Best Sports Bar

Champps Americana

For the discerning sports fan who just can't enjoy the game without a proper repast in fine-dining surroundings, there's Champps. Here the emphasis isn't on the mammary measurements of the help but on the quality of the food and the décor. The huge, split-level dining room is divided by a curved half-wall and dominated by dark-stained wood. A bank of gigantic TVs (each a quartet of four-foot-square panels) is mounted along the back wall above the kitchen, while smaller sets perch at strategic spots around the main room. The sheer abundance of monitors means there's not a bad seat in the house, and no sport gets left out of the mix: Bowling and women's college basketball flash on screens next to pro baseball and NBA contests. On weekdays a few sets are even given over to business news. Whatever's on, patrons are busy digging into gourmet fare, not ballpark food. Sure, you can order up potato skins or nachos with your beer, but you can just as easily go for a $35 bottle of Kendall-Jackson merlot to sip with bites of spinach-and-artichoke dip or bruschetta. Wilted spinach and Greek are among the ten salad choices, and an equal number of pasta dishes is offered, along with such main-course items as shrimp or chicken Creole, New York strip steak, and grilled salmon. Even the sports-friendly food -- pizza (on honey-wheat crust), burgers (one crusted with peppercorns), and sandwiches (some on fresh nine-grain bread) -- is done with gourmet flair.

 
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