Husband-wife duo Julio and Lily Soto opened Azul 17 to celebrate not only Mexican cuisine, but to also embrace the culture through music, vibrant design, and a selection of more than 100 tequilas made with 100% blue agave. Their chefs all hail from Mexico and bring family recipes to the kitchen?including one chef's grandmother's recipe for black beans. It's ?old world style with updated presentation,? says manager Peter Bonohue. Peter has been in the restaurant business since he could legally work, and to him, Azul 17 has an especially fun atmosphere. ?I love tequila now,? he confessed.
While chefs simmer their signature mole sauce and servers add fresh lime juice to margaritas, guests recline atop white leather banquettes or modern chairs. Eyes dance with murals and shimmering blue-tile mosaics splashed against white walls. Those whites are illuminated with a multicolored neon glow as DJs spin club, house, and Mexican tunes starting at 10 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. On Thursdays at 8 p.m., guests can spice up their tired hokey-pokey routine with salsa lessons.
Hearken the sweet sounds of singer-songwriter Pete Yorn strumming to the rock 'n' roll rhythms of his upbeat, laid-back tunes during his upcoming concert at Rams Head Live!, a venue that plays host to some of the country’s top national, midlevel music acts. Since the release of his debut album in 2001 and hits such as "For Nancy ('Cos It Already Is)" and "Crystal Village", Pete has actively toured with the likes of Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews Band, and more, garnering a reputation for bearing the voice of an angel and the long, flowing locks of an angel’s unemployed uncle.
Cazabe translates to yucca root, an ingredient that appears often in traditional Dominican cuisine. Other identifying characteristics of the country’s gastronomic traditions include fried salami, yellow rice, and shrimp. These elements have recurring roles on Cazabe’s menu, along with a diverse selection of burritos, fajitas, and seafood-centric dishes. To complement meals, the restaurant frequently hosts events such as a Sabados Latin Night, replete with dancing and a live DJ.
The enthusiastic instructors at That's Dancing Ballroom & Dancesport Center guide students of all levels through an eclectic schedule of group and private classes. Fledgling hoofers shimmy to hip-shaking rhythms during the beginner rumba class, and the intro and advanced waltz classes beckon both novice and veteran dancers to glide across the ballroom floors while holding tightly to partners or imaginary friends. Build skills in the intermediate fox trot class or undulate midsections during belly-dancing sessions. Teachers dole out one-on-one instruction during half-hour private lessons, helping dancers to conquer difficult steps or instilling the ability to simultaneously dance the charleston while preparing a five-course meal at home.
Though devoutly British in name, Union Jack's British Pub is actually a transatlantic blend of both English and American conventions. Inside the expansive space, stone walls and a fireplace bear a distinctly European feel, though HD plasma TVs and projection screens broadcast games of hockey and American football. The food menu retains a similar dichotomy, offering up options such as Maryland crab cakes, fish and chips, and Caribbean jerk chicken sandwiches. The two nations fully unite at the handsome wooden bar, where guests can sip on one of 16 drafts, ranging from Fuller's London Porter to state-sourced Samuel Adams. Should cultural clashes persist, patrons can retire to the billiards room after their meal to settle disputes over the proper pronunciation of "aluminum."
Amid the satisfying clinks of cocktail glasses and the glow of neon lights, patrons at Laurel Station Bar & Grill feast on juicy burgers and steaks, lump crab cakes, and succulent steamed shrimp, all while enjoying the exploits of their favorite sports stars. Over 20 high-definition screens deck the brick walls, broadcasting all Sunday football games and most pay-per-view events, and an enormous projector screen unfolds sporting events and shadow-puppet cage matches in jumbo resolution. Guests belly up to the granite-topped bar for frosty draft beers, or book a private party room to ring in special occasions with good company and hearty pub fare.