Chefs at Darien Social draw on their supplies of New England grown produce, farm raised meats, and local artisan products to craft their menu of American food. Entrees have included New York strip steaks with buttermilk onion rings, bone marrow, and creamed spinach and duck pizzas crowned with gruyere, duck confit, molasses, and squash crunch. To pair with rotating seasonal ingredients, the bartenders dispense a rotating selection of 31 different craft beers on draft and pour international wines.
The contemporary wood-paneled elegance of Butterfield 8's U-shaped leather booths and lamp-lit dining room complements the menu of urban American gastropub fare. Quash your hunger with the chipotle brisket nachos, bulging beneath the tasteful weight of pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, and chipotle pulled chicken ($12). Buttery mashed potatoes and crispy onions adorn the sauce-drizzled peppercorn skirt steak ($20), and the memphis pulled-pork sliders ($12) satiate mouths with bite-size morsels of flavor. Spread out in the spacious booths and imbibe the alchemical concoctions of specialty cocktails ($10) such as a dirty bleu martini, an ocean of Belvedere vodka bobbing with buoys of blue-cheese-stuffed olives, a drink as elegant as a chandelier in fur coat. Finish the feast with the chocolate-chip-cookie-dough smash, an iron skillet filled with half-baked cookie oozing beneath ice cream and chocolate sauce ($8).
A Stamford native, Bobby Valentine made his way from All-State athlete to a professional ballplayer, manager, and analyst on ESPN's Baseball Tonight. Ever the overachiever, he went into the restaurant business more than 30 years ago, and today his career serves as the inspiration at The Original Bobby V's Sports Bar location in Stamford, Connecticut. More than 100 menu items arrive on custom handmade tables in the form of nachos, wings, pastas, and 10 signature burgers. As the beer flows from the taps, high notes emerge from its imbibers on karaoke nights.
Black Bear Saloon may have all the wood paneling of a Wild West watering hole, but it boasts many modern amenities, including plasma televisions that deliver sports from around the globe thanks to a DirecTV sports package. It’s inside this lively space that cooks keep stomachs fueled for the action with a selection of wraps, sandwiches, and Angus-beef burgers.
After a game has aired, the staff dims the lights, cranks up the volume, and turns the stage over to a live DJ every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary dancer himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form using their expert eyes. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Energetic instructors at Work It lead cardio, dance, and fitness classes seven days a week, cycling through yoga poses and spinning around poles in workouts that avoid gym monotony. Cadres of exercisers move to blood-pumping Latin–based choreography in cardio-heavy Zumba courses ($18/class), where alternating quick and slow tempos create a temporal distortion field previously accessible only to the funkiest physicists. Introductory pole-dancing courses ($25/class) let practitioners build strength and confidence as they twirl aerobically around metallic dance partners who never slip or insist on solo river-dancing routines.