Liquid Bar & Grill serves up an eclectic menu marrying fine dining staples with casual favorites. The fresh menu brings together appetizers, sandwiches, meats, and more in a culinary harmony unseen since the California Raisins dominated the airwaves. Distinctively seasoned fried calamari eases eaters into any meal ($9.99), and buffalo blazing wings shake taste buds awake with mild or hot sauce ($8.99). A 12-ounce new york strip steak brings a taste of Manhattan ($17.99), and mahi-mahi comes poached, blackened, grilled, or broiled ($15.99). Fettuccine alfredo pairs the rich Italian classic with sensible broccoli for a balanced, colorful plate ($11.99). Lunchers can cap off a club sandwich and fries ($8.99) with a dessert such as the homemade bread-n-butter pudding ($4.99). A large selection of wines and specialty cocktails invites guests to unwind as they pen family cheers to perform in line at nearby Walt Disney World.
As Tommy, one of Howl at the Moon’s piano players, explains on the club’s website, “Every night…we try and throw a party, regardless of whether it’s a Tuesday night or a Saturday night.” The bar’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of these nightly celebrations; patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Stella Artois and Dos Equis.
A self-described “gastrolounge,” Hammerheads Beer & Wine Bar serves up creative, satisfying pub dishes alongside craft beers and frozen cocktails. Its dishes add a subtle, upscale twist to pub mainstays: croissant sliders are filled with bourbon pulled pork, and corn dog balls are wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon before meeting their fate in the deep fryer. Boneless chicken wings and their cousins, tempura-battered chicken nuggets, are carried to tables atop beds of savory waffle fries or sweet potato fries.
Alternating red and yellow walls create a cheery atmosphere, as does the collection of framed paintings and pictures scattered throughout the pub. Regular karaoke nights challenge patrons to lock vocal cords with their buddies and demonstrate their crowd-pleasing prowess by making up choreography to accompany each song. Hammerheads also offers a variety of entertainment options each week, including movie nights and live music.
Unlike restaurants where drinks are an afterthought, Draft Orlando makes them an integral part of each meal. They stock their marble-topped bar with 40 draft beers and 100 bottled selections. In October of 2011, Orlando magazine restaurant critic Joseph Hayes recognized their efforts, stating, "whatever food you are contemplating, there is probably a matching beer." Hayes goes on to laud the eatery for its "well-executed takes on pub food like fish and chips and impressive crab-cake sliders." The chefs also branch out from classic pub cuisine by deep-frying calamari and sprinkling flatbreads with toppings such as Angus rib-eye steaks, which they age for 21 days.
The restaurant's walls incorporate geometric textures, and, depending on the time, the interior can be lit by everything from natural light to the gentle luminance of flat-screen TVs displaying staff screen savers of their pet rocks.
At Eastside Bistro, nestled within the Fashion Square Mall, an expert culinary team crafts gourmet burgers, flatbreads, and steaks. In the kitchen, wings receive a slathering in one of eight sauces before diners chow down on them along with barbecue pulled pork sliders and pesto burgers. Shrimp stuffed with lump crab meat sates the stomach as flat-screen televisions and a billiards table appease the eyes of diners situated indoors, while an outdoor seating area accommodates those who prefer free-range oxygen. Eastside Bistro pumps up their pub fare with live music every Friday and Saturday, and its catering department preps massive platters for onsite or offsite events and luncheons.
With 3 Kings Hookah Lounge’s more than 75 flavors of shisha ready to fill visitors’ pipes, the task of selecting just 1 can be daunting. Luckily, a staff well-versed in matching taste to tobacco helps customers to sift through aromatic mélanges that range from traditional flavors such as mint and strawberry to bowls of real apple, orange, and pineapple pilfered from a nearby still life. Between puffs, teas, baked goods, and appetizers such as samosas and naan pizzas keep mouths occupied. Minds stay engaged with belly dancing on Fridays, games on Sundays, and themed nights throughout the week that pay homage to Bollywood and Latin flair.