Though Cactus Rose Restaurant & Tequila Bar is only a teenager in dog years, owners Maria and Katerina Pertesis are no strangers to the restaurant business with more than 40 years experience. The upscale eatery’s cuisine is best summed up as contemporary Southwestern, thanks to Executive Chef Norberto Lucero’s skillful incorporation of Spanish, Mexican, and Southwestern flavors.
A Mexican native, Lucero has fun with his food. One peek at the menu reveals the usual aspects of Latin cuisine: fish tacos, paella dotted with prawns, little-neck clams, mussels, and black-iron skillet fajitas—sizzling with caramelized onions and bell peppers. Yet, for every expected entree, Lucero offers a surprise in the form of baby back ribs in an orange barbecue glaze, skirt steak with an orange chipotle mojo, and tequila chicken—a free-range, chicken stuffed with chorizo and manchego cheese. Like the chicken, all of Lucero’s meats are quality; he serves only wild-caught organic seafood, grass-fed beef, and free-range chicken.
While the menu impresses, it’s only half of Cactus Rose’s appeal. The tequila bar is also a contender, as it’s stocked with 50 varieties of tequila, and bartenders dispense freshly concocted margaritas mulled from fresh squeezed lime juice and fruits. Cactus Rose delivers an inviting atmosphere with rustic wood furnishings and cowhide chairs surrounded by red, orange, and a yellow hand-carved stained-glass mosaic. A warm large outdoor fireplace on the patio keeps patrons toasty during the winter months, and an outdoor patio—bumping with live music—convinces them to temporarily forget their fear of birds’ nests and dine al fresco during the summer.
With more than 25 years of experience, Patio.com oversees a wicker- and wood-framed stockpile of rugged and refined game-room and outdoor furnishings to outfit open-air play spaces with tables, chairs, cushions, hammocks, barbecue grills, and billiard tables. Shoppers can peruse a variety of styles from teak and aluminum to adirondack, sling, strap, and nougat-centered.
In the late 1970s career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their goal was to take an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student's set of needs. Their success in helping K–12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills quickly spawned franchises across New York and New Jersey.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff utilizes testing and rubrics for assessing each child's skills, academic needs, and potential for growth. The teachers even note the student's behavior in different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child's learning style. Teachers also adhere to the company's code of ethics that stresses professionalism and confidentiality and encourages pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
The coaches at Wilton Fencing Academy call upon decades of instructing experience as well as years of contending in national championships and collegiate competitions. During fencing classes, coaches aim to teach students the coordination, speed, agility, and self-assurance that is not only essential to competition, but also to everyday life. Students practice powerful driving moves and crafty defenses inside the academy's world-class facilities, which feature electronic scoring systems, wall projections, and regulation competition strips. In a separate viewing area, parents can admire their children's progress and unwavering concentration behind large windows. The academy is also home to the Performing Arts Center of Wilton, which helps students discover stage-navigating skills such as ballet, acting, and how to dodge shepherd's crooks.
At Fleur de Lis Academy, instructors don't just nurture the inner dancer in students as young as 2; they also emphasize the importance of how one carries oneself in the world—with good posture and great manners. In addition to ballet, yoga, and dance classes, they also educate students on contemporary etiquette, accomplishing this through fun sessions such as Princess Tea Time. Led by a mother of four, Fleur de Lis Academy's lessons offer a nurturing, supportive environment for its students. The curriculum also branches out to include adult yoga and fitness classes.
Across the two floor facility, European-styled studios are equipped with high-tech sound systems, and an on-site dance boutique equips students with accessories and dancing attire.
On any given day, The Country Store’s team makes anything from baseballs to purses. But rather than using leather, they craft these items out of batter and sugar before displaying them atop custom cakes for special occasions, such as high-school graduations or the five-year anniversary of your 21st birthday. The multitalented culinary artisans also awaken palates in the early morning with egg sandwiches and french-toast sticks, and later prepare grilled lunches including hot dogs ladled with spicy chili and burgers slathered with barbecue sauce.