Sitting in the shadow of Bank of America stadium, this bar is smack in the middle of the Carolina Panthers’ backyard. With 40 beers on tap, and even Moscow Mules on draft (served in a mason jar, of course), Draught makes the sports bar feel a little bit more upscale. You can make table reservations now or head to the outdoor heated tents to watch on one of three Jumbotrons ordered just for the occasion. 601 S. Cedar St.
Though Duckworth’s has five bars around Charlotte, Panthers fans will likely migrate to the bar’s biggest outpost in Uptown. This location has 170 (!) televisions—more than the number of tables—and, according to a local news source, is preparing to serve more than 20,000 wings. Known for its craft beer, Duckworth’s has more than 50 brews on tap, with many from North Carolina; and if you’re not throwing back wings, try one of the Philly cheesesteaks this spot is known for. 330 N. Tryon St.
Right off the Bland Street light rail station in Charlotte, the All American Pub is just a few blocks from the Bank of America stadium and is a regular haunt for dedicated fans. Grab a $5 tall boy and an order of Carolina pulled-pork stuffed egg rolls and enjoy the dance parties during TV breaks (you’ll have to catch up on the Super Bowl commercials at home if you stop at this bar). Disclaimer: We have it on good authority that this pub will be packed (extremely packed), so bring your game face to push your way to the bar. 200 E. Bland St.
Located in the city’s historic Southend, this pub channels an authentic Irish feel and is offering reservations for Panthers fans looking to secure a seat in front of one of the bar’s two giant projectors. With bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, and corned beef and cabbage on the menu, this pub isn’t just for those who want to watch the game with a Guinness at their side. 933 South Blvd.
The only thing Coloradans love more than their Broncos is craft beer, and Breckenridge Brewery is one of the state’s original brewers, pouring suds born high in the Rockies at its Denver ale house, a sporty hot spot in the historic Ball Park Neighborhood adjacent to Coors Field. Pop in for 32 American craft beers on tap and plenty of big screens. Top pours include Breckenridge Brewery’s Avalanche Ale, Oatmeal Stout, and Breck IPA. 2220 Blake St.
Celeb-chef Richard Sandoval stormed the Mile High City dining scene with this hip spot in the RiverFront Park neighborhood, just west of downtown. The place is modeled after Sandoval’s New York City outpost, complete with chef’s “Library of Tequila,” a collection of more than 350 tequilas, mezcals, and agave spirits. Pair your pour with Latin-Asian fusion fare, from spicy sushi to tasty tacos. Watch the game at the restaurants bottomless viewing party—$35 per guest includes all you can eat and drink. 1610 Little Raven St.
The steakhouse is so passé. Denver likes its steak like it likes its beer and booze—locally made and low key. This spot in the trendy Highlands neighborhood north of downtown melds the pomp of a classic steakhouse with the vibe of a local tavern. LoHi goes the extra mile for Super Bowl Sunday with a viewing party benefiting Denver’s Children’s Hospital. A $25 donation includes five beers or cocktails along with a selection of choice appetizers. 3200 Tejon St.
Beyond its beauty as one of Denver’s most cherished parks, the neighborhood ringing Washington Park is among the city’s most beautiful, with cafes, bars, and boutiques hidden down side streets, and a beloved sports bar down a back alley. Pair a pitcher of Coors with the bar’s famous wings. With 28 big screens blasting out the Big Game, you’re sure to have a good seat— and during commercial breaks you can play arcade games ranging from classic pinball to Ms. Pac-Man to Big Buck Hunter. 266B South Downing St.No tags
Savannah is well known for its history and charm. There are stately, centuries-old oak trees and Spanish moss that hangs everywhere like curtains. There are cemeteries with gravestones that read collectively like story books. And there’s the genius of its urban planning: The 22 genteel squares that punctuate the city’s grid with places to gather and laze and let the pace of a more relaxed idea of life slowly soak in. Thanks to a spate of new restaurants like The Grey, Savannah is also becoming known for a fresh wave of cuisine and hospitality that plays into local legacy, but is also very much of the moment.
The Grey’s restaurateur John O. Morisano and chef Mashama Bailey aren’t the likeliest business partners. Morisano, 48, grew up Italian on Staten Island in New York City, eventually launching a career as a tech and media investor. Bailey, 41 and African American, spent her childhood in Savannah and the boroughs of Queens and the Bronx, before cooking with Gabrielle Hamilton at her esteemed Manhattan restaurant, Prune. After Morisano fell in love with Savannah on a road trip a few years back, he bought a home there—and a former Greyhound bus station, with plans to turn it into a restaurant that was hugely ambitious in its menu and design: Southern, but modern. Today, the station has been restored to a work of art deco glory, its metal, wood, and tile all expertly arranged by the design firm Parts and Labor. Dishes include Bailey’s velvety fried sweetbreads with a vibrant parsley salad, and her ash-roasted sweet potato, thoughtfully seasoned with roasted chili pepper and molasses.
At the onset, Morisano was obsessed with Hamilton becoming his chef—he’d listened to her audiobook—but Hamilton introduced him to Bailey instead, pointing out her Savannah connection (her parents were married in a church close to the restaurant). Hamilton proved to be quite the matchmaker: A year into operations, The Grey has become one of the buzziest spots in the country. And if there’s one dish that showcases Bailey’s and Morisano’s collaborative spirit—and why the cooking at The Grey has been so resonant—it’s the clams and dumplings; an alle vongole-adjacent idea that evolved like this:
Mashama Bailey: “We were talking about switching up the menu and running mussels with white wine, parsley sauce, and a piece of grilled bread on top. But I felt like I’d had that everywhere.”
John O. Morisano: “Mashama wanted to find a way to incorporate clams from Sapelo Island onto the menu. Sapelo Island clams are held in high regard here. They’re the perfect size, the perfect bite of brininess. I immediately advocated for linguine with clam sauce. Mashama looked at me and said: ‘I’m not Italian. I’m not doing linguine with clam sauce.’ She was like, ‘We’ll have that at your house on Sunday afternoon. We’re not having that at The Grey.’”
Bailey: “I’m trying to look at everything through a person’s eyes who lives here—their cravings, and tapping into my own Southern childhood as well. But I started looking through all these Italian cookbooks. The dish started as clams and a bread dough. I called it clams and dumplings, but it wasn’t. It was more like clams and bread. It didn’t resonate. Then it just clicked: to put clams with actual dumplings. Purging the clams can be a struggle. You soak them in a little bit of salt and water and you have to agitate them just to get it to filter through. It can take hours. Sometimes, you purge once. Sometimes, 10 times. We cook to order, about 10 clams at a time, covering them about half way up [in a pan] with water and white wine.”
Morisano: “A dry wine, not a sweet one.”
Bailey: “We steam them open, they release their juices, we take them out of the liquid and hold them warm.”
Morisano: “It takes four to five minutes for the clams to open.”
Bailey: “When you think about chicken and dumplings, it’s a drop dumpling. That means you make the batter—flour, baking powder, butter, salt, water, sometimes milk or buttermilk—and drop the dough into the boiling liquid. I knew I wanted to use that technique here, dropping the dough into the sauce with a teaspoon and cooking it that way so it comes out rustic looking. That gets the dumplings seasoned with the clam juice and the wine. I cook them on each side for about two minutes, five dumplings per 10 clams. That way, there’s a little dumpling leftover to soak up the broth at the bottom of the bowl.”
Morisano: “These are very juicy clams. There’s a paste that goes into the liquid as well.”
Bailey: “We make a sort of salsa verde, chopping parsley and arugula, then grinding it down in a mortar and pestle with a little olive oil, garlic, and chili flakes. That seasons the dumplings, too. It takes it to the edge of wonderfulness.”
Morisano: “We’ve had tables who order this, eat it, and a order a second helping. It’s the perfect representation of Mashama’s cooking—it feels just familiar enough, but by putting dumplings with clams, it also feels totally new.”No tags
Virgin’s entry into the highly competitive L.A.-to-Hawaii market is good news for travelers. Make that excellent news. Los Angeles is the no. 1 U.S. mainland departure city for Hawaii flights, and every day sees approximately 15 jets take off from LAX to Hawaii’s capital alone. The 50th state is also the top tourism destination all around from the West Coast, racking up over 3.3 million visitors in 2014. Travelers may chose to fly non-stop from LAX or SFO, or connect to the islands from Virgin America’s other flights out of New York (JFK), Seattle, and Las Vegas.
Already the competition is bringing airfares down; Virgin America’s starting price of $169 one-way from L.A. to Hawaii is less than its $199 promo price from San Francisco, and deals from the West Coast on competitor Hawaiian Airlines have, over the last few months, dipped as low as $400 round-trip, which is hundreds less than the average for Hawaii’s winter high season.
When the airline celebrated its inaugural Hawaii flight—from San Francisco to Honolulu on November 2, 2015—Virgin Group head honcho Richard Branson hinted to Condé Nast Traveler that he had “one or two new [routes] penciled into the diary.” Virgin America CEO David Cush was a little less cryptic, saying, “In 2017 we’ll be looking at service from Los Angeles and from San Francisco to some of the smaller islands.” Thankfully travelers won’t have to wait until next year to sip Virgin’s “Makena Cocktail” (a crew-created cocktail of POG, or passion-orange-guava juice, with rum, club soda, and grenadine specially for the Hawaii routes) between Hollywood and paradise; the daily L.A. routes are scheduled to begin to Honolulu on May 5 and to Maui on June 14.
Cush admits that Hawaii has been Virgin America’s most requested destination from the airline’s start, back in 2007, and the response to the new flights out of San Francisco has been beyond expectations. Says Cush: “Since we launched our Hawaii service last year, we’ve seen firsthand why it is one of the most popular leisure destinations among West Coast travelers. The guest response to our new routes has been extremely positive.”
To score one of the promo $169 one-way deals between L.A. and Hawaii on Virgin America, visit the airline’s website and search travel dates from late spring through summer.No tags