Jennifer Edward, of JustLiveJen Fitness, has developed a boot-camp class that goes beyond the traditional interval training, incorporating mixed martial arts, kick boxing, and lifting into one high-intensity hour. The boot camp, offered three days a week at Stratiform Fitness, complements cardio workouts in the gym’s cardio theater. The 10,000-square-foot facility also holds strength-training equipment and enough dumbbells to weigh down a very large piece of paper.
Chris and Karen Williams combined more than 25 years of optical experience when they created Specs Appeal Optical and furnished it with designer frames and experienced eye-care professionals. The boutique's hand-selected licensed opticians and sales staff treat each pair of eyes that wander in through the door with absolute care and attention. The team works together by first providing eye exams and then helping direct clients to the frames best suited to their face shape and personal style. Customers select frames from among such sought-after brands as Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Ray-Ban, and Oliver Peoples. Those interested in contacts can park themselves at attractive rosewood stations where they can get fitted with contacts or evaluate their ocular swag in the desktop mirrors.
The Cheese Course pampers dairy devotees with more than 150 artisanal cheeses, plus a thoughtfully constructed menu of delectable comestibles. Regional trios of cheeses ($12.95) allow connoisseurs to expand their palates without undergoing primordial tongue stretching. Nibble your way through a patriotic mélange of American cheeses that includes Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog goat cheese (CA), Old Chatham camembert (NY), and Pleasant Ridge Reserve (WI), or snack on a Franco-centric sampling of Sainte-Maure, camembert, and comté. Each trio comes with accoutrements such as sliced baguettes and sundried tomato pesto, but more substantial hungers can also be halted with the help of an array of sandwiches, such as an albacore white tuna melt with gruyere ($8.45), or with the greeneried goodness of a salad, such as English field greens with blue cheese, caramelized walnuts, and mustard-shallot vinaigrette ($7.95). Breakfast items, such as herb omelette baguettes ($8.45) and homemade quiche ($8.45), are served morning, noon, and night, creating a dangerous paradox of logic in which every meal is the most important of the day.
Classic Italian gets a contemporary take at Trattoria La Gondola (formerly Trattoria Dolce Vita), where chef-owner Omar Morillo draws on the culinary skills he perfected during his years in Italy. His innovative, housemade pasta dishes are light and full of surprising ingredients; the black-calamari-ink ravioli stuffed with crab swims in a pink vodka sauce, and a creamy gorgonzola sauce with a hint of truffle hides ravioli bursting with pear and ricotta.
Main courses include meatier options too, such as the salmon in a honey-mustard glaze and prosciutto- and buffalo-mozzarella-stuffed chicken. House wines and enthusiastic but tasteful exclamations of “Mamma Mia!” are ideal finishes to meals.
For 11 years, the instructors and trainers have helped clients achieve their fitness and weight loss goals. Now the workout institution has reopened its doors as Red Zone Fitness, where at this boutique style gym, in a relaxed environment, clients choose their workout duration, even in group classes. With 30-minute one-on-one or group personal-training sessions or 40- to 45-minute group fitness classes, the fitness studio follows the FITT principle: Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type. Sessions depend on various factors that include strength aerobics, performance goal focus, exercise biomechanics, and effort. Experienced instructors lead students through group fitness classes that include Red Zone training, a group class for women that provides a heart-rate-monitored, full-body workout and strengthens the cardiovascular system in just 40- to 45- minutes with resistance and cardio training.
When the first 100 Montaditos opened in the Spanish seaside town of Islantilla in 2000, the owners had in mind a vision of recreating the classical comfort of old-fashioned Spanish taverns. What they didn't realize was that they were about to start a worldwide phenomenon. Today, more than 300 outposts of 100 Montaditos have opened on three continents, and it's all thanks to their titular menu item—and its 100 variations.
A montadito is a tiny piece of bread, about as long as a finger and as wide as a giant's finger, stuffed with fresh, Spanish tapas-inspired ingredients. Diners build their meal from a selection of the bite-sized sandwiches off a menu that includes meat-and-cheese combos, all-vegetable nibbles, and even a few dessert sandwiches. Sampler plates let you taste a few popular montaditos in one easy order: the Meat Lover combination, for one, includes the Chorizo sandwich, the Meatballs sandwich with marinara, and four others. Everything goes down all that much smoother with a crisp glass of beer, a Spanish wine, or fresh and fruity white sangria.