The three instructors at American Dance Centers have been teaching guests how to groove for more than 20 years?a timeframe that has only strengthened their belief in everyone's ability to dance. They usher students of all ages through group and private lessons on their studio's 1,400-square-foot floating floor, specializing in ballroom, Latin, and swing styles. Because their pupils share a common dedication to improvement, the teachers view the studio as a social space for dancers regardless of their individual skill levels or how many funky chickens they've eaten. In addition to classes, the staff hosts parties where amateurs and experts alike can benefit from casual practice. They bring aspiring performers to regional and national competitions and plan dance-themed getaways with other studios to resorts both nearby and overseas.
At Double Apple, Mahmoud ?Joe? Migdadi applies his culinary sensibilities to both Mediterranean and classic American dishes, crafting lamb with tzatziki sauce as well as dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets for kids. Nine types of shawarma, homemade chickpea hummus, and original smoothies stand out among the Mediterranean choices, which The Roanoke Times calls "flavorful" and "healthy." The dining room, which is divided into cozy compartments, surrounds guests with Middle Eastern d?cor that continues into the upper level's hookah caf?. There, a separate ventilation system filters smoke from hookahs loaded with fruit flavors such as grape mint and margarita, which are available with or without tobacco and wish-granting genies.
Growing up, kitchens were the last place Emilio Peiro wanted to be. Over time, however, the youngest of five boys began cherishing his opportunities to cook traditional Spanish cuisine with his mother. Using her recipes, imported ingredients, and some additional skills picked up from his older brother, a fellow chef, Emilio now recreates his family’s meals at Emilio's Restaurante Español.
Said recipes include more than 45 tapas, ranging from flambéed chorizo to vegetarian- and vegan-friendly dishes, such as sherry-infused onion potatoes. For more substantial meals, Emilio and his culinary team toss garden veggies with smoked paprika and stir chunks of mussels, calamari, and shrimp into paella.
Bartenders complement Emilio’s bites with an extensive selection of handpicked Spanish wines, as well as housemade sangrias. After feasting, stick around until 2 a.m. for nightly live music, plus events such as salsa nights, where participants learn to dance while balancing bowls of salsa on their heads.
Hailing from Trinidad and Tobago, head chef Claudia Fentress crafts an island-inspired menu, which contains mouthfuls of Caribbean and American cuisine to feed guests consuming earfuls of live jazz. Experience life stranded on a deserted island with a world-class chef by diving into jumbo-sized pan-seared scallops with Caribbean seasoning and a garlic-butter coconut sauce ($13), then feast on a fresh rack of lamb marinated in rosemary, mint, and garlic ($21). Served with a side of Caribbean cognac-mustard sauce, the stuffed grilled chicken breast deftly hides bites of vegetables, crab, and shrimp ($19), and the swashbuckling Caribbean vegetable trio ($15) slices through hunger with cabbage, green beans, muscle-building spinach, and plantain swords.
A photojournalist by training, Anthony Krysiewicz perfected his mastery of light and motion while snapping pictures during live concerts. The owner and head photographer of Studio 424 Photography has photographed Elton John, Eddie Vedder, and Blake Shelton, as well as bands such as Bush, St. Vincent, and Lady Antebellum, and incorporates the same artful presentation into his wedding and portrait photography. The studio also hosts two-hour photography classes each month, which teach students to take pictures outdoors, use a tripod, and change the camera’s clock and date settings, allowing them to travel back in time.
EventZone's Party in the Park summer concert series at Elmwood Park helps Thursday ditch its weekday persona and get loose with food, drinks, fun events, and a different musical headliner every week. On June 16, hips wiggle, toes tap, and fingers form synchronized kick-lines to the southern-rock sounds of Jim Quick & Coastline. The festival's more than 13,000 frolickers can unwind with a Budweiser or glass of Gallo wine ($4 each), or indulge in a guilt-free splurge on festival cuisine and soda, knowing that part of Party in the Park's proceeds go to local nonprofit organizations. With Parrothead Night as the theme of the evening, Jimmy Buffet fans and their exceedingly loyal spouses can feel free to don Hawaiian garb and warm up their margarita hands for the slushy merriment ahead, and Davidson's Clothing for Men takes over the stage at band intermission to give away free T-shirts ideal for hiding malfunctioning coconut bikinis.