Sugar & Olives
21 ½ Lois Street, Norwalk
Super-cool/super-yummy happens in this unassuming to the point of “you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me” factory building in Norwalk. But walk into this organic café/restaurant and you’ll better understand how Dorothy felt when she stumbled into Oz.
Who you’ll see eating here: Local cognoscenti, primarily from Westport.
Their specialty: For breakfast, organic crepes with a myriad of fillings.
What you should order: Caramel banana or brie asparagus crepe.
What you may not know but should:
1. When the owner’s in, she’ll offer free scones and cookies!
2. Bottomless cup of delicious French press coffee
3. One tiny red flag: they open at 8 AM, but don’t bother showing up until 9:30
Bars + Baristas
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 • Permalink
1595 Post Road East, Westport (in The Westport Inn)
They claim to serve the best fish in Westport, and maybe they do. But go for the dancing on Friday night because, shoot, where else are you going to go?
Robin’s note: Word spreads fast among lonely hearts, so their clubs crowd the dance floor… which you may or may not enjoy.
Who you’ll see eating here: Married couples and swinging singles.
Their specialty: Fresh fish!
What you should eat: Fresh fish.
What you may not know but should: Since 1894 they’ve had a space at Fulton Fish market in Manhattan, from where the fish is shipped each day.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 • Permalink
105 Elm Street, New Canaan
This busy, hip Northern Italian restaurant in the center of downtown New Canaan offers delicious pizza, pasta, and open kitchen “theatre.”
Robin’s note: I love the energy of their town center location.
Who you’ll see eating here: Couples and families with older children.
Their specialty: Veal chop “Milanese,” and fresh cicatelli pasta with braised duck
What you should eat: Wood oven grilled pizza Saltimbocca, Maple-glazed Atlantic salmon
What you may not know but should: On Tuesday nights $100 or less bottles of wine are discounted 50%. $100+ slashed 25%.
Friday, January 22, 2010 • Permalink
Westport Woman’s Club
44 Imperial Avenue, Westport
Robin’s Note: WWC instigated many things we now take for granted, such as classes for children with learning disabilities and Westport’s first school nurse and visiting nurse program.
Who they are: “Westport Woman’s Club has a successful history of answering calls for ‘help where needed’ and in recognizing areas of need before calls for help go out” – westportwomansclub.com
What they provide: The club offers grants and volunteer time (over 1,000 hours in 2009) to nearly 40 family-focused local charities.
Approximate number of employees: Volunteer organization
Biggest fundraising efforts:
Annual Yankee Doodle Fair
Curio Cottage Gift Shop
Clubhouse rentals for events
Tuesday, January 19, 2010 • Permalink
2420 Post Road, Darien
841 Old Post Road, Fairfield
50 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich
564 South Avenue, New Canaan
370 West Avenue, Norwalk
909 Washington Boulevard, Stamford
59 Post Road East, Westport
404 Danbury Road, Wilton
Robin’s note: The personnel at the Westport Y are thoughtful, helpful, and committed. I’ve had many positive experiences with them for my own children and Fresh Air Fund children.
Who they are: “The… Y is dedicated to building strong kids, strong families, and strong communities, while promoting healthy lifestyles through camps, swim lessons, gymnastics, sports, and childcare. [They] emphasize caring, honesty, respect and responsibility in [their] programs and services.”—http://www.westportymca.org
What they provide: The Y offers scholarships and financial assistance for families and individuals with needs and/or financial constraints. Further, the Y’s programs are offered to all members of the community regardless of their ability to pay for membership or programs.
Approximate number of employees: Differs
Biggest fundraising efforts:
From Golf Classics to Annual Galas, benefits differ according to location.
70 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich
An Eileen Fisher store for the label conscious, this store carries slouchy sweaters and comfy clothing by contemporary designers. Pants seem to be an afterthought.
Who you’ll see shopping here: Women from 20 to 60 who love the look of unstructured knits.
Their specialty: Slouchy sweaters.
What you should buy: Can’t get enough big sweaters.
What you may not know but should: They carry a tiny collection of beautiful Erickson Beamon necklaces.
Monday, January 18, 2010 • Permalink
103 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich
Every possible permutation of cashmere.
Who you’ll see shopping here: Women who love—really love—luxe cashmere.
Their specialty: Trim sweaters.
What you should buy: Cashmere-backed faux fur throw. More fabulous than real mink. A real mink would shed his pelt and make a small mink coat out of this.
What you may not know but should: Christopher Fischer cashmere is sold under other prestigious designer labels. http://www.christopherfischer.com
Sunday, January 17, 2010 • Permalink
244 Greenwich Ave., Greenwich
49 Main Street, Westport
Convenient go-to store for reasonably priced, decent fitting jeans. The selection varies at each store—Greenwich carries irreverent onesies for kids.
Robin’s note: I own two pairs. They’re comfortable.
Who you’ll see shopping here: Women (and men) age 28+ who live near a Lucky Jeans store.
Their specialty: Jeans and hippy-wanna-be tunics.
What you should buy: Jeans.
What you may not know but should: Since its founding in 1996, the Lucky Brand Foundation has raised millions of dollars for disabled children. http://www.luckybrand.com
190 Main Street, Westport
54 Railroad Place, Westport
An elegant coffee/chocolate shop, this is a cozy place to sit with girlfriends over a cup of signature roast European-style coffee, a pastry from a prestigious NYC bakery, and artisan chocolates handcrafted on the premises. Mmm…
Robin’s note: Mentally prepare yourself for the price of the chocolates (they’re worth it).
Who you’ll see drinking/eating here: Regulars from Westport, Southport, and Weston.
Their specialty: Dark ganache with sea salt bonbon, coffee.
What you should order: Coffee and scones from Balthazar.
What you may not know but should: Michelle is possibly the only US purveyor of European sipping chocolate: melted chocolate, lightly sweet, that packs more caffeine than an espresso.
Bars + Baristas
Saturday, January 16, 2010 • Permalink
43 Main Street, Westport
Festive and fresco-ed, this two-story restaurant in downtown Westport offers wonderful Mediterranean cuisine on the shores of Saugatuck river.
Robin’s note: The first floor bar is one of the town’s few watering holes.
Who you’ll see eating here: Couples who have left the kids at home.
Their specialty: Seafood.
What you should order: Wood oven grilled pizza.
What you may not know but should: On Tuesday nights, $100 or less bottles of wine are discounted 50%. $100+ slashed 25%.