Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stamford OKs a few KOs

A little detour down Summer Street tonight ushered me past what used to be the FedEx/Kinko's on Summer Street. The space has gone from paper things to swings in rings, and it's now a boxing gym!  Pretty cool!  The gym is called LA Boxing, and it seems to be the real deal.

Click on their virtual tour and you'll see their official boxing ring, treadmills, cardio machines, forest of punching bags and even a mixed martial arts cage. My colleague has taken up boxing, despite being an honest to goodness high heeled, mascaraed girly girl, and she's a true convert. I can't say I like being on either end of a swinging fist, but it does seem to be an excellent workout.

What I am an unadulterated fan of is new options and a little extra excitement in downtown Stamford, and LA Boxing ticks both those boxes.  Welcome, neighbor!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Harlan Social is Ambitious and Delicious

photo from kevin dooley, flickr.com
Well, it's been a while but I've survived food poisoning, something flu-ish, two baby ear infections (and companion pink eye) and my company being acquired - phew!  And yet Stamford continues to spin on its axis, and Harlan Social has been busy shining in its atmosphere. 

We did manage to break away for a nice dinner there a little bit ago, and I have nothing but praise. I'd been there before, but it was only drinks and nibbles, so there wasn't much to say. In my party, we had a variety of fabulous meals.

The Harlan Burger looked a little odd, floating on its English Muffin-y bread, but the proclamation was "great!" and "greasy in a good way."  Sounded like although it might kill you, you'd die happy. We scratched our head over what Parisienne Gnocchi might be, and the diner in question described it as "open faced" gnocchi. He rated it a 10 of 10 with a perfect texture. My friend who sampled the Seared Scallops said she couldn't recall ever having had as good...and that they just might be perfect. (I'm no fan of scallops, so a perfect one might be tied in a Glad bag, as far as i'm concerned...but I'll take her word for it.) The Gulf Shrimp & Grits garnered similar praise and the Garganelli Pasta was described as "well balanced."

I had the Braised Lamb, and perhaps food love was in the air, but it was incredible. It fell off the bone and into a collection of delicious French lentils seasoned with onions, almonds and dates. That description doesn't do it justice, and only eating it would.

It's not inaccurate for me to say it: I hate brussel sprouts. I remember being so sad when a very special dinner of soft shell crabs came with the veggie of the day - which I forgot to ask about.  The plate arrived decorated in all directions by those little green stink bombs.  Boo! This is all to say that the brussel sprouts at Harlan Social were delicious. I was shocked (Lord knows I didn't order them, but I tried them out of a sense of curiosity and masochism). They were miniature, and I don't know what that is supposed to do to their flavor, but it made something horrible downright delectable.

I wish it had been a little busier on a weekend evening, but the environment at Harlan Social was cozy and modern. My husband's a much harsher critic than I am, and he adored the evening. We also enjoyed the cheese plate (although the very thick accent of the waitress kept me in the dark about what the heck I was eating) and two desserts: Warm Cinnamon Donuts and the Bittersweet Chocolate Bar. They were a bit skimpy on the serving size for the donuts, but I'm glad they recognize that everything is better with chocolate dipping sauce. The Chocolate Bar could use a little more descriptive text on the menu so I know what the heck I'm eating, but whatever it was, I'll come back for more.