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.
The Parva Restaurant Bar & Lounge is named for the Colombian word that translates to “best of the best.” By fusing recipes from their native Colombia with Peruvian and Argentine culinary techniques, the cooks at Parva uphold the high standards their name promises.
Parva uses fresh seasonal ingredients in its made-from-scratch dishes, which range from creamy quinoa risotto to Argentine new york steak. Though Parva’s cuisine has roots in traditional Latin dishes, its ivory interior exudes modern style, with lounge-type seating offsetting plush booths where patrons can sip on Argentine malbecs and Spanish sangrias.
At Princess Mhoon Dance Institute, everyone is welcome—whether you're an aspiring professional dancer or just looking to have a good time while learning dance moves beyond the Macarena. Adults break a sweat in Zumba, African dance fitness, and stretching and toning classes, while younger students master ballet positions, tap steps, and leaps and turns. All the while, Princess Mhoon and her staff craft a welcoming environment that balances serious study with light-hearted fun. It's not just the students who sing Princess Mhoon Cooper's praises—the instructor and choreographer has been commissioned by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Dance magazine honored her in a 2006 list of 25 to watch.
Perched atop the Arts & Innovation Center in Rockville, Maryland, Rockville Rooftop Live looks out over the city center and town square. While taking in these the scenic views, guests lend their ears to a packed schedule of live performers, including weekly DJ sets, shows by local favorites, and experimental, musicless shows during closing hours. Tasty grub and cold drinks keep showgoers happy during musical repasts.
• The Regal Beagles on Saturday, September 3. • The Nighthawks, Duffy Kane and the Freedom Train, and Moondog Medicine Show on Saturday, September 10. • The Rogues on Saturday September 17. • The Reflex on Saturday, September 24. • The Kelly Bell Band on Saturday, October 1.