You know what’s impressive? A place that can keep me indoors on a Saturday night, on a beautiful summer evening. And that place is Kings Bowl in Lincoln Park’s New City. There is absolutely nothing lacking in this 24,000 square foot entertainment complex, featuring 16 ten-pin bowling lanes, a social gaming area, an upscale lounge and a restaurant. The Lincoln Park spot is their eighth venue nationwide. Why am I just discovering this place!
I was invited to experience the magic at Kings recently and they were nice enough to let me bring a guest. When we arrived, we were immediately greeted by the staff, who seemed genuinely excited to welcome us to a night full of fun.
The first part of our evening started with a dinner tasting of their featured seafood items, as well as some fun cocktails. The Runaway Phish Big Ball for Two was just the perfect initiation into the evening. My friend and I were simultaneously overwhelmed when this giant concoction of vodka, coconut rum, Blue Curacao, energy drink, pineapple juice and sour mix was brought out garnished with Swedish fish. Trying to catch the fish with my straw seemed like the perfect metaphor for my pescetarian lifestyle. Side note: unless you want your drink to be your meal the Big Ball can easily be shared by more than two people.
We made a small dent in our drink before we were treated to a feast, starting with the Crispy& Spicy Calamari and a portion of Buffalo Wontons for my meat-loving friend. The calamari was utterly delicious with spicy fried peppers and a generous mix of both rings and tentacles dredged in seasoned flour. It also came with the sweetest, most tantalizing chili dipping sauce. The fried parsley and lemon wheel for garnish also provided a good amount of tang to the dish, which always goes well with calamari.
I’ve learned now from other tastings not to fill up on appetizers, no matter how delicious they are. And I’m glad I didn’t, because the Ginger Soy Glazed Salmon and Maple Glazed Sea Scallops that came next were equally irresistible.
The scallops were tender, plump and fire glazed to perfection. The Pineapple Mango Fried Rice served together with it was so flavorful that I had to remind myself that it was a side. The marinade on the medium salmon had a beautiful mahogany glaze with perfect sweetness to it. It came with some fried Kungpao Cauliflower, which was tossed with diced grilled pineapple and Julienne Fresno peppers. Everything on the menu and every bite of the food made me feel like I was on a tropical vacation. And I saw my guest raving similarly at the Steak Tips he had ordered for his meal. We both also chowed down on a big pile of creamy, red bliss mashed potatoes that came with both our entrees.
We were stuffed, but the sugar center in our brains didn’t let us give up on the S’mores Brownie Sundae With Oreos. Holy S’Morey! Every bite of the creamy vanilla ice cream, crushed Oreos and chocolate sauce was well worth all the calories. A dessert good enough to make you forget your guilt!
We realized at this point that we either had to go home and sleep off the food coma we were in or get moving. So we decided to bowl and let our food digest. The music had started to pick up by now which got us into our Saturday night groove. After a fun round of bowling, we decided to play a little air hockey. Little did we know that this was just the beginning to a very long night of gaming ahead of us. At one point, the staff challenged us to a four-person game and got our competitive spirits fully charged.
I also got to try Shuffle Board for the first time. A fun game that will really test your patience! We were so engrossed in our gaming that at one point we paused to look around and find that the place was pulsating with energy. It felt like there was something for everyone. There were some folks sipping drinks at the bar, some enjoying a quiet game of pool in a separate room, and others like us who were all enthralled in the gaming scene. We stayed there until almost closing time! The staff was constantly checking on us to make sure we were enjoying ourselves and left no stone unturned in giving us the full experience at Kings.
There is no doubt that I will return here and tell my friends about it. I was also pleasantly surprised at all the seafood offerings one wouldn’t expect at a place like Kings. A great place to just dine in and be a casual observer, if gaming is not your thing. I hadn’t bowled in a very long time and Kings reminded me how much fun it is. I especially can’t wait to take advantage of their Sunny Days Bowling promotion that offers $10 all-you-can-play-bowling on those hot summer days when you still want to be out but get some reprieve from the heat. The offer is only offered through September 5th and does not include shoe rentals. And did I mention that you can enjoy an al fresco dining experience on their beautiful outdoor patio? I wasn’t joking when I said that Kings offers it all. Make sure to go there this summer. I guarantee you it won’t be a short visit!
Kings Bowl Lincoln Park
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Address: 1500 North Clybourn Avenue, NewCity, Chicago, IL 60610
Phone: (312) 973-4920
Hours: Sun-Thurs: Noon – 12:00am, Fri - Sat: 11:00am –2:00am
Price: $5.50- $21