Towson Dance Studio has bedecked barren boogie floors with lively dance classes for beginners and twinkle-towed pros since 1961. During the course of four one-hour lessons, aspiring Astaires can trot the basics with a significant other or light-footed friend, maneuvering their way through ballroom, Latin, and swing dances sure to rejuvenate ailing weddings, parties, and Lionel Richie's now-deserted ceiling. Owner John L. Pattillo infuses his instructors with an emphasis on the craft's key elements—music, character, hold, and balance—ensuring that each gracefully permeates a muscle's memory while gently abolishing aching reminiscences of bygone sleep spasms. Check out the schedule for upcoming class dates and times.
The menu at Piv's Pub & Restaurant includes a variety of seafood and classic American cuisine alongside a hefty list of draft beers and craft bottled beers. An ever-gracious hostess, the vegetable du jour accompanies many entrees to their respective tables, including the jumbo-lump crab cakes, served over grilled tomatoes ($17.99 single order, $24.99 double order), and the juicy filet mignon with homemade mashed potatoes ($22.99). The shrimp salad ($9.99) is pleased to attend the table alone or with the companionship of a baked potato and onion rings ($4.99 each) from the à la carte menu. Diners looking for a solid base can turn to jumbo shrimp, lump crabmeat, and juicy scallops swathed in a cream sauce atop Piv's Norfolk Pasta ($19.99).
The Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric has a deep history that stretches back to the 1890s, when frequent polkas filled the air on summer evenings and the walls were decked out in beer-garden fashion. Throughout the following century, acts ranging from demonstrations of electric cooking to performances by Ella Fitzgerald and Robin Williams have inspired awe and given cause for recent restoration.
Instead of limiting themselves to one type of cuisine, S & J Crab Ranch has included two of their favorites—Maryland seafood and southern barbecue. Local flavors pile up at the raw bar, where diners can order gulf shrimp by the pound or plates of clams and seasoned mussels; however, as the restaurant’s name implies, crabs are the signature item. They can be steamed and served whole, as jumbo lump crab cakes, or in a creamy soup spiked with a bit of sherry.
Of course, the seafood seeps into the southern-inspired meals as well. A selection of classic southern sandwiches includes fried catfish with creole mustard. Regional cuisine builds out the rest of the menu, giving diners options such as slow-cooked Texas brisket, Carolina-style pulled pork, and st. louis ribs rubbed with secret spices. Even the classic American dishes take cues from S & J’s penchant for the ocean—fresh crab meat bulks up the mac ‘n’ cheese, and pulled pork and barbecue sauce enhance a pile of nachos.
Finger fare dominates the appetizer menu, including meaty chipotle-barbecue shrimp hugged in grilled bacon strips and kissed with cheddar grits ($12), local and New England artisanal cheeses served with fruit and blueberry honey ($14), and southwestern eggrolls ($8.95). Those in search of greener grub will appreciate the fresh nine salad offerings. The farm salad ($11) features chilled hunks of chicken tossed with crumbled goat cheese, sliced green apples, grape tomatoes, and dried cranberries. For lunch, grilled cheese grows up with Tavern's farm-fresh take on the classic ($8.25) in three different styles. Main dinner courses include aged-USDA-beef selections, such as the brandy-flamed New York strip tavern steak ($27), and jumbo day-boat scallops pan seared and coated in decadent lobster butter ($25). Vegetarians can take solace in the vegetarian sauté, a garden blend bedded atop wild-mushroom risotto ($20).