Despite having cooked for distinguished clients such as the Clintons and Leon Panetta, and at prestigious culinary institutions such as Chicago's Palmer House, chef Jason Milanese felt restless. That is, until he opened his own restaurant: Bistro B. As the owner and executive chef, he specializes in crafting gourmet twists on classic American dishes, from small plates like sauce-drizzled chicken lollipops to entrees such as potato-and-onion-crusted halibut and a double-cut pork chop with sweet potato pur?e. A minimal, yet rustic decor featuring earth tones, framed mirrors, and dark-wood furnishings contributes to the restaurant's grassroots American feel.
Owners Deyong Liu and Hiro Nagata have installed eight individual hibachi grills throughout Tombo's interior, staffing each station with a skilled chef to give diners an up-close and entertaining view of meal preparation. Chicken, steak, seafood, and tofu sizzle atop each hibachi station and are paired with sautéed noodles, steamed white rice, and mixed vegetables for a complete and satisfying meal. Diners sip on sake, wine, beer, or Tiki Room cocktails as they chat with companions or belt out evening karaoke and can order a keepsake photo to commemorate the meal or confirm an alibi.
The Connecticut Dance Conservatory teaches students three key skills to make them experts of dance: technique, individuality, and artistry. Students of all ages can master these skills in a variety of styles including ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop and more. Their classical ballet classes encourage students to develop graceful arm and leg movements, while theater-jazz classes get dancers ready for Broadway?quality performances. Hip-hop sessions, meanwhile, help students express themselves in a modern style inspired by music-video performances. At the end of the year, students can perform their new moves in an annual recital for friends and family.
Music Theatre of Connecticut delights droves of drama fans with musicals and song-free plays featuring world-class actors and entertainers. Produced around the globe since its debut more than 20 years ago, the Pulitzer Prize–nominated Love Letters weaves a half-century of correspondence between childhood friends into one amusing, emotional, and ardently romantic evening. Broadway vet Jodi Stevens and Emmy-nominated actor Scott Bryce declaim the hills and valleys of two separate yet intrinsically-affixed confidants moving through life with their deepest bond sealed in an envelope. The night ends with complimentary wine and cheese accompanied by commingling with the cast and crew.
It's not every day that an Academy Award?winning actress like Joanne Woodward arrives at your theater and offers to be the Artistic Director. But that's pretty much what happened at Westport Country Playhouse in 2000. Woodward, a resident of Westport, was enraptured by the the playhouse and concerned with the physical disrepair of its building?a former tannery built in 1835. Determined to revitalize WCP, she set about renovating the space while continuing to stage lauded works starring the likes of Gene Wilder, Jane Curtain, and Paul Newman.
Woodward's five-year tenure is just one of many pivotal eras in the playhouse's history. Throughout its entire history, though, the theater has held to its mission, performing everything from comedies and musicals to classic dramas and new works by emerging playwrights. And its dedication to the performing arts shines through in more than just its staged offerings and enthusiastic spotlight polishing. It's also home to the Woodward Internship Program, a summer workshop for burgeoning stage managers and producers.
The floor-to-ceiling mirrors at Ballroom Elegance Dance Studio reflect silhouettes of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels. Owners and directors Vladimir and Irina Gorshkov chart each dancer's progress as feet fly over the studio's blond hardwoods, securing more confidence and precision with each bend, dip, twirl, and hover attempt. While private lessons and group classes tackle foundational footwork and precision techniques, regular social events put new moves to work to the big-band sounds of swing or the sultry fire of salsa. Instructors welcome pairs and solo artists hoping to have fun, practice for an upcoming wedding, or more gracefully sidestep the grocery store's automatic doors.