Catering to aspiring dancers as young as 18 months, A Dance Place offers lessons in a non-competitive friendly environment to help build youngsters confidence and self-esteem. The littlest dancers can take part in mommy and me classes or creative movement sessions, which instill them with a love of physical expression. Ballet, tap, and hip-hop lessons, meanwhile, allow pupils to delve into more specialized disciplines.
Before it became home to The Underground in 1997, the restaurant and bar's turn-of-the-century building housed a teashop owned by Mike Tyson's former mother-in-law and a communist bookstore reportedly teeming with FBI agents. It's an appropriately eclectic history for a nightspot that has been a filming location for TV shows such as Law and Order and stages diverse acts almost nightly, from offbeat musicals and cabaret singers to burgeoning comics and jazz combos.
Melodies and laughter soar toward The Underground's arched brick ceilings, carrying all the way to the bar where, behind its handmade stone top, bartenders mix cocktails, pour wines, and supply beer by the tap, bottle, and can. Libations complement the kitchen's shareable snacks, which range from platters of cuban paninis or barbecue pulled-pork sandwiches to pizzas such as the gorgonzola apple, which chefs make by hand with fruit plucked from a gorgonzola apple tree.
Combining coffeehouse cool with club beats, Sip Bar entices patrons with an inventive array of international eats for brunch, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant delights morning diners with rise-and-shineables such as granola and yogurt ($7) or eggs in a basket, a more portable alternative to orange juice in a butterfly net ($10). Tongues in need of a tasty wakeup are treated to frothy, creamy cappuccinos ($4). Later in the day, small wooden tables cheerily grumble beneath the weight of roasted eggplant sandwiches, stuffed with garlic, roasted red pepper and mozzarella ($9), garlic shrimp ($17), and Hungarian-style goulash with potato dumplings ($20). Sip serves its full menu every day until 4 a.m., ensuring that hungry night owls needn't gnaw on coasters or deep-fried napkin rings.
Unlike its eclectic selection of seasonal dishes, Lura Restaurant features a design theme hinged on two simple materials: wood and rock. Walls lined with exposed stone and brick surround stained-wood tables, thick timber columns, and a wooden mantle above a fireplace. Patrons gather in the rustic setting to share Mediterranean-style tapas, which may include sun-dried-tomato hummus, tahini artichoke hearts, and Italian-style fettuccini with fennel sausage or to devour individual dishes, such as grilled tiger shrimp and steak frites. As its cocktail-embedded logo suggests, Lura Restaurant also offers a number of mixed drinks, wine, and beer that pair perfectly with the seasonally changing menu and your frenemy’s face.
Ding Dong Lounge, a weathered and dimly lit punk rock bar devoted to both live and remembered music, has earned praises by Ben Yakas of the online magazine Gothamist for its "oodles of personality.” The exposed brick walls regularly resound with edgy tunes with more decibels than Dewey shouting at librarians for mis-shelving books. Past artists including Ed Askew, Schleigho, and Rosenkopf have trod the graffiti-adorned stage, and throughout its short but storied history, patrons have kept time over premium pours such as a Grey Goose martini at the well-worn wooden bar. Twosomes of pool sharks flex cartilage at the ready-to-rack table or gaze at the wall full of cuckoo clocks displays birds who emerge with an anti-establishment attitude embodied by neon pink mohawks.