Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Darien Restaurant: Ten Twenty Post

Over the past month, I got wind of a new resto right on the post road in Darien. It might have been via the New York Times, or another blog, or a newspaper, but the husband actually took the lead to research it a couple of weeks ago and we went. The name is pretty horrible: Ten Twenty Post.
I ate there for the second time last night, and got a real meal and dessert, so now I feel qualified to review it. Summary: it's easy and good, but nice. It's a bistro, so in some ways it's quite casual, but it's upscale, hence the $30 filet mignon and $29 scallops and risotto that we got last night. Service was fair the first time we went, and it was very good last night. There is plenty of seating, so you're almost always guaranteed a spot, even if only at the bar. The place was bustling on both of the snowy evenings we were there.

Our first time there, I got the lobster macaroni and cheese: disappointing! The cheese was not tangy enough and the lobster was dry and chewy. Boo! Save yourself $20 and open a box of Kraft. The husband got the French onion soup- average, but liked his goat cheese crostini house salad.

Our second time there, we brought a friend and had a real dinner complete with expensive entrees, drinks and dessert. (Just finished painting and furnishing baby's room under this friend's direction, so we totally wanted to treat her and us.) None of the apps appealed to us, but the entrees kicked heinie. My companions both got the NY Strip Steak with fries ($27) and I got the scallops with veggie risotto ($29) and we all pretty much ate every bite of our food. My plate was the cleanest because I got the smallest portion, but not being tempted to overeat is fine with me.

Desserts were average. The chocolate molten cake was not molten enough and I would not get it again. The chocolate flavor was cheap and overwhelming. The pecan pie with caramel ice cream was good, but overly sweet, and the pie did not have enough pecans. Ah well. Going to places with bad dessert is one of many ways to watch one's waistline.

We had a blast bickering and talking at our little banquette in the corner, and the staff was great, so I overall give Ten Twenty Post a "Good." Very Good if I wanted to be generous, but a New York Times "Good." The New York Times did review the resto, but I haven't read the review yet. There's also a discussion thread on Chowhound about it that I'll go back and read later as well.

Oooh I just found the link for the NYTimes review, and I zoomed to the bottom to see what Patricia Brooks gave the resto: a "Good." Damn, I am GOOD. VERY GOOD.
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Duo's New Menu, Baby Stamford Talk Update

Yikes! I am sooooo not in Stamford Talk mode. Working full time, seeing doctor twice a week, and then in the evenings trying to get house ready for baby (due in less than 6 weeks) and baby shower (in one week)... needless to say I am not going out much. Most of the shopping I'm doing is in Greenwich, Yonkers and Milford (I hate you, Babies R Us, and giggle in Greenwich, I love you, but I can't afford you). My mind is so distracted by thoughts of this baby that I can barely concentrate on Us Weekly.

There is one thing I did in Stamford recently that I think my brain can handle describing. Last night I wanted sushi, and the husband didn't, so we hit Duo. That resto has sushi and a really delicious beef entree the husband always gets. We got there... and the menu had changed. Not only did they change the beef entree, they added SNAILS to it. So, rather than tenderloin and braised ribs, it's another (still excellent) cut of beef and SNAILS. The husband asked for it without snails, and while the beef was truly freaking fantastic (I had a bite and then felt like ripping his plate away from him), it just wasn't the same as the original Duo-style, beef two ways.

I did not examine the menu too closely, because I was hungry to distraction, but it really has changed. They still have the rolls done two ways. For example, the bayou roll has a) cajun spice crusted albacore tuna with sundried tomato salsa and b) black pepper aioli yuzu crusted white tuna with scallion. They still have some of the same apps, like my favorite tuna pizza that I am going to get as SOON as I am not pregnant any more. (Do not ever eat that in front of me, even if I'm not pregnant, because I might swoop down and attack you- that's how much I love that app.) They have some new apps though, like shrimp shumai, and they now have a normal green salad with avocado and vinaigrette (delicious). By normal, I mean, like, not seaweed, and not with beet foam or fruity dressing.

I did not examine the entree list too carefully, but I think some of them are no longer done two ways, which is odd, since that's what the name Duo relates to. The new menu is not up online yet, but in the email I got from the owner (I'm on Duo's mailing list), he says,

-We added tapas-style small plates that can be shared as appetizers, or as a main meal
-There are now more specialty sushi rolls (18 of them) and more options for sushi platters and more fish for sushi/sashimi lovers
-Plus Brand New Kitchen Entrees. Anan has cooked up lamb shanks with mint glaze, red wine poached scallops, roasted snapper filets with asparagus and shitake mushrooms and many others...

I think their chef is pretty damn fantastic, so I am optimistic about their new menu. However, the husband, not the most adventurous eater, might have a harder time adjusting.

According to the owner's email, Plateau, Duo's sister resto next door, is also getting a new menu. I'm happy about that, because while I like Plateau's Southeast Asian food, the selection is not that tantalizing to me. I always get the mango chicken because everything else I've tried there has never wowed me.

OK, off to birthing class.
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rumor: Rite Aid on Hope St. Closing?

I myself am a CVS girl, but I did want to let Rite Aid fans know that I heard a reliable rumor that the Hope St. Rite Aid is closing on Jan. 17. That's the one across from my Hope St. NYSC. I went in once to buy wrapping paper. I wonder what will take over that building if it closes...

Hope St. is a surprisingly active area, gossip-wise. Fireside burnt down--arson!--, a suspicious package/jug of pee had to be investigated by cops... I might just try to stick to the Bull's Head/Newfield area. The bagels at Liz Sue in Bull's Head do trump the bagels at Village Bagel on Hope St.
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Annoyance Solved: Or, My NYSC Still Rocks

It was a long week. "I need a $#%&ing endorphin rush," I muttered to myself as I hauled myself up the the steps of my NYSC at 8:15 am today. I changed and came out to the elliptical machines. Horrifyingly, techno music was booming out of the open door of the spin room. "OK, just try to deal," I thought, and turned on my music on the earphones; I couldn't hear a damn bit of the music that had just been plenty loud further away from the spin room.

I went over to the front desk. "I don't mean to be grumpy, but can you do something about that music?" I asked. "I mean, is it hot in there, and that's why the door's open? I can't hear my own music, and I don't really feel like having hearing loss, and I just can't deal with this today. I don't want to walk on the treadmills further away, I want to use the elliptical."
The woman at the front desk said, "Oh, maybe you can try this one right here, it's just like the elliptical."
Me: "I'm pregnant. I don't feel like learning anything new."
"It's really easy on the joints. I'll show you."
She showed me, and I tried it (because this lady is really nice and I like her), then I said, "I don't like it."
"OK I'll be right back." The woman went over to the spin room and came back. "She turned it down. If that's not enough, we'll shut the door."

I went over to the elliptical the farthest away from the room. I could still hear the music when my headphones were on. "Don't be a b!t&h, just deal," I told myself. Rather than trying to listen to my music, which was still pretty drowned out by the techno, I tried listening to ESPN. "Think of the music as motivating," I thought. When I couldn't concentrate on the Pacman Jones shooting segment, and then, an abominable techno version of "Twist and Shout" came on from the spin room, I'd had enough. I don't pay good money, and drive through slush and snow at 8 am, to hear someone else's incredibly bad music. I stomped back to the front desk.

"I don't want those people in there to die of heat exhaustion, but I just can't handle that music."
"No problem," the lady said, and went over and shut the door.

I finished the rest of my 25 minute light cardio workout in peace.
Just another reason why I love my NYSC, the one off exit 6. When that lady is at the front desk, she will take care of your problems. I appreciate that.
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Biggest Loser Season Starts Tonight!

I realize this is not exactly Stamford-related, but this is the main focus of my life this week besides cleaning my house and trying to keep my life together. I'm hoping to get back into the Stamford groove soon, but if you saw the condition of my house, you'd tell me to get off the computer and start cleaning/organizing/jettisoning crap right away.
Tonight at 8pm on NBC is your chance to start watching the Biggest Loser's biggest contestants ever. And don't forget, Innovate Fitness in Stamford has their very own Biggest Loser contest, and one Stamford Talk reader did it and highly recommends it. Getting a comment from a reader/contestant is not QUITE as good as having a Biggest Loser: Stamford Edition, but I'll take it! Ooh actually I just went to the IF website, and they DO have a little video of the contestants!

If I wanted to lose weight, had $1200 bucks available, and wanted a social atmosphere to keep me motivated, I'd totally do the IF program. I'm impressed with anyone who commits to fitness, because it's certainly hard to do that and keep up with a busy life. I don't have kids or a long commute, and it's a struggle for me to keep up with gym and healthy eating. I'm lucky I learned decent habits from living with a personal trainer for 2 years, then a nutritionist for the next 2. I secretly want to be a nutritionist and personal trainer, but I'm certainly not about to go back to school for it, nor do I want to give up Velveeta Shells and Cheese... nor do I really like vigorous weight workouts, because I always end up hurting a knee or shoulder (or, currently, my elbow now clicks and I can't do chest presses or tricep extensions). Yeah, forget that career change.

One caveat about the TV show tonight: TiVo or DVR the show; do not watch it in real time, because they stretch it for two hours. You need to fast forward through the commercials, and maybe sometimes the nutritional tips if you are trying to maximize your time. I'm having at least one friend over tonight- I'm lobbying two more co-workers/friends- and I'll probably force my husband to watch it too.

My husband just informed me we're out of dog food. Yeah, we're falling apart over here.
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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Curses Upon Youth Ice Hockey

Oh, the woes of suburbia. I tried to go to my NYSC at Twin Rinks yesterday, and the parking lot was completely full of minivans, SUVs, and family sedans. After a mom almost sideswiped me in her minivan, I decided the parking trauma was not worth it. I was getting hungry, so I didn't think the workout would be that great anyway.

Every time I go to the Twin Rinks NYSC on Hope St., I say a little prayer that none of my future offspring will play ice hockey. I especially said that prayer when I went to the gym at 8am one weekend... and there were parents and kids leaving a hockey game that had already finished. What time could that game have started? SIX THIRTY ON A SUNDAY?!?

I hope my child wants to ride horses. I know that can get expensive, but I like horses a lot, and there are probably less matches I have to show my face at. 'Cause youth sports look really stressful, and God forbid they're good enough to be on a travel team. Then your weekends are shot.
Hmmm... although, riding horses can be dangerous. Maybe some casual rec league basketball. My 5 year old nephew was awfully cute in his rec league debut last month, and basketball does not appear to be year round like soccer.
Or, maybe the kid will be really into spelling, and we can just sit at home and quiz each other. That sounds nice. And the competitions are much less frequent, so we'll have time to relax on the weekends and not be driving all over the tri-state area for matches.
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