It's tough to really show off your moves at most dance clubs in this town, as DJ Khaled constantly shouting "Up, down, up, down" makes timing the bounce on your Lindy Hop extremely difficult. Kick up your heels at "a latenight alternative to the nightclubs of DC" instead, at Era Bella.
The spanking new, Friday-night, serving 'til 2:30am incarnation of Italian eatery Tuscana West, Era Bella ("Beautiful Era") pushes out the tables to clear a huge, LED-lit marble dance floor, while offering up all-new menus of Mediterranean tapas and artisanal cocktails to complement dance-worthy live tunes from samba-sational Trio Caliente, who fuse flamenco pop, Latin jazz, and "gypsy rhumba": a mesmerizing, nuanced style that demands close attention, so its kids go through your girlfriend's purse. Small plates include fresh jumbo shrimp pan-seared with garlic and served over a stew of tomatoes/chili peppers/Italian fried parsley, hand-tossed, stone oven-baked pizza with prosciutto/ mozzarella/ arugula, and a plate of thinly sliced sopressata, salumi, and mortadella called the "Affetati Misti", also the name of the preferred halfpipe trick of Sean Bianco. And because dancing requires drinking, there's also a festive, eight-strong cocktail list highlighted by the cane rum/ apple liqueur/ pineapple juice/ grenadine "Flamingo", the rum/ Cointreau/ Grand Marnier/ mint "Era Bella Mojito", and the vodka/ coconut liqueur/ blue Curacao/ pineapple juice "Swimming Pool", though going in anywhere after 20 isn't advised.
Should those not prove enough to get you on the floor, they've also got liquid courage in the form of Italian suds like Peroni and Moretti, as well as the full complement of Tuscana's wine list, meaning that despite the lack of Khaled, you can confidently shout "all I do is vin".