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Café Lola

Cafe Lola, Fairfield

57 Unquowa Road, Fairfield

Whenever I hear the name “Lola” I think of transgender prostitutes and aged alcoholic showgirls. Such ignoble associations are unfortunate because if Café Lola was a person, she’d be less Slattern in the City and more Bohemian in the Southern Provence; a winsome maiden for whom few ‘70’s hits were penned (except for everything Air Supply ever recorded.)

This cozy café boasts lovely French comfort food and fresh salads with an impressive, but not unwieldy, selection of affordable wines and wine-by-the-glass. The attention to detail is evident from the unique and eclectic specialty cocktails (“The Muse in Red Heels” with lychee liqueur, “Madame Pigalle” with elderflower liqueur and champagne) to amazing baguettes. Yes, I’ll take this Lola over a decrepit muse any day.

Who you’ll see eating here: Business people lunching, couples 30-60 years old, and small groups of friends.

Their specialty: Croque-Madame Frites (Croque-Monsieur with a fried egg.)

What you should order: Fresh salad with large, perfectly grilled shrimp.

What you may not know but should:
  1. Tout le pain is from Billy’s Bakery in Fairfield and many other ingredients are locally sourced.
  2. Open since 2008, they’ve already won a bunch of awards.
  3. Sunday brunch is supposed to be incredible.

Dining     Fairfield    
Friday, May 28, 2010 • Permalink

Cufcakes at Lamakers!!

 I’m very excited to announce Lamakers, one of my favorite boutiques in New Canaan, is selling Cufcakes, color pant-cuffs for women and girls. As always, 100% of profits go to research for juvenile diabetes and other childhood illnesses.

Even better, Cufcakes has designed an exclusive line for Lamakers that can only be purchased through the store!

Please stop by and receive a free gift bag, browse the gorgeous spring/summer clothes, and take home a pair or two of Cuffs for a Cure!

For more information, see “Lamakers” and “Cufcakes” on this site.

New + Noteworthy     New Canaan    
Thursday, May 27, 2010 • Permalink

Chou Chou

Chou Chou, Wilton

21 River Road, Wilton

Chou Chou, directly translated, means “Cabbage Cabbage.” In France this is a term of endearment. In America it’s an insult. A cabbage is a rotund vegetable, largely overlooked stateside and, frankly, not very charming. But I’m not a big fan of tripe, either, and the French seem to gobble it up like it’s pepperoni pizza. So who am I to judge?

Which has little to do with Chou Chou the store except that it’s named after the brassica oleracea. No one seems to care, though, as it attracts teen girls and their teen-sized moms like flies to chou. Squeals of delight and “Oh, you look soooooo great in that dress!” abound while you navigate your way around piles of metallic Jack Rogers sandals, Longchamp bags, colorful dresses, workout clothes, glass cases sparkling with jewelry, and other fabulous, affordable goodies.

Robin’s note: They now carry Hunter Boots “for wide calves.” For no particular reason, this just struck me as funny.

Who you’ll see shopping here: Teens and their moms.

Their specialty: Shoes, from Cole Haan to Geox.

What you should buy: Inexpensive, fun sundresses.

What you may not know but should:
If you’re not quite teen-sized, but wish you were, there’s a rack of Spanx in the back.
http://www.misschouchou.com

Fashion     Wilton    

Versailles

Versailles, Greenwich

315 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich

This jewel of a café, recently renovated and resplendent in raspberry red, is part Eloise and part trés chic. A gorgeous selection of pastries greets one upon entry, which is a very clever way the French have of manipulating those with a self-indulgent streak and little or no resolve, i.e. me and those with whom I enjoy spending time. Now, if you drag weak-willed derrière past les pâtisseries dangereuses, you’re rewarded with a lovely bistro serving updated riffs on classic fare that is simple, fresh, and tasty.

Robin’s note: I felt like my daughter should be wearing a pinafore and putting a napkin in her lap instead of spilling water on the floor and shouting “poopy” into the mirror above our table. Yet the attentive and attractive waiters pretended not to notice and happily refilled our water glasses.

Who you’ll see eating here: Mother or father with their adult child and ladies (50-70 years old) who lunch.

Their specialty: Quiche (note: their menu is brand-spanking new and a “guest favorite” has yet to emerge).

What you should order: Colorful salads and French fries sprinkled with thyme.

What you may not know but should: All of their wonderful bread is baked on the premises.
http://www.versaillesgreenwich.com

Dining     Greenwich    
Friday, May 21, 2010 • Permalink

Thali

Thali, Westport

376 Post Road East, Westport

An Indian eatery for the tapas set, Westport’s Thali (one of five in the state) re-imagines traditional Indian fare as modern cuisine, and not even the cow is sacred (filet mignon, skirt steak). There’s plenty of spice on a number of levels, from the snazzy décor to the tandoori chicken, and a selection so vast even the fussiest of foodies will find something to tempt their ticklish tastebuds.

Robin’s note: Rich, the bartender, suggested I try the “Tajmopolitan,” a tasty send-up of the cosmo. I, having near-servile trust in professional bartenders, readily complied. It was only after I had quaffed most of my Tajmo that he mentioned the big-as-your-head mojitos. And that, my friends, is how a drink becomes a party.

Who you’ll see eating here: Couples, from 30-65 years old and a few adventuresome families with young kids.

Their specialty: Spice-crusted sole in banana leaves.

What you should order: Jumbo lump blue crab with coconut.

What you may not know but should: Owner/chef Prasad Chirnomula designed the entire restaurant himself, from the flashy floor to the lite-brite ceiling. He even carved the giant white elephant-buddha, or Ganesha, from Styrofoam (with the help of some very dedicated employees.)
http://www.thali.com

Dining     Bars + Baristas     Westport    
Friday, May 07, 2010 • Permalink