Seared tuna spinach salad at Players Bar & Grill (By Jen Rynda )
First, don’t mistake the new Players Bar & Grill for what used to be Mangia’s in Waverly Woods Shopping Center. The new upscale bar and grill may occupy the same spot in the strip, but owner Simon Sadoun, general manager Sean Brown and executive chef Doug Jones have transformed the space and menu into a classy sports-themed restaurant with an eclectic variety of dishes, from stuffed avocado appetizers to seafood jambalaya and gourmet desserts almost too pretty to eat — but you will.
“I wanted to do a menu with popular things but move them to the next level,” says Jones.
Dishes include ribs and ribeye, salads, sandwiches, pizza, calzones and stromboli. Except here you’ll also find Cajun spring rolls, fried ravioli, po’ boys and a vegetarian calzone with broccoli, spinach, mushrooms and cheese.
Football helmets and baseball bats hang high on the walls of the main dining room, and framed, signed photographs of professional athletes are lined up in the bar. The outdoor patio, overlooking the neighborhood golf course, underwent a major renovation and now has flat-screen TVs and surround sound.
Even cooler? Every third Sunday, Players brings in a swing band and couples can dance in the middle of the dining room. There’s live music on weekends and karaoke on Saturday night.
And those scrumptious desserts? They can be picked up all day long in the little patisserie and café adjacent to the restaurant.
Players Bar & Grill (and Patisserie), 10795 Birmingham Way, Woodstock. 410-461-2900. www.playersbargrill.com.