The experienced instructors at Empire Ballroom Studio love to teach brand-new students. Driven by their passion for dance, they lead classes in a variety of dances—such as the waltz, tango, and swing—that can be learned in American and international styles. Students learn to dance with passion, romance, and artistry while increasing their physical fitness and expressing themselves through movement. The staff welcome both couples and single students, and they also offer lessons to prepare engaged couples for their wedding dance.
The forecast at Tsunami Sushi Bar & Grill never changes: there’s always a heavy chance of sushi. More than 30 sushi and sashimi creations take up a good chunk of the menu, with ingredients ranging from smoked salmon to spicy scallop. Diners can set aside their chopsticks and slice into hearty orders of filet mignon teriyaki or Gal Be—Korean barbecued short ribs served with steamed greens. Tsunami serves its artful plates in a dining room that This Week in Sarasota calls “dark, rich, and casually elegant,” making the restaurant an ideal spot for a romantic date or suit fitting.
For almost 40 years, the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre has been pairing gastronomical gifts with lively productions of more than 300 plays and musicals, including five originals, one of which went all the way to Broadway. The 281-seat theater will soon host Avenue Q, the highly acclaimed, Tony Award-winning Broadway smash. Performed by a cross-species mix of puppets and humans, the musical follows Princeton, a well-meaning recent college grad who moves to New York City with Big Apple–sized dreams and gets a much-needed real-world education from his neighbors. The off-color, mature, and perversely funny production is warm, endearing, and more heart-rending than a sock puppet production of King Lear.
The kitchen crew at Floribbean Restaurant & Lounge blends the tropical flavors of Caribbean islands with influences from Latin American countries including Columbia, Argentina, and Brazil. The amalgamation, coined Latin- or Hispano-Floribbean, results in a menu rife with citrus-marinated chicken, deep-fried whole fish, and hearty sides of cassava, tostones, and maduros. As patrons sip refreshing libations from the bar, live jazz music keeps feet tapping and egomaniacs scat-dueling into the night.
Some restaurant owners prefer to stay behind the scenes. Achille and Massimo Nigri are not those people. At Cafe Amici, each guest is greeted “like a long-lost friend,” according to one happy customer. The homey eatery not only makes diners feel welcome, but also sates appetites with authentic Italian eats such as homemade lasagna, gnocchi with crabmeat, and wild mushroom ravioli. One whole wall inside the sun-soaked dining room is covered with framed accolades from local media outlets and taste buds with the ability to type.
A towering wine rack spans an entire wall and glimmers with more than 1,000 bottles. Across the room, a lineup of nitrogen-regulated Enomatic machines dispenses samples from 80 wines to be sipped, swirled, and theatrically spit while reclining on a leather sofa, or while sitting at the long wooden bar. Small, shareable plates populate Sarasota Vineyard's menu in the forms of cheeses, roasted olives, and prosciutto-wrapped figs, ideal for pairing with wines or barley pops from a list of 20 beers.