During the past 25 years, Brian and Jenny Nash have taught all sorts of people to dance. They've coached members of the New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra for fundraising balls and helmed the Rutgers University collegiate dance program. At Nash Dancenter, they guide students through the simple sway of foxtrot and the trumpet-backed scintillation of salsa. A team of instructors aids them, drawing upon experience in national competitions and a love of the famous dance scene in Jaws. The studio in which they teach is an airy, 8,000-square-foot ballroom with french doors, sweeping window arches, and glistening chandeliers. During dance socials, guests look into the impressive chamber from a balcony, watching twirls and tango steps below.
Music is a way of life at Taste Bar & Bistro, especially Thursday through Saturday nights, when the restaurant thumps to the sounds of karaoke, DJ music, or live jazz. But it’s Taste’s thoughtfully prepared pub food that draws crowds even before the musicians take the stage. The menu comprises small plates such as steamed littleneck clams and spicy calamari, as well as heartier entrees that include cheeseburgers and spaghetti and shrimp fra diavolo. Throughout festivities, bartenders mix specialty martinis and pour wines and draft beers that enliven dinner time or can be used to paint a smiley face on one’s shirt during happy hour.
From its quiet corner on North Sussex Street, The Laughing Lion stands as a beacon beckoning diners to come enjoy gastropub fare inside newly renovated bar and dining areas. Hanging lights illuminate walls clad in flat-screen TVs, artwork, and the portrait of a lion who, though he isn't laughing, probably thinks giraffes look hilarious. For a more intimate dining experience, the Blue room gives groups private, personalized service during nights on the town or special occasions. Live entertainment—from bands and DJs to standup comedians—fills the space with music and laughs on select nights throughout the week.
Andre's is a humble, family-run Euro-American eatery, which Zagat members recently named one of the Top Restaurants in the United States. Andre de Waal, chef and owner of Andre's, and his wife Tracey opened their restaurant in an old storefront building in 1998, adorning the exposed brick walls with their wedding photographs and paintings by local artists. Their eatery offers a rotating menu that is inventive, elegant, and comforting. Though the situation may turn at the drop of a switch, diners can currently begin the evening with house-cured salmon, cucumber salad, and fresh herbs ($8.50) or duck confit, penne pasta, and black truffles ($9) before they are ready for rare-roasted tuna and white-bean chorizo ($29).
Upon its opening in 1924, the Newton Theatre beamed with a handsome colonial exterior, delicate stonework, and a façade glittering with 180 electric lights. Despite all this, the owners felt it most important to emphasize its steel load-bearing columns, declaring the building "the safest type known to modern engineering science" and “kind of like a castle, but, you know, without all the dungeons.” That sensible, utilitarian attitude has served the venue well ever since. The Newton found success as a movie theater for decades, then briefly closed in 2010, only to reopen in 2011 as a music venue with a sold out performance by Todd Rundgren.
The New York Films Critics Series culls professional reviewers and armchair critics under one roof to revel in advance screenings of highly anticipated motion pictures. Bigwig film critics, including Peter Travers from the Rolling Stone and Owen Gleiberman from Entertainment Weekly, are slated to host, helming fact-crammed introductions and popcorn-eating competitions before each film. Though the stereogram algorithm that reveals the season’s lineup has yet to be deciphered, films on the docket may include the latest movie from Academy Award-winning director Pedro Almodóvar, Sundance Film Festival Jury Prize award-winner Like Crazy, and the adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary starring Johnny Depp. Screenings are often followed by interviews with special guests, such as actors, screenwriters, and Oscar-worthy best boys. Past appearances include writer /director/actor Josh Radnor (TV's How I Met Your Mother) and actress Zoe Kazan (Me and Orson Welles).