Aug 29, 2011
03:13 PM
Café Connecticut

Oo La La

 

          A self-described “stay-at-home mom”—though one with a hotel-and-restaurant-management degree and Ritz-Carlton experience—Stamford’s Faina Yelensky could not believe the city’s high-traffic Ridgeway Shopping Center (Bed Bath & Beyond, Staples, Marshalls, Old Navy) had no place for a casual meal, or a good cup of coffee. So when a spot next to CVS opened up she went for it, and voilà! Her 40-seat, open-to-the-street Café Oo La La (motto “Live Love Eat”) was a hit from day one, Valentine’s Day, thanks to lively decor and delicious, freshly prepared fare.

             Generous salads and sandwiches are center stage—we shared a Citrus Roasted Salmon Niçoise salad, a healthy chunk of citrus-infused salmon with butter lettuce, haricots verts, red bliss potatoes, hard-boiled egg, Campari tomatoes, olives, anchovies and creamy citrus dressing ($15), and filet mignon on ciabatta with spinach and horseradish cream ($9.95), and were delighted at the originality, superior ingredients and clean, fresh flavors. And yes, even the coffee (Fair Trade organic, $2 small) was excellent (also offered are espresso drinks, $1.75-$4.25, beer and wine). Baked goods, most brought in daily from Balthazar in NYC, are worth the indulgence—we enjoyed a best-of-class almond croissant ($2.75) and ethereal croissant bread pudding ($3.25)—though the gelatos from Gelato Giuliana ($2.50 single scoop) looked mighty appealing, too.

            Customers stream in all day, happily eating/chatting/using Wi-Fi/watching the Food Channel/reading lifestyle magazines set out on a large table. Oo La La is open daily early to late, with top breakfast/brunch items the omelets, the fresh-veggie miniquiche, the bacon-egg-cheese croissant sandwich, lox and Brooklyn bagel, and crunchy grilled brioche French toast (all $5.95-$8.95). Oo La La—a welcome addition to Stamford’s casual-dining scene and a breath of fresh air for Ridgeway.

            Café Oo La La, at 2325 Summer St. in Stamford (203/353-3300), is open Mon.-Fri. 7-8, Sat. & Sun. 8-8. For more info, visit cafeoolala.com.

            N.B. A 92-year-old driver accidentally plowed into Oo La La on Aug. 8, shattering the front window and injuring nine people (none seriously). The café was closed for a few days for repairs, is now back up and running. 

 

Oo La La

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