Welcome to Robin’s Resources
I’m a Fairfield County mom who loves to shop and loves having fun. I also love giggles from my three darling children, but I’d trade in a few guffaws for a great deal on a designer cocktail dress and a decent margarita. I’m confident I’m not alone in this.
But free moments are few and not to be wasted—which is why we created RobinsResources.com. Our mission is to create the definitive resource for all things—well, the good things—style, fashion, and lifestyle in Fairfield County.
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Thursday, October 01, 2009 • Permalink
Have Kids, Will Eat
Dining Out with Kids
Last Thursday my husband was forced to enjoy cocktails and a swishy dinner in NYC with fellow workfolk. Again. Normally he declines the dinner invitation so he can have a late dinner with his wife. Which would be so sweet if it weren’t for the fact that his wife has to make and clean up after said late dinner. So… yeah. Fun.
But this night he accepted the dinner invitation, creating a free evening for me and my three angelic offspring.
As luck would have it, all three were wearing outfits that neither embarrassed nor confused me. So I dolled myself up a bit in preparation of a nice meal at a kid-friendly restaurant like Rizutto’s or Bertucci’s.
Now, if you don’t currently have kids I should explain: dirty and snot-smeared is the new black, and taking children to dinner is the new nightclubbing. When you have kids, your old life doesn’t “change” so much as it ceases to exist. Kids become your life, and you learn to appreciate small things such as sitting on a dry toilet seat or having someone else wash your dishes.
Anyhoo, back to dinner with the kids. We settled into a booth and placed our order without incident. We all had reasonably tasteful outfits, adequate table manners, and the kids weren’t screaming fart jokes. And–-I swear I’m not lying—my oldest son shared something about his day at school!
The older couple next to us complimented me on my well-behaved children, which made me smug and generously sympathetic of parents with less tame charges.
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Kids in Tow
Monday, November 28, 2011 • Permalink
Kids in Tow!
Robinsresources.com is happy to announce a new category: Kids in Tow. We’ll fill you in on the delightfully* challenging experiences a mom or a couple may have while shopping or dining or whatnot in Fairfield County locales with, you know, children. Enjoy!
* “delightful” when reminisced about a year or so later
351 Pequot Avenue, Southport
As its name suggests, the more the merrier. And oh, gentle reader, how to impress upon you the degree to which this store is merry. There’s so much stuff packed into shelves and piled on tables you need a field guide and a degree in archaeology to shovel your way through the morass. But get through it you must, as your reward is twofold: 1) you’ll find something fabulous, 2) you’ll have a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.
Robin’s note: She has Christmas ornaments – in May! But I bought one, so she who laughs last, etc. etc.
Who you’ll see shopping here: Women 30-65 without children.
Their specialty: Everything.
What you should buy: Unique light fixtures and vases, and my daughter loved the plastic bananas…
What you may not know but should: She has a small collection of John Derian decoupage, including a rare placemat made from antique hand-written letters.
Home + Garden
Friday, November 11, 2011 • Permalink
Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant
18 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich
222 Summer Street, Stamford
4180 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield
63.65 North Main Street, South Norwalk
Well, that was skeevy.
Before I dive into details, two things:
1. Barcelona is a delicious and delightful wine bar/tapas joint with a fun, noisy vibe.
2. After reading this write-up, the new (and very kind) general manager of Barcelona SoNo, who was not aware of a certain employee’s behavior, contacted me to apologize. He was very concerned and expressed intolerance of such behavior. As of this writing, I’m confident that certain Barcelona employees will never hit on a patron—or, perhaps, anyone—again.
Robin’s note: One of the managers hit on me. Not in a flattering or coy way, but in a “God, it’s getting late and I haven’t picked up a chick yet” way. So here’s the story: I and 5 of my girlfriends go for drinks at Barcelona SoNo. We meet at 9:00 and there are several tables of women having birthday parties, drinks, whatever. When I ask a manager for the location of the restroom, he holds out his arm to escort me to a set of two doors in a narrow corridor across from the large glass wine refrigerator. I half-heartedly take his arm, then slide my arm back because it’s so queer.
An hour later I’m up again to use the facilities (I drink a lot of water when I tipple) and find both bathroom doors locked.
Click to read the rest ... "Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant"
Bars + Baristas
Le Pain Quotidien
382 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich
81 Elm Street, New Canaan
“The Daily Bread” or, if pronounced incorrectly, “The Daily Rabbit,” is a delightful organic café (perfect for lunch) with a European flair that, thankfully, doesn’t extend to its service.
Robin’s note: Le Pain was my home-away-from-home in Manhattan. Wonderful coffee, delicious fare and now – a liquor license!
Who you’ll see eating here: Moms with kids at breakfast and lunch, groups of couples 30-55 years old in the evening, and French ex-pats. No kidding.
Their specialty: Artisan bread and tartines (elegant open-faced sandwiches).
What you should order: Bread and tartines.
What you may not know but should:
1. Each table has an assortment of their delicious signature jams and chocolate/hazelnut spreads to eat with their bread.
2. Cafés include one or two large communal tables for those of you who enjoy sitting next to strangers or “meeting new friends.”
3. It’s an environmentally-conscience eatery, with wood flooring from defunct railway cars and efficiently bio-degradable cups and spoons.
Tavern on Main
146 Main Street, Westport
This 18th century girls’ school/grocery store is now a charming (some say drafty) restaurant with one of the few decent bars in town.
Robin’s note: The porch is great for people-watching, despite the fact you’re in downtown Westport and not a lot happens after stores close.
Who you’ll see eating here: Couples, with or without their grandchildren.
Their specialty: Salmon brown rice salad.
What you should eat: Grilled Atlantic salmon filet over sweet corn ragout.
What you may not know but should: They’re great for parties, events, and off-site catering. http://www.tavernonmain.com
Thursday, November 10, 2011 • Permalink
606 Post Road East, Westport
48 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich
If $60 Manolo Blahniks and $150 Gaultier suits send a riotous, teeming pack of non-sexual pheromones to your brain, then Roundabout is going to make you very, very happy.
Robin’s note: Try on everything before purchasing and make sure the shoes stay on your feet: just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s wearable. And they don’t return ANYTHING.
Who you’ll see shopping here: Moms who love to shop.
Their specialty: Chanel suits and overstock Shin Choi.
What you should buy: The mint condition Etro/Prada/Gucci/de la Renta (etc.) hiding in the racks on the left side of the store.
What you may not know but should:
1. Consignments are only accepted with original sales receipt.
2. Cut-rate deals are even crazier when they’re clearing out seasonal merchandise, so go late fall/late spring.
3. Chanel rarely, if ever, gets further discounts. So don’t hold your breath.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 • Permalink
JoyRide Indoor Cycling Studio
1200 Post Road E, Westport
I love JoyRide.
Robin’s Note: Before JoyRide, I couldn’t stand indoor cycling. Spin classes at my cheap gym left me cold: humid concrete room, extended remix of “Rocking the Casbah,” and sweaty male bodies inches from my face. The instructor invites us to “crank up the resistance to 10 while you feel the stress of your day leave your body.” Sure enough, the stress of my day leaves my body and is replaced by the stress of sensory torment, sore muscles, and claustrophobia.
So on my list of “things I want to do,” JoyRide hovered between “cage-free swim with sharks” and “be a charity surrogate for sextuplets.”
In short, I wasn’t their target market.
But despite these obstacles, JoyRide has made a spinner out of me! I LOVE it! The spin room is spacious and blessedly well-ventilated. The music selection is well-balanced, upbeat, and energetic. And the instructors are spot on. While each instructor has his/her own style, they manage to tease a hard-core work out of everyone by managing expectations and inspiring spinners to work their b*tts off.
Full disclosure: Though I’m saddened to report my derriere hasn’t actually fallen off, at least not the part of it I wish would fall off, it’s definitely in better shape.
Click to read the rest ... "JoyRide Indoor Cycling Studio"
Monday, October 03, 2011 • Permalink
The Sugar Bowl
1033 Boston Post Road, Darien
My husband and I were so excited to discover this wonderful breakfast spot in Darien. Turns out it’s one of the most popular cafés in FC. Who knew? I mean, besides us.
To the handful of you who haven’t been here: the first thing you notice is the Bowl’s festooned with so much holiday gewgaw you may confuse it with a souvenir shop at Mystic Seaport. For each of the past 7 years they’ve decorated for 8 occasions: Memorial Day/July 4, Beach, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day, and Mother’s Day/Spring. Halloween is their biggest undertaking, usurping the time and talent of 4 grown men for sixteen hours. Impressive.
The second thing you notice is friendly staff, swift service, and satisfying food. They make wonderful homemade lemon, apricot, or plum cake and animal-shaped pancakes for the kids (the chocolate chip ones of which contain so many chips, it’s like eating a candy bar with a fork.)
Robin’s note: The third thing you notice, or we noticed, is the large glass candy shelf is not enclosed on the sides, affording certain small children easy access to fistfuls of Nerd Ropes and the like.
Who you’ll see eating here: Young families and loyal locals of all ages.
Their specialty: Bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll, eggs benedict without the hollandaise sauce, and “…we make lots of pancakes.”
What you should order: Chocolate chip pancakes and eggs with grilled tomatoes.
What you may not know but should:
1. The Bowl has been owned by the same family for 52 years, Bob being the latest in a small string of familial proprietors.
2. The man who bakes the cakes works at the Bowl on weekends. During the week he’s a sommelier at the River Café in Brooklyn.
Kids in Tow
Friday, September 16, 2011 • Permalink