The Bay Area is teeming with milongas. You can find them in a variety of places, from dance studios, social halls, cafe’s and bars and sometimes even people’s homes. But one of the Bay Area’s most special and unique milongas is the Seahorse.
Located just across the Bay from San Francisco in the charming town of Sausalito, The Seahorse is a supper club that’s as enchanting as they come. The building itself is sea salt weathered and overlooks Richardson Bay and Angel Island. The interior boasts a striking stone fireplace, finely detailed bent wood counters and thick terracotta bricks floor and on warm days, a sundrenched deck to enjoy. The Seahorse hosts a multitude of live music almost every night of the week, from Salsa to Jazz to Acoustic Rock and Blues.
But on Wednesday, its Tango night.
Seth Asarnow on bandoneón and Marcelo Puig on both vocals and guitar, share their tango repertoire every Wednesday night at the Seahorse. These two are incredibly talented musicians and between the two of them they permeate the cozy supper club with very danceable Tangos, Vals and Milongas. When the duo take a break, a rotating guest DJ fills in so that everyone can continue dancing. Last week, was Polo Talnir, this week is Julian Ramil, and next week is DJ Ashvin.
What I really enjoy about the Seahorse is the atmosphere. It has an old-world charm and its almost like being in Buenos Aires.
What is not like Buenos Aires is the time it starts and ends. The milonga starts about 7:30pm and ends around 11pm. Perfect if you like to get a good night’s sleep for work the next day. If you arrive early, you can enjoy a delicious Italian meal before dancing. The food is actually quite good here (they specialize in Tuscan coastal cuisine), with a decent wine menu and excellent service. Even if you don’t have dinner there, you should at least save room for desert. Their tiramisu and cappuccino’s are both excellent. A $10 dollar minimum is requested, which is only fair as there is no cover charge.
The dance floor is made of terracotta tiles with divots between the tiles so ladies, this is not the place to wear your skinniest stiletto heels. But if you wear wider, lower heels, you’ll be just fine. I found it easy enough to pivot and my partner found the smallish dance floor manageable to navigate.
Overall the level of dancing is good. Most of the regular attendees were from the Marin area, and many were couples. Although there were a fair amount of single people, it may be a good idea to bring a dance partner (or even better, a group of friends) if you want to ensure you get to dance.
If you are not familiar with Marcelo and Seth here is a little background:
Marcelo Puig was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He began studying classical guitar at age ten. He draws from a wide range of popular musical influences such as Latin, American Folk, Brazilian, Rock, Blues, Jazz and Tango. Marcelo is also an accomplished singer with a repertoire of Latin, Folk, Milonga and classic Tangos. Marcelo plays alongside many tango musicians, dancers and choreographers in the Bay Area.
Seth Asarnow, a native of the Bay Area, has a repertory consisting of hundreds of tangos. He can be heard on recordings that range in style from traditional tango to pop. Seth has both composed film scores and played on film soundtracks, and he works regularly with some of the finest tango dancers in the world. He also directs and performs often with his Sexteto Tipico. Seth continues to promote the tango locally, teaching bandoneón and playing both public and private engagements. Just last month he played with the San Francisco Symphony to rave reviews.
Did I mention, this milonga is Free? For excellent live tango music, delicious food and a classy, yet friendly atmosphere, the Seahorse can’t be beat.
This Wednesday, the DJ is Julian Ramil!
Location: The Seahorse, 305 Harbor Dr, Sausalito, CA