Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New to me!

Granted, I've been living in a baby-fueled hibernation, but two new additions to the downtown scene jumped out at me in the last few days. You may think this is old news, but if you haven't been cruising around too much (like moi!) you might find my two cents on two new stores interesting.

First after the early death of Houlihan's on the ground floor of Target, that big fat space sat vacant for ages. BUT NOW there are promising signs in the window advertising something called Rodizio Grill. Never heard of it? Me either - but it bills itself as "the" Brazilian Steakhouse. Nice!

Their website proclaims their outspoken Braziliness: "As Ambassadors of Brazil, we welcome you to our home and invite you to celebrate with us the warmth, alegria, and abundance of Rodizio Grill's authentic Brazilian dining experience." It also features waiter types displaying an impressive collection of meat on skewers (somehow that sounds dirty...). Here you'll see a terrible picture of the window, but it gives you the idea. Their website indicates that it's opening March 2012. I'm eager to see if they make that space "the" place to be.

In the Ridgeway Shopping Center (you know, the one with useful stores and a useless parking lot) there's a new storefront called Hand & Stone. It's a massage joint! And not even the skeevy kind!! I'm pretty pumped about this new neighbor. They have some local specials, which you can see here. There's a menu of their services here. It includes old favorites like Swedish and Hot Stone Massages, plus some things I've never heard of - Cranial Sacral? There's a good selection of facials and waxing on more parts than you'd ever want to think about. I'm already planning my day there - spend 45 minutes looking for a parking space, completely stressing myself out in the process and then crushing the knots in my shoulders with hot stones...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

NYT on Local Squabble

There's an interesting article in the New York Times about resistance from the Downtown Special Services District to a planned hotel ballroom in the Harbor Point development. Their concern is that Stamford is too small (120,000 people) to support two downtowns and that this ballroom will draw people away from downtown. Maybe, but counting the population just within Stamford's borders is not an accurate tally. What about people from Norwalk, Greenwich, etc? There are other venues around town as well that seem to peacefully coexist with downtown - if we are talking "ballrooms" the Italian Center comes to mind (ok the giant pink 80s chandelier is also working against it...but still!). I say we should take a Field of Dreams if-you-build-it-they-will-come approach. This economy is still fragile, and we can't afford to shun local investment. Besides, if party people come for "the ball" maybe they'll go just a bit further for downtown drinks. Cheers to that!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dig the Birbigs

I am a huge fan! Mike Birbiglia is coming to town, and the smart Stamford cookie will NOT miss it. He's at the Stamford Center for the Arts on May 3, 2012 at 8pm. Tickets go on sale Friday the 17th at 11am - aka TOMORROW. They will run you between $30 and $40 - that's a few dollars, but they're well spent. 

If you don't know Mr. Birbigs, he is an absolute riot. If you listen to This American Life, you'll know all about him. You might have heard of Sleepwalk with Me which is based on his own struggles with sleepwalking and the hilarious injuries that ensued. He adapted all that funniness into a full on movie which was accepted into the Sundance Film Festival. He's appeared on a jillion things you've heard of: Jimmy Kimmel, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Late Show and...hopefully you can look past this one...The View. But anyhoo...he's tremendous and you should find out for yourself. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cookies, Kids and Cures

photo from lindseywb, flickr.com
My parents are up this week and gave us the best gift of all - a night out for us new parents! It was great getting reacquainted with the world. We spent it revisiting one of our favorite restaurants in the area: Morello Italian Bistro (253 Greenwich Ave in Greenwich). I wrote about it here.

Once again, it was a lovely evening. Among other things, we enjoyed a crazy strong kiwi Cachaça cocktail, a béchamel and boar lasagna and the most romantic setting around. I'm pleased to echo all the warm and fuzzy things I said before. It's 4000% worth a visit.

While there, I learned about a blog-worthy event sponsored by the restaurant. On Saturday, February 25th at 6pm at the Bruce Museum (1 Museum Drive in Greenwich). Morello will take part in A Cocktail for Music. The event is a benefit wine tasting to benefit Cookies for Kids' Cancer. The charity is designed to fund cancer treatments for young people and was founded by parents of a 2 1/2 year old child named Liam who fought his own cancer battle. The evening will spotlight Horseneck Wine. There will be a raffle as well as performances by violinist, David Gale, and pianist, Riko Higuma. Tickets are a little pricey - at $45 - but it's hard to think of a more worthwhile cause.

To purchase tickets, email acocktailformusic@gmail.com or call 917-771-9556.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy GroundBlogs Day!

photo from barockschloss, flickr.com
I stuck my head out my window today and saw my shadow - which means it's time to get back to blogging! Thanks for your patience while I learn how to keep an extra person alive. Ridiculously glad for the nice weather (except for global warming and such) because I'm running out of ways to avoid cabin fever and looking forward to all the cool things going on in ye olde Stamford since I've been cooped up. For example:

- There's a new restaurant where Court Square used to be called Kosh (108 Prospect Street). They have a nifty Facebook page and website where you can learn more. My neighbors went and tell me the deli offerings are top notch. The restaurant is Kosher, as the name might suggest, and it features a modern outdoor dining area with a fireplace and Montreal-style smoked meats (if you don't know what that means - trust me - yum!). They're having a Super Bowl Sunday Wing Challenge with a chance to win a $100 gift card. Not bad! I, for one, am excited to see that space put to good use. It's a cool spot, and I hope Kosh is a big success.

- There's a new exhibit starting this Friday at the Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery (96 Bedford Street). It's called To Italy, featuring an artist named Rex Prescott Walden. There will be an opening event on Friday Feb 3rd from 6-9pm. Click here to see some examples of his work.

- The Avon has Oscar fever - which they regularly contract - and is offering a number of events as part of its Red Carpet Festival. This Saturday there's a Gala event from 6:30 to 11:30pm. There's a film festival running throughout the month. There's also a Live Oscar Night event on the big day (Feb 26th at 7pm). For more information, see the Avon website.

Thank again for your patience - nice to be back!