• Piano bars present 'Keys' to Great Dates

    By: Kristen Manieri


    Date Night at Orlando’s Dueling Piano Bars

    Whether you’re on your first date or your 50th, piano bars make for a guaranteed fun night out. Fans of these interactive sing-along music shows have three separate dueling-piano venues to choose from in the Orlando area. Here is where to check out this sassy showmanship this weekend:

    Howl at the Moon

    Armed with pianos, drums, guitars and even trumpets, the maestros of Howl at the Moon set a rowdy, boisterous scene for the “drink-beer-by-the-buckets” party crowd that packs into the venue each night. Expect an endless arsenal of tunes from Billy Joel to Billy Idol at this feisty “piano bar with attitude” known for its Jell-O shots and college fight song showdowns.

    » 8815 International Drive, Orlando/407.354.5999, www.howlatthemoon.com

    Pat O’Brien’s

    An authentic reproduction of the original legendary New Orleans piano bar, Pat O’Brien’s flaunts its bayou heritage with Cajun fare, legendary Hurricane cocktails and a brick-walled piano lounge that oozes an “every-day-is-Mardi Gras” vibe. Guests can expect a rock-’n’-roll repertoire with a distinct Dixieland jazz flavor that’s true to Pat’s Bourbon Street roots. Don’t forget to wander outside to the courtyard bar and sip a Fuzzy Leprechaun by the famous flaming fountain.

    » CityWalk, Universal Orlando/407.224.2100, www.patobriens.com


    Named after late ragtime pianist Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton, Jellyrolls offers a grown-up piano show with amazing talent behind the ivories. The four players who rotate in twos onto the raised, mirrored stage represent nearly eight decades of collective experience and a combined knowledge of literally thousands of songs. It’s a new and unexpected performance each night, thanks to the request-driven format. And, by the way, requests are best received with a couple of bucks, but the popcorn is free.

    » 2101 Epcot Resorts Blvd., Lake Buena Vis- ta/407.560.8770, www.jellyrolls.us

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: For Kristen Manieri, date night isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. Married with two small girls, she’s come to realize that Saturday night is probably the only time each week that she and her hubby can actually have a meaningful, uninterrupted and alert conversation. A freelance writer and author of the book, Great Dates Orlando, Kristen founded her blog, Great Dates Orlando, in 2007 to not only share fun and romantic date night ideas with other local couples, but to keep herself accountable to a regular date night.