Brookside's shopping district is a pedestrian paradise teeming with eclectic shops and enticing restaurants touched with old-world charm. A vine-ripened splash of Taurino Salice Salentino from Berbiglia ($13.97/bottle), when combined with a set of Clean Undies tea lights from 5B & Co. Candlemakers ($8.50 for 10), makes for a romantic dinner and renders washing machines useless. The award-winning Avenues Bistro reels in diners with elegant eats such as the lobster ravioli speckled with succulent Maine lobster in a pool of sherry-laced tomato-cream sauce ($21). Picking up where time machines left off, The (New) Dime Store resurrects nostalgic nuggets such as Valomilk candy and Shrinky Dinks, and also traffics in functional housewares, hardware, and deeds to future properties on Neptune. Customers can also use their gift certificate toward services such as a private Pilates session at Pure Pilates ($65).
Since their maiden deterging in 1944, Tower Dry Cleaners and Laundry’s purification professionals have been expunging grime and removing rumples from legions of suits, dresses, linens, and more. Drop-off detoxes unshackle slack trousers ($6.95), shirts ($7.35), and sweaters ($7.05) from chronic creases, and plunges into bubbleless bathtubs eradicate dog hair from blazers ($7.95) and two-piece suits ($13.70) after forcing Fido to adhere to the dress code on Take Your Pet to Work Day.
The Learning Tree extends its wisdom-whittled branches in all directions, boasting hands-on learning tools, toys, games, and activities for kids of all ages. From art supplies and science kits to scrub-a-dub-dub bath toys for the tub, there's no shortage of interactive mind-candy worthy of mental mastication. Sharpen a young mind with school supplies such as Faber-Castell's 15 Erasable Crayons ($5.99 for a pack of 15) and the 68-piece Alex Toys Art Studio ($15.99), or let juvenile phalanges forage across a Wigglin' Water Snake ($24.99), Stomp Launcher ($14.99), or the Klutz Incredible Clay Book ($19.95). No matter what goes in the cart, all contents will tickle the minds and giggle-plexes of all their gracious recipients. Both stores are open seven days a week, come rain, shine, or brain storm.
After acknowledging their own dinner-related stress, two busy mothers founded Social Suppers as a way to help others avoid it. Their four meal programs are designed for people who don't always have the time to prepare their own food from scratch, but still want to eat nutritious food. The staff prepares fully cooked dishes for pick-up, assembles them for future cooking, and stocks house freezers with pre-made dishes. They also help customers make their own meals within two hours in an on-site kitchen, using provided ingredients, recipes, and Emeril look-alikes. Though menus change monthly, each offers up to 16 healthy, internationally-inspired entrees, sides, and desserts featuring a variety of vegetables, meats, seafood, and poultry. The culinary curators also accommodate special requests, food allergies, and dietary needs. Each prepared meal comes in freezer-ready, labeled packaging to protect them against freezer burn, and keep them from getting into the ice cream.
For more than 25 years, the knowledgeable cobblers at Stateline Shoe Repair have remedied the ailments of well-worn shoes and apparel with a comprehensive menu of services. Practiced hands can restructure heels on cowboy boots, ladies' shoes, men's dress shoes, and Birkenstocks. Accessory experts can also sew patches onto motorcycle jackets and teddy-bear pirates. Stateline is an authorized dealer of Birkenstock, Spenco, and Vibram, and has a wide-ranging retail selection that includes shoe-care products, purses, wallets, and jewelry.
Upon entering Haught Style, shoppers are greeted warmly by compassionate fashion advisors who will happily dole out generous portions of personalized fashion advice, style consulting, and sandals to munch on. The boutique's lineup of featured designers includes Amanda Uprichard, Kooba, Helena de Natalio, and By Francine. Shoppers can gear up on office-friendly garb such as a DEPT button-down bodysuit ($66) or pick out evening wear such as an AU Winston silk tunic ($220) for after-work socializing. BCBGen drape-front print jersey day dresses ($110), Max & Cleo shirred-knit party dresses ($129), skinny pants, skirts, and the rest of Haught Style's tastefully chic attire will dazzle your peers, be they men, women, or well-tailored cartoon-penguin millionaires.