Win or lose, here's where some of the NBA's top players head for a little postgame noshing while on the road.RESTAURANTS
When the Cleveland Cavaliers develop an appetite playing their rival, the Chicago Bulls, they sate their hunger at the iconic Gibsons Bar &; Steakhouse (1028 North Rush Street, 312-266-8999, www.gibsonssteakhouse.com). The Gold Coast steak house is a favorite among athletes, movie stars, and tourists hoping to get a glimpse of Chicago glitterati. Zydrunas Ilgauskas recommends “the biggest steak they have, mashed potatoes, and veggies.”
Another team favorite is the Home Run Inn (4254 West 31st Street, 773-247-9696, www.homeruninn.com), a chain of pizza joints where players can grab a pie while catching the highlights from the game. The pizza is some of Chicago’s best, but J.J. Hickson’s favorite? The wings.
Beef is as much a part of Dallas as the Mavericks, and the New Jersey Nets don’t forget that when they’re in town. The Capital Grille (500 Crescent Court, 214-303-0500, www.thecapitalgrille.com), known for its elegant dining, spectacular lamb chops, and dry-aged steaks, is a regular stop for the Jersey team. Coach Lawrence Frank usually tackles the 22-ounce Delmonico steak.
When the Nets are hungering for a more exotic menu, they hit up chic Nobu Dallas (400 Crescent Court, 214-252-7000, www.noburestaurants.com), where Devin Harris can’t resist the sautéed shrimp with spicy garlic sauce.
With so many famous dining options in Los Angeles, the Dallas Mavericks always have a hard time choosing. But, Mr. Chow (344 North Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, 310-278-9911, www.mrchow.com), where celebrity sightings are as common as dumplings, is always a number one pick. Erick Dampier raves about the Mr. Chow Noodles with Chicken.
The team also has difficulty passing up Crustacean Beverly Hills (9646 Little Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, www.anfamily.com), a Euro-Vietnamese hot spot considered one of the best restaurants in the country.
Fortunately for the Miami Heat, finding a great meal in Boston is a lot easier than finding a way around Kevin Garnett. The Miami team loves eating at the ultra-relaxing Sonsie (327 Newbury Street, 617-351-2500, sonsieboston.com), where the leather sofas and a sidewalk café area complement the unique and diverse menu. Marcus Banks suggests the grilled sirloin steak and the spinach with garlic and olive oil.
The team also recommends the Bristol Lounge (200 Boylston Street, 617-338-4400, www.fourseasons.com/boston) in the Four Seasons Hotel, because after a bruising game, leaving the hotel can seem like a bit of a daunting task. Known as “Boston’s living room,” the lounge offers stunning views of the Boston Public Garden as a scenic side dish to its gourmet meals. The Bristol sirloin burger with aged Vermont cheddar and crispy fries is always a sure pick.
A game at Madison Square Garden is only part of the New York experience. After playing the Knicks, the Phoenix Suns get authentic by hitting up Pizza Shack (525 Grand Street, 212-477-3367), one of the best places in the city to grab a Coke and a slice.
When a bigger celebration (and meal) is in order, though, the Suns like a sizzling hunk of beef, so the team heads to Houston’s (378 Park Avenue South, 212-689-1090, www.hillstone.com). Specializing in an array of American food and sporting an extensive wine list, it never disappoints. Matt Barnes’ top pick? What else, the New York Strip Steak.
They Answered …
1. What’s the one thing you can’t do without when you’re on the road?
2. What’s your favorite city to play in?
3. What’s your favorite hotel?