Saturday, June 27, 2009

Monday Night Raw (fish)!!!

OK, I have another reason to give Duo a second chance at impressing me: Monday night (June 26th) is half-price sushi night!

From their email:

During our dinner hours all sushi pieces a la carte, classic rolls, and specialty rolls are 50% OFF.
(Sorry, all sashimi, toro and uni are not included.)


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Away We Go, starring that tall guy from The Office

Last summer, Stamford was abuzz when Jim Halpert John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph were in town shooting Sam Mendes' latest movie, Farlanders Away We Go.

Not only do they have a giant cardboard cutout in the lobby of the Avon,

(because I didn't take one)

but they have a website, too! Apparently, it's the latest thing.

I found this picture on the website:

That looks like Remo's to me! Hey, isn't that Rose from Two and a Half Men? I browsed the website and the trailer for other signs of the CTW, but no luck.

I doubt I'm going to see this movie, but it also stars Jim Gaffigan, Maureen O'Hara and Jeff Daniels, so I'm sure it's good for a few laughs.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fairfield County Eats...and so do I!

I went to the Fairfield County Eats event, and hoo boy, I think I ate enough for everybody in Fairfield County.

Pictured: Everybody in Fairfield County.

I had truffle oil potato chips and pan-fried oysters with andouille cream from Ten Twenty Post Oyster Bar-Bistro, four different appetizers from Fjord Catering, seared tuna-cucumber-wasabi things from Watson's Catering, tuna tartare in a cone-type thing from David's Waterside Catering, and desserts from Sweet Lisa's Exquisite Cakes and DiMare Pastry Shop - and those are just the things I managed to take pictures of. I'm pretty sure I hit almost every food table in the room! I stayed away from the pizza and pasta because I didn't want to fill up too quickly.

Some other standouts include Napa & Co. (of course), the Hilton's own table, Brasitas (who always had a line, probably because they were serving sangria!), The Ginger Man and Bull's Head Market, who have an amazing 5-year-old smoked gouda that's now my favorite cheese!

The other sweet stuff of note were chocolate fondue from The Melting Pot and a homemade confection called White Chocolate Trash, which consists of pretzels, peanuts and Chex covered in white chocolate.

They also had wine, vodka, rum, a silent auction, and the youngest jazz-blues band I've ever seen! The young lady singer (not in the picture) did a great rendition of one of my favorite songs, "The Girl from Ipanema."

After stuffing my face with mouth-watering morsels and tasty tidbits, I finally had to sloth my way out the door and back towards the parking garage. Lo and behold, what do I see on the way out? GOODIE BAGS!! At Reinventing Stamford, I got an i-Shop discount card, and now this! My wife and I each got a reusable Shop-Rite shopping bag full of cool stuff: a brochure of Shop-Rite's cooking classes; a food safety guide; a Save the Date for The 4th Annual Connoisseur's Dinner to benefit The Food Bank; a DVD from The Food Bank about their mission; and the piece de resistance: chocolate.

It starts with a packet of cocoa for making hot chocolate. Underneath that is The Chocolate Tasting Club Classic Selection.

This chocolate nirvana contains nine different chocolates, some of which I've shot in digital macro to show how incredible they look. It even comes with a scorecard so you can share with the Club which were your favorites.

Wow...fine food, dessert, and a take-home box of chocolates, and it was all for a good cause. It was great to see so many people and businesses come together to help a wonderful organization like The Food Bank.

Now I'm off to bed, where I'll probably dream of floating on a chocolate raft down a fondue river...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

From the Times: New Rail Lines Spur Urban Revival

The New York Times has an article about how the construction of rail lines and the corresponding development around them have helped reinvigorate and/or create livable, desirable urban centers. This is, of course, quite relevant to Stamford's current and future plans, which include continued growth in transit-oriented development and possibly even the re-introduction of trolley lines. Several quotes that stand out for me are:
  • “People have rediscovered cities and urban living,” said Shelley Poticha, the president of Reconnecting America, a nonprofit organization focused on integrating transportation systems with communities they serve.

  • ...urban mixed-use properties and town centers scored high among niche property types. “These are the places that will be creating and holding value,” Ms. Poticha said. She said proximity to public transit could raise property values significantly.

  • The most successful projects do more than build housing near transit stations. They take pains to create livable neighborhoods, with parks, paths, retail stores and places for people to gather. “Place-making is key,” Ms. Poticha said.
A city creating livable neighborhoods, parks, retail and gathering places? That sounds awfully familiar! Sure there have been mistakes and cases of poor judgment, and we have a long way to go, but I think our fair city is on the right path.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fairfield County Eats!

No, not in the pejorative sense, in the charitable sense. The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County is holding a fundraiser event this Thursday at the Stamford Hilton called Fairfield County Eats. It's a sampler-type dinner with tables from restaurants all over the Lower FC. It combines two of my favorite things: eating and more eating, so I'll be there!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I reinvented Stamford, and all I got was this notepad

Along with JT from BlogStamford, I checked out the latest event in the Reinventing Stamford series Monday night at the Marriott.

It was less structured than the previous event I attended, since it was shared between DSSD and Reinventing Stamford. The DSSD portion was basically a roast of Mayor Malloy, but without the jokes. Or any actual, you know, roasting. It was a retrospective on his relationship with DSSD, covering the progress made downtown since he took office in 1995. The Mayor then gave a presentation highlighting the changes in business, retail, housing, culture, etc., during his tenure.

But the best part of the whole shindig was the SWAG!! At the first event, I got this neat Reinventing Stamford notepad.

Last night, I got (below, from the top) a guide to this summer's Art in Public Places exhibit, a Stamford Downtown Summer 2009 brochure and the DSSD 2008-2009 annual report.

The best thing of all, though, was my new i-Shop card!

This bad boy gets you 10% off at participating stores downtown! Sweet!

In all honesty, I'm kind of torn about this card. On the one hand, I'm all for saving money...but on the other hand, I'm also all for supporting local businesses, and I know how slim the profit margins can be for a small business. What should I do???

The angel on one shoulder says, "Don't feel bad; these businesses would rather get 90% of their purchase price than 0%!" The devil on the other shoulder says, "You need to save your money so you can afford to live in this freakin' town and keep patronizing these businesses! Stop being such a whiner and use the card!!" The devil on the devil's shoulder then chimes in: "If I don't get 10% off at Beamer's, who cares?"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tough times in Greenwich

Insanely wealthy Russian oligarch + lack of style and/or scope + the people of Greenwich = pure comedy.

New York Magazine has an article about a ridiculously huge mansion that this billionaire Russian guy is trying to build in our frou-frou neighbors' backyard.

Here are some of the specs from the original plans: "At its center would be a grand hall served by a bifurcated, lyre-shape, Titanic-style staircase and topped by a three-story-high glass dome. In inclement weather, a mechanized retractable shield would cover the dome. The basement would house a theater with a full bar, a billiards room with another bar, a Turkish bath, a Finnish bath, a massage room, a salon, a wine cellar, a game room, and two staff suites." Yow.

According to the article, the locals were worried that he was going to be throwing huge parties (26 toilets). I think it's a little bit of xenophobia mixed with a whole pile of mansion envy: "If it's bigger than mine, I don't like it."

Friday, June 5, 2009

I had THE burger

My wife took me to Napa for my birthday and I had to get it. Hoo boy, did it live up to the hype. The meat was perfect. The bun was delicious, with just the right amount of crispness. The onion jam and the mayo, sublime. I tried to take pictures of it, but every shot was too bright and washed out because of the holy aura emanating from the burger. To paraphrase Ferris Bueller, if you have the means, I highly recommend it. It is so...mwa! (Imagine the "delicious" hand gesture there.)

So...what should I put on my list next? I'm leaning towards Egane because my sister and her husband went to Korea recently and loved the food. Any thoughts?

Monday, June 1, 2009

The new kid reviews Barcelona

Well, well, well...there's a new inductee to the Stamford blogging cabal: Kate has a review of the new Barcelona on her blog, Stamford Notes. Let's hope she's not the Cousin Oliver of Stamford blogging. :P