We love The Wildcat Inn & Tavern and want to make it the best spot for dining, dancing, and fun in The Mount Washington Valley. When we add new menu items, book new bands, or try anything different at The Wildcat our ideas are often influenced by some of the really cool places we’ve discovered in our travels. We is usually some combination of me (Stu), my brother Mike (Mo), The Dean (Dad) or Dave. Dave usually patrols the West Coast while we focus on the East and Mid Atlantic. These are well worn paths with lots of stories and great memories. Since most of our friends and guests travel extensively we wanted to share some of our top picks around the county for you to visit when you are on the road!
Forlini’s Restaurant, New York, NY
Turn right off Canal onto Baxter and look for the postage stamp size parking lot on the left before the red brick restaurant and you’re back in 1940’s New York – the Village in the 1940’s that is. This is old New York – same family, same booths, same atmosphere, same unbelievable Northern Italian food. Best Italian I’ve ever had and my chef is Italian. Joe’s the owner. Whadda guy! He couldn’t have been more gracious and welcoming.
After a day in Mid Town 10 days before Christmas this place was heaven. There were 8 of us so trust me when I say everything is good. Be sure to have cannoli and espresso to end your night….as Joe reminded me…”You know what they said in the Godfather about cannoli?…..Drop the guns- grab the cannoli!!!” Thank you godfather and Mrs. K…..you hit I out of the park on this one!
The Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, DC
What a find!!!! Right around the corner from the White House, but don’t let that hold you back. Sure, lots of tourists and politicians on the take, but this place is Old DC with great walls of rich dark wood, wonderful frescos and oysters. Oh my merciful God the oysters…they have them from everywhere up and down the East Coast. The best part of the Ebbitt is the bar staff. What a great group of old school Bar Men. Can’t wait to go back!!
For anyone who loves the University of Notre Dame or anything that has to do with college football the “Backer” as it is locally known is the coolest place on the planet. Right across the street from the main campus it looks more like a bomb shelter from the outside than one of America’s great bars and restaurants. DO NOT LET THE CINDER BLOCK EXTERIOR STOP YOU. Stepping inside this dimly lit bar you are instantly transported back in time. Notre Dame legends are everywhere – in person and in photos all over the walls. We recommend the Backer any time of day or year, but if you are lucky enough to get in the door during home football game your likely to be seated next to a former Heisman Trophy Winner, past captain, or any one of ND’s great sports legends back in town to cheer on the Irish. The bottom line is you won’t find a friendlier, more welcoming place on the planet. From the great local crowd to college legends this is the friendliest place we have ever been with coldest beer at the best prices.
Probably the oldest bar on Long Island. Warning, you won’t find it on your own. Ask somebody. Then ask somebody again, the find the police station, Murphs is right next door. When you do find it you’re still not going to be sure that you’re in the right place. The uncertainty won’t pass when you walk inside, but stay thou must. You’ve just walked into a spartan 18th century pub with old weathered floors and a sagging second floor ceiling just above your head. It’s dark, it’s tiny, it only has a few tables and chairs that appear to be centuries old, but the Bar Keep is a gentleman and the drinks are outstanding. I think they have food and I’m pretty sure they have a summer patio, but once I wedged myself into a corner table with Mo we never moved a muscle other than those required to hoist glass after glass cool black beer. If I can find it again, I can’t wait to go back and see what I missed or can’t remember. I have a feeling the late night crowd is bizarre in a very, very fun way!
I have been driving past the Tavern’s touristy predecessor for years wondering why someone didn’t stick a rustic local pub and eatery in its place. Then one day there it was – The Foreside Tavern. From the looks of the expensive cars in the lot and its fashionable Falmouth address I figured this was some sort of high end silly quiche joint, but I was wrong. Very wrong! Just walk in the door and you’ve got everyone from the local builders, to little leaguers and their moms, to Portland’s money managers minus the attitude. Great wood floors, simple décor, super friendly staff and a terrifically brief menu with lots to drink. This place just feels friendly and it always delivers. What amazes me the most when the place is packed with people is that it never seems crowded. The staff are cool, calm and collected and the kitchen can turn an order as fast as any place I’ve been.
10 minutes from the campus of Bucknell University, right off Route 15 you bang a left up the hill just before local favorite Ted’s Landing to the top of a flat shale nob with spectacular views of the Susquehanna River. You’re at Skeeters. In general we like old places and tend to stay away from new spots, but Skeeters is the exception. Its beautiful post and beam construction has cathedral ceilings and huge windows overlooking this lazy river that lets in all kinds of wonderful light 365 days a year. Cold beer, great barbecue, and lots of live entertainment. If you’re in the area Sunday afternoon or early evening this is the place to be. Check the calendar for the Frank Wicker Band and his classic country music. Frank can bring it. Brother Mike, Dean Dunlop, and I like to sit right up front so we can talk to Frank and buy him some beers between sets. If we arrive too early things can get a bit foggy, but it’s worth the risk for this great show!