libations. Start out the night with a thirst-slaking PBR ($2), or opt for classier suds from the selection of nearly 50 craft beers ($4–$7). Green Room’s mixologists shake up mixed drinks from behind a full bar ($5–$10). Check the website for a list of diverse events, including indie and electro dance parties beneath the club's vibrant green floodlights as well as live concerts, burlesque performances, and fashion shows. Club-goers can also sip their libations while watching live paintings or tote their beverages through a newly installed bi-level art gallery.