The Ritz-Carlton isn't strictly for the many luminaries who come to frolic here. Locals looking to dance to live music are well served in an atmosphere that is formal but not stuffy.
Behind the tabby-marbled giant fireplace that divides the lobby from the lounge, a tuxedo-clad house trio on strings, keyboards and drums plays everything from an instrumental Besame Mucho to Billie Holiday's At Last to, egad, Barry White's Can't Get Enough. The lead singer of the Jeff Taylor Trio has pipes that mimic Tony Bennett's.
A decent-size floor accommodates dancers, and patrons here do, in fact, leave the comfort of the plush seating around the floor to dance. Between sets, the likes of Phil Collins and Elton John are piped in.
Off to the side is more seating, including couches, and a cozy bar with plush blue-fabric stools.
The room is decorated in old-style elegance: marble, oil paintings with gilt frames, mahogany and chandeliers of all sizes.
Food from the full menu is available at the bar, offered until 10 p.m., followed by a late-night menu that tapers off in two stages. Chicken tenders we sampled (served with "American fries") weren't close to worthy of the $15 price. A glass of Beringer zinfandel runs $12, while a Nozzole chianti reserve is $17. Service is exemplary.
Nightlife news Tonight: Enjoy the unusual ambience at the outdoor garden at Lizard's Den, 509 Lake Ave., Lake Worth (561-585-8444). Here you'll find local rock and blues bands, beer, wine and soft drinks, no cover and a very casual setting.
Saturday: Stroll around the shops at Mizner Park, then stop between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. at Gigi's, 346 Plaza Real, Boca Raton (561-368-4488). The spot features dance music by Edge. Expect to hear upbeat covers of artists such as Norah Jones, Missy Elliott, Beyoncé, Outkast and Los Lobos.
Sunday: Bring lawn chairs and blankets, relax and hear local jazz singer Nicole Henry perform during the free concert at the Meyer Amphitheatre, Flagler Drive, downtown West Palm Beach (561-659-8007).
Monday: Participate in college night at Delux Nightclub Lounge, 16 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach (561-279-4792). Dance to DJ-selected hip-hop, r&b and funk in an eclectic environment with a South Beach flavor.
Wednesday: Find out what surfabilly, cowpunk and espionage music is all about when catching The Dillengers' 9 p.m. performance at Lake Worth's Bamboo Room, 25 S. J St., Lake Worth (561-585- 2583). The night's drink special is $2.50 for a bottle of beer, and admission is free.
Thursday: Spend the evening at Banyan Bar, The Addison, 2 Camino Real, Boca Raton (561-395-9335). The view is lovely, the music runs the gamut from Motown, to nostalgic rock, disco and pop standards, and the house band is The Sensations, a group that lives up to its name.
Staff writer Jeremy Lang can be reached at email@example.com. or 954-356-2338. Joan Brazer Durante, a freelance writer based in Plantation, writes the nightlife news portion of this column. Please fax news concerning local entertainment events and performers to 954-835-2347, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Joan Brazer Durante, Entertainment Department, Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2293.