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Robert Abrams
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

Salsa at Babalu

by Robert Abrams
December 1, 2001
New York, NY

Salsa at Babalu

Where: New York, NY

Address: 127 West 44th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues

New York, NY

Phone: 212-262-1111
Reviewer: Robert Abrams

Date reviewed: 12/1/01

The only thing better than a good place to dance is a good place to dance with great food. Babalu, located at 327 West 44th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, certainly is one such place. Call 212-262-1111 for dinner reservations.

The food at Babalu was superb. At a recent dinner interesting and tasty round bread balls were served with what tasted sort of like hummus. The tuna on a bed of quinoa was cooked with carefully calibrated spicing. The flavor slowly built in your mouth from the beginning of the plate to the end, rather like a well constructed song. The wine served with dinner was very smooth.

Babalu is a classy night club. On Fridays, they offer a free dance lesson early in the evening. A DJ plays Salsa until the live band starts. Because Babalu runs on a Latin clock, the band sometimes does not start playing until 11 PM or later. The band is always lively, and the excellent wood floor fills with dancers with a range of ability. The dance floor can get very crowded. While you do not need to bring a dance partner, sometimes doing so is a good idea. Especially if you are a guy. Or come with a group of friends.

One of the eternal dance club paradoxes is that the more people you have on the dance floor, the more energy one has to play off of, but after a certain point, the more people you have on the dance floor, the less room one has to maneuver. Babalu reaches that perfect balance around 1:30 in the morning where there are still many people on the floor, but enough people have called it a night that there is now enough space on the floor to lead cross-body lead with underarm turn combinations with some exuberance. Babalu is a great place to hear and dance Salsa on a Friday night.

Two dancers dance Salsa with style.
Note the superb wood floor.

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