The Founding Fathers held their initial meetings in a neighborhood tavern, which explains why the Declaration of Independence's first draft had a long, rambling subsection devoted to how powdered wigs are a natural icebreaker. Revolt against the tyranny of boredom with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of Mediterranean-inspired cafe fare and drinks at Zodiac Cafe and Lounge in Crown Point, Indiana.
Zodiac Cafe and Lounge balances a constellation of themed martinis with a Mediterranean-inspired menu of sandwiches, salads, and small plates. Diners design flights of cheese and olives ($7 for three cheeses), picking from eight varieties including nutty gruyere and creamy havarti, which dazzle palates like a dairy farmer viewed through a kaleidoscope and complement pints ($4$8) from the craft-beer menu. Chefs stuff the patty of the Minotavros burger with a rotating selection of ingredients before nestling it inside a pretzel bun ($9), and a garden of marinated squash, bell pepper, and eggplant mingle with feta and pesto or sun-dried-tomato aioli on the Harmonia panini ($8). Five flatbread pizzas ($7$9) bubble and secretly try to read beneath blankets of smoked barbecue chicken, prosciutto, or greek hummus spiced with sriracha hot sauce and topped with fire-roasted bell peppers.
Twelve zodiac-themed martinis re-imagine each astrological sign as a concoction of colorful spirits, with Scorpio blazing a deep crimson with Absolut Citron, triple sec, and pomegranate juice ($7). Muted earth tones and wood accents anchor both dining room and lounge to terra firma, and starburst light fixtures and an astrological chart grant insight into Zeus's interior-decorating scheme. After the sun sets on the patio, wander inside to check out the schedule of karaoke, open-mic performances, and sets from local house DJs.
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