There's always something going on at Village Idiot Pub, where drink specials abound and live music takes the stage each weekend. A menu of pub grub tempts diners with starters such as lobster wontons and mac 'n' cheese wedges, along with beefy burgers topped with bacon and jalapeños. For finger-licking eats, the pub also prepares chicken wings in 11 sauces, from trademark buffalo to the super-spicy atomic.
Much like many plates of food and bottles of fine wines at Blend Restaurant, the restaurant's ownership is shared. Restaurateurs Jimmy Pace and Tommy Quinn join forces with Chef Mike, whose rampant creativity transforms familiar ingredients into unusual eats. The chef serves pig wings with buffalo and asian style sauces, beef short ribs braised in Madeira demi glace, and Chilean sea bass with romesco sauce. He pairs these eats with an equally impressive array of wines, his list ripe with Napa Valley vintages and international varietals from Italy, Germany, and Argentina.
Pool players of all ages and skill levels can find all the right angles at VIP Billiards’ 20 pool tables seven days a week. When not sinking shots into the spot’s 120 pockets, cue hands keep busy with bottles of beer or a cocktail from the full-service bar, and all patrons can pass the time between games by throwing darts, sending ping-pong balls careening across tables, or using the WiFi to look up pro tips for applying chalk. VIP Billiards also opens up its space and all the attendant green felt surfaces for private parties, fundraisers, and APA league teams.
O’Reilly’s flame-wielders dish up an eclectic menu of traditional Irish-pub fare amid fetching period décor and games fit for the whole family. Imbue taste buds with the savory flavors of a twice-baked shrimp potato ($7.48) before unbridling a gallant fleet of forks upon a legion of irish-sausage links straddled with mashed potatoes and sautéed onions ($14.98). Or invoke the Earl of Sandwich without donning a fluffernutter-encrusted crown by perusing O’Reilly’s selection of handheld eats, which includes the succulent short-rib grilled-cheese sandwich slathered in horseradish sauce ($10.48) and the Bookmaker—a robust layering of filet mignon, sautéed onions, and mushrooms ($13.48). Homemade by O’Reilly’s crack chefs, the strawberry-rhubarb cobbler robes itself with regal dollops of whipped and sweetened Jameson butter ($4.98).
Executive chef and owner Matthew Guiffrida infuses contemporary fare with an innovative spirit in Muse Restaurant & Aquatic Lounge’s menu, which has been lauded in the New York Times. Not Ya Mama’s meatballs ($12) dress up the savory spheres in four varieties: Asian-style with sweet-and-spicy chili sauce, Italian-style with pomodoro sauce and shaved parmesan, a Thanksgiving-inspired treatment with a cranberry and caramelized-vidalia-onion compote, and standard swedish. Upscale couch potatoes can surround themselves with elegance without sneaking into a king's blanket fort as they feast on The T.V. Dinner, which consists of milk-fed-veal meat loaf with grilled portobellos and homemade ketchup glaze ($26). The Breakfast 4 Supper cloaks black-pepper-and-parmesan french toast with chipotle-maple syrup, served alongside sweet-potato corned-beef hash, a poached egg, and béarnaise sauce ($24). Simply Grilled entrees give new york strip or Atlantic salmon a more minimalist treatment and an entourage of garlic-infused whipped potatoes and grilled asparagus ($29).
Since 1983, the family-owned Duffy's has served a tasty assortment of Irish fare, comfort cuisine, fresh seafood, and juicy steaks, helping prepare bellies for a bevy of pints soon to follow. Duffy's dinner menu starts with Irish favorites such as bacon-topped calf's liver ($14.95) and thinly sliced pot roast ($13.95), in addition to its thick, signature burgers ($8.50). Diners can stop by at noontime for lunch, whereas night owls can drop in at moontime for late-night eats such as cheddar-smothered potato skins ($7.95). To drink, Duffy's offers Irish standards such as Guinness and Smithwick's on tap, as well as a seasonal rotation of palate-pleasing martinis and cocktails. Duffy's interior is furnished with oak antiques, giving off a warm vibe that is part speakeasy, part authentic Irish pub, but without the pesky infusion of James Joyce practicing his sitar from beyond the grave. Slide into a cozy booth, or settle into the wicker furniture on the outdoor patio, which boasts custom Celtic iron railings, a blue stone stamped patio, and a see-through gas fireplace.