One of my most memorable nights out in Toronto was to Plaza Flamingo.
It was not surprising to me, that here in the city of a thousand cultures, there was a nightclub / restaurant and theatre solely devoted to latin dancing. The best way to experience Plaza Flamingo is to make sure you are in it for the long-run: dinner, show and then dancing on a Friday or Saturday night.
There are many splendid Latin dishes to choose from on the menu, but the paella is to die for. For those of you who haven’t had this dish before, it’s a combination of clams, calamari, shrimp and mussels with saffron, vegetables and rice. It’s a little spicy, and therefore a fitting dish for the night. The dining room faces a large stage where a flamenco show is performed with the dancers in traditional garb. It’s almost a battle in itself, deciding on whether to pay attention to the mesmerizing and dramatic flamenco dancing, or to pay attention to your scrumptious food.
The dinner and show package is $44.95 per person and definitely worth every penny. Where else in close proximity can you dine on zesty Latino eats while watching authentic flamenco dancing, while, at the same time, there is snow falling outside? If you didn’t make it away to a southern retreat this winter, this may curb your hankering for some sizzling fun. At least, for a night.
But it’s after dinner when the real fun begins. At 10:30pm the dance floor opens up on the upstairs level where beginner and seasoned salsa and tango dancers heat up the club. If you are not sure about your own skills, just watch the people around you, or, there are also dance lessons in the basement for $10 on Fridays, running from 8:30 to 10:30pm. The instructor is lively and fun, and even if you don’t know a single thing about salsa you will definitely pick up the basics. Or, if you are luckier, someone on the dance floor with skills may come and ask you to dance and show you the ropes.
Plaza Flamingo is a guaranteed fun night with great food, entertainment and dancing, and the club is located downtown at 423 College St. (just east of Bathurst).