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The Velvet Dog's rep: swank martini bar and nightclub. But its food can be as appealing and adventurous as those signature drinks. Appetizers like hummus deviled eggs, fried pickles and blackened spicy shrimp make for easy pickings, and the Dog's half-pound burgers come dressed with, among other possibilities, blue cheese, chili or a fried egg. Food can be had late, and the back patio is one of the most popular in town.
The small skeeball machines at the Velvet Dog not only are fun to play but also are true friends when you're snockered. Their shortened incline makes it possible for even the most uncoordinated player to score points, no matter how many machines she sees. And it's practically impossible to hurt yourself (or others) while playing — there's not a sharp edge in sight, and the balls are hollow plastic. Best of all, you can redeem the tickets for drinks. Twenty tickets get you one on the house.
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