On a trip down to St. Petersburg, Florida, I’m struck by just how much value is added by live music—be it the pina colada song at a beach bar in the late afternoon or a truly pleasant jazz-World music trio in an outdoor courtyard in the evening. D.C. has a musical tradition, yet very few restaurants offer the pleasures of live music. In the past year, I’ve experienced a jazz duo at Bistrot Lepic and there was a band coming on at The Cajun Experience. There used to be a small, old woman who played the piano some nights at Old Europe. If you’ve enjoyed live music over dinner or drinks in D.C., let me know about it. Include music supper clubs, like Bohemian Caverns, which can be great though I’ve only ever had drinks there.
The crazy thing is even when it’s bad—like the duo at Bistrot Lepic—it is still a welcomed bonus. And when it’s good—like the jazz-y trio here in Florida at a place called Black Palm—it begs you to stay and have another round. This Latin Fusion restaurant had ambiance in spades: music in the courtyard complete with underwater murals and a palm tree; French doors to the restaurant’s interior thrown open exposing a beautiful bar; the courtyard lit only by candles on the tables and residual glow from the interior spaces. Add to that the best coconut shrimp I’ve ever had, perfectly sweet and served with mustard and sweet pickled onions, and something about this spot is calling me back.