Come for the food, stay for the ping pong
June 26th, 2011
02:30 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to get our grub on, we listen up.

If there’s one thing I want to do in a restaurant, it’s eat something amazing. But if I get to eat something good and beat my friend at ping pong, well then things are going really well for me. Happily, there’s a whole new world of restaurants that decided to take the Dave & Buster's concept to another level, combining great food with super-fun extracurricular activities.

Fly Fishing at the Restaurant at the Little Nell, Aspen – The hotel hasn’t actually installed a river in the middle of their dining room. But they do take guests out for a fly-fishing lesson and chef Robert McCormick will serve a waterside lunch on fine china, along the lines of salmon crostini and housemade ice cream sandwiches. Starting this summer, they’ll make trips in a gorgeous new made-in-Montana wooden boat. thelittlenell.com

Surfing at Casa del Mar, Santa Monica – The name, Surf with Chef, says everything you need to know. You get a surf lesson with a private instructor and chef Jason Bowlin (chef at the hotel’s Catch restaurant; let’s assume he’s a good surfer); then Bowlin will slide in and serve lunch made with ingredients you’ve caught…. No! from the nearby farmer’s market, where he’ll make dishes like roasted beets with burrata. hotelcasadelmar.com

Rocking out at Sam’s, Boston – Sam’s co-owner, guitarist Drew Parsons (of American HiFi) often plays live sets on Friday nights at the restaurant. Extra credit to Sam’s: they also have a bocce court where groups can compete and sample dishes like black pepper patty burgers, and drink a Captain Hilt, a mix of bourbon, chartreuse and raspberry puree. samsatlouis.com

Ping-Ponging at Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club, NYC – Down at South Street Seaport, chef Jason Mayer serves German bratwurst on a pretzel bun (also hand-stretched pretzel snacks and cinnamon-sugar pretzels for dessert). There’s live music (George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at the end of July!) and a rec room dream assortment of ping pong, foosball and pool. beekmanbeergarden.com

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Mildred

    There's a German style beer garden here in Albany, NY that has ping pong and darts.

    Heck, the Jillian's chain has a restaurant, dance club, and arcade.

    June 27, 2011 at 8:59 am |
  2. Jo

    Sweet! Nowadays you have to stay ahead of the curve to get people out to eat. Very clever.

    June 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  3. Ben D. Over

    Thank you m'am,may I have another?

    June 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  4. Mewa

    You forgot Comet in DC and Homeslice in Austin

    June 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Andrew

      I was at Comet two weeks ago!

      June 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
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