Where to eat, drink and keep your guests merry this holiday season

With out-of-town guests beginning to trickle in for the holidays, it's a relief to know you won't have to house, feed and entertain them all by yourself. Well, make that "yes" on house, but with restaurants that double as entertainment zones, there's plenty of help in the other two areas.

Some of these restaurants, like Casa Bonita and Dave & Buster's, should be used only in case of emergency, like that bottle of cheap Chardonnay you received as a hostess gift last summer. But there are other worthy options... See also: - How to survive Casa Bonita, the world's weirdest Mexican restaurant - Slide show: Opening night at Punch Bowl - Social Food & Drink - Vesta Dipping Grill owner Josh Wolkon reflects on fifteen years of success

Punch Bowl - Social Food & Drink, for example, is a 24,000-square-foot playpen for grownups to eat, drink and play in style. PBS offers diner-style food (think upscale burgers, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese), plus eight bowling lanes, shuffleboard, ping-pong, pinball and plenty of other games to keep you and your guests occupied for hours. And with breakfast starting at 7 a.m. weekdays, it's perfect for those East Coasters whose internal clocks haven't quite adjusted to Mountain Standard Time.

Then there's Ace, a smaller (though still expansive at 9,000 square feet) restaurant, bar and ping-pong hall launched last summer by the group behind Steuben's and Vesta Dipping Grill.

Find out if Ace lands on the naughty or nice list when I review it here tomorrow.


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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz