Nestled in historic Ridgefield, Connecticut, this circa 1875 former inn has been lovingly transformed into an award-winning dining destination with your hosts, Sarah and Bernard Bouissou, offering their signature style to every detail. Whether you are looking to enjoy a romantic dinner for two, gather with a group of friends, or host a larger private celebration, Bernard’s has the elegant ambiance and distinctive cuisine that will make your experience a memorable one. Bernard’s offers a wide array of private and unique dining and gathering spaces to accommodate guests from 10 to 140.
Chef Bernard changes the menu daily to reflect the finest local ingredients. He added vegetable gardens in the summer of 2012 which grew more than half of the produce served at Bernard’s during the season.
The restaurant continually garners rave reviews, earning a 2012 Zagat rating of 27-26-27. 2012 also brought the Award of Excellence from the Wine Spectator for Bernard’s outstanding wine list. Adding in 2013 - Best French Restaurant - CT Magazine, 2013 Best Brunch - CT Magazine, Best Chefs in America! In 2014 Bernard's was name "Best Overall Restaurant in CT" CT Magazine as well as Best French, Best Brunch, Best Bistro & Best Wine List! Sarah Bouissou was named "Citizen of the Year" by the Rotary Club. And most recently was name "Business of the Year" by the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce
Reservations are recommended
Bernard's and Sarah's Wine Bar are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Lunch: Wednesday - Saturday: 12:00 - 2:30 pm
Brunch: Sunday 12:00 - 2:30 pm
Dinner: Wednesday - Thursday: 5:00 - 9:00 pm
Friday & Saturday: 5:00 - 10:00 pm
Sunday: 5:00 - 8:00 pm
Sarah’s Wine Bar is located upstairs @ Bernard’s and serves a separate bistro menu. It boasts a fun and lively atmosphere with a more casual setting, no reservations, small and large plates, and a $25 Special Wine list. SWB supports the local arts by featuring musicians Wednesday through Saturday nights and hosting the Jazz Masters Series every month. In addition, every three months Sarah’s features a different local artist's work.
SWB only accepts reservations for parties of 6 or more.
SWB is open for Dinner Wednesday - Sunday: 5:00 pm
Closed for Lunch - except for private parties of 30 or more
SARAH’S WINE BAR WILL BE CLOSED DECEMBER 19TH FOR A PRIVATE PARTY
Menus and prices are subject to change
Chef Bernard prides himself on only using the freshest seasonal ingredients throughout his menu, featuring local organic meats, cheeses and produce.
Menus and prices are subject to change
Bernard's “outstanding wine list” is recognized annually by The Wine Spectator Magazine, receiving the Best of Award of Excellence since 2001. Bernard's list includes over 1,300 wines from the United States, France, and around the world. Bernard categorizes his list by country, grape and region and features an extensive Half Bottle List as well as a Dessert Wine Selection.
Menus and prices are subject to change
Jane and Michael Shauck
"Extraordinary to Perfection" Zagat's 2013/2014
Food 27 | Décor 26 | Service 27
Member Reviews - “Lovely setting, comfortable and attractive.” “Superb, interesting food. Well prepared and well presented.” “Top-notch menu.” “Always a special experience with a gracious staff. Every meal is perfect.” “Outstanding.” “Divine!” “Service is flawless.” “A true epicurean experience.”
2014 Business of the Year - Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce
2014 CT Magazine - Best Overall Restaurant in CT, Best French, Best Brunch, Best Bistro & Best Wine List
2013 Best of Gold Coast Award
Bernard's Restaurant receives 2013 OpenTable Diners' Choice Award
Article by Writer/Author Valerie Albarda
“...there are times when I want to visit the same restaurant over and over yet experience something fabulously varied with each visit. This is the promise of Bernard’s Restaurant in Ridgefield, CT.”
"Best French" 2013 Connecticut Magazine
"Best Chef " 2008 Connecticut Magazine
"Extraordinary to Perfection" Zagat’s 2012/2013
Food 27 | Décor 26 | Service 27
Star Diamond Award 2008
DiRona Distinguished Restaurants Award
4 Stars New York Times
Best of Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator 2011
“Excellent Nouveau French restaurant in an old inn. Lovely setting, comfortable and attractive. Good service. A more casual and less expensive bistro is upstairs.”
“Superb, interesting food well prepared and well presented. The room is understated elegant, very conversation friendly. Wait staff is efficient and attentive. Overall a fine dining experience, comparable to the best in NYC.”
“My new favorite restaurant. Food is consistently excellent, service inviting and competent, ambiance more formal yet comfortable. We love the tasting menus. Sarah's Wine Bar is also wonderful.”
“This restaurant is ‘PAR EXCELLENT.’ It is fine dining at its best. The owners are warm and friendly people, thus reflected in the overall charm of the dining experience. Everything is freshly prepared with discernment for subtle palettes. I suggest you try this place seasonally or more frequently. Freshly baked bread offerings complemented my [brunch] including chocolate Croissants, French bread, and Sunflower rolls with fresh mini tourines of whipped butter. Excellent dessert creation and a well-balanced wine offering. I know of people who will travel from Manhattan and beyond just to eat here and enjoy an afternoon in the Parks and Shops in the nearby village of Ridgefield.”
“Simply the best. Variety, creativity, and impeccably prepared dishes are all there, combined with attentive owners and staff. A wine list to die for along with knowledgeable waiters makes it a snap to match the perfect wine with wonderful food. Save room for some eclectic cheese choices before finishing.”
“For an intimate setting with excellent food, Bernard’s is the place to go. There are no other restaurants in the area with the same quality of food and elegance. Whether ‘formal’ dining in Bernard’s or more ‘informal’ dining at Sarah's Wine Bar right upstairs, you will have a wonderful meal.”
Connecticut Magazine, October 2009
Sante Magazine, May 2009
Hersam Acorn Newspapers, April 3, 2009
Sante Magazine, November 2008
Bernard's and West Lane Inn
Hersam Acorn Papers, Fall Bridal 2007
New York Times, Sunday, June 4, 2000
Troy Wedding Testimonial, March 2008
Anniversary Celebration Testimonial, August 2008
The Front Room - Maximum Number of Guests 60
The Tea Room - Maximum Number of guests 40
The Wine Room - Maximum Number of Guests 20
The Monkey Room - Maximum Number of guests 24
Entire First Floor - Maximum Number of Guests 140
Upstairs Room with Bar - Maximum Number of Guests 80
The Exclusive use of Bernard’s - Maximum Number of Guests 160
Frederick Wildman Wines
Wines of France
Sunday, November 11 at 5:00 pm
William Miller, Owner of Harry’s Wine & Liquor Market
Michael Curran, New England Regional Manager. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd.
Prix Fix Adults - $125
(inclusive of tax & gratuity)
Sarah and Monica’s Fabulous Birthday Wine Dinner
Friday, January 18th
Menu to Follow
Save the date!! This is one of our most popular (and favorite) wine dinners!
Sunday, October 7th – 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Sustenance: Paintings & Works on Paper
Bascove received her B.A. from the Philadelphia College of Art. She has worked with The New York, Brooklyn, and Roosevelt Island Historical Societies, and has exhibited, lectured and arranged events with the Museum of the City of New York, the Arsenal in Central Park, the Central Park Conservancy, Municipal Art Society, New York University Fales Library, and Hudson River Museum. Three collections of her paintings have been published, accompanied by anthologies of related writings: Sustenance & Desire: A Food Lover's Anthology of Sensuality and Humor (2004), Where Books Fall Open: A Reader’s Anthology of Wit and Passion (2001), a 2002 Book Sense Selection; and Stone and Steel: Paintings and Writings Celebrating the Bridges of New York City (1998). Her political and literary work is in the Permanent Collection of the Norman Rockwell Museum. As a culture writer, she has contributed to Arte Fuse, Stay Thirsty and New York Arts Magazine. Chosen by the US State Department’s Art in Embassies Cultural Exchange, her work will be exhibited at the American Embassy of Sofia, Bulgaria from 2016-2019, and the American Embassy at Muscat, Oman from 2016-2018.
Snacks & Cash Bar
Come celebrate at Bernard's for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and more!
Thursday, November 22nd
Seatings: 12:00 - 6:30 PM
Christmas Eve 2018
Monday, December 24th from 1:00 - 8:30 PM
Adults - $95
Children - $55
Beverages, tax & gratuity additional
Holiday Cabaret at Bernard's
Sunday, December 9th – 6:00 pm
Chestnuts will be roasting on an open fire as Caroline Chanin (vocals), Bob Wason (piano), Kevin Callaghan (bass), Dave Wonsey (drums), and Dave Radovich (woodwinds) share an evening of holiday music from around the world.
Cover charge: $22.00
$15 food & beverage minimum
Reserve early! I’m sure we will sell out!
This will be on the Main Floor
Celebrate your special moments surrounded by the “Country Inn” elegance of Bernard’s.
Experience the intimate and enchanting settings that Bernard’s has to offer. From the moment you arrive, you are surrounded by the exquisite décor and first class service that will make you special event just as you’ve imagined it – Simply the Best.
Perfection is in the details. Chef/Owners Sarah and Bernard impart their unique and dedicated style so that every celebration and event, large or small, meets your highest expectations.
You and your guests will be indulged in the incomparable contemporary French cuisine that Chef Bouissou prepares to order, with every menu custom designed to reflect your special event.
Bernard’s offers a wide array of private and unique dining and gathering spaces to accommodate guests from 10-135. Their intimate, beautiful rooms with rich tablescapes can be exclusively yours and are punctuated by the impressive grand staircase and Steinway piano adorning the entrance.
Whether an intimate dinner or a large celebration, you’ll find the elegant interior, decorated for the Holidays or perfect for your special event. An impressive grand staircase and Steinway piano adorn the entrance while several uniquely designed dining rooms provide space for 10 to 140 guests.
Weddings and Rehearsal Dinner Package
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Packages
Bernard’s is unique in that we can accommodate your “Kids Party” in our upstairs dining room and the adults on the main floor – or you can choose to all be together. An impressive grand staircase and Steinway piano adorn the entrance while several uniquely designed dining rooms and beautiful outside gardens also provide space for a more intimate celebration. Kosher style menus are available upon request.
SWB features live musicians Wednesday through Saturday nights.
Schedule of upcoming musicians:
Bob Curiano – Acoustic Guitar – Every Wednesday
Swing 42 – Guitar, fiddle & Vocals –November 9
Robert Fullerton – Guitar & Vocals –November 10
Mark Bridgman – Guitar & Vocals –November 15
Chris Brown – Guitar & Vocals –November 16
David & Chrissy – Guitar, drums & Vocals –Nov 17
Rob & Barry – Guitar, Bass & Vocals –Nov 23
Mark & Dylan – Guitar & Vocals –November 24
Mark Bridgman – Guitar & Vocals –November 29
Griffin Anthony – Guitar & Vocals –November 30
Bruce Carroll – Guitar & Vocals –December 1
Rio – Guitar & Vocals –December 6
Artie Tobia – Guitar & Vocals –December 7
Chris Brown – Guitar & Vocals –December 8
Mark Bridgman – Guitar & Vocals –December 13
Swing 42 – Guitar, fiddle & Vocals –December 14
David & Chrissy – Guitar, drums & Vocals –Dec 15
December 19 – CLOSED for Private Party
Rio – Guitar & Vocals –December 20
Shawn Taylor – Guitar & Vocals – December 22
Mark Bridgman – Guitar & Vocals –December 27
Griffin Anthony – Guitar & Vocals –December 28
Mark & Dylan – Guitar & Vocals –December 29
Music starts Wednesdays & Thursdays @ 6:30
Fridays & Saturdays @ 7:30ish
Sarah's Wine Bar ONLY takes reservations for parties of 8 or more - smaller parties are on a first come first serve basis
Sunday, October 7th – 12-2:30 pm
ANTON & JOSEPH KLETTNER
Anton and Joseph Klettner are an instrumental duo who play classic rock and other popular music on a variety of instruments. The brothers, ages 14 and 13, reside in South Salem, NY, and attend John Jay High School and Middle School. Their duet combinations include violin, piano, guitar and accordion. Their musical studies began with the piano 10 years ago, and shortly thereafter, they began training in the other instruments. They have performed in several venues in the area, including The Heights at Brother Vic’s in South Salem, NY; the Note Kitchen in Bethel, CT; and as featured artists at the Horseshoe Café in Southport, CT. They and their former band have also opened for such notables as Billy Bob Thornton & the Boxmasters at the Ridgefield Playhouse and the British Invasion Years at the Danbury on the Green, and have played at the Bitter End in NYC multiple times. More information can be found on Facebook@AJKlettner.
Enjoy our Fabulous Sunday Brunch (Prix Fix $39)
Voted the BEST Brunch in Connecticut by CT Magazine 2013 & once again in 2014!
The first Sunday of every month, Bernard’s features Young Musicians during its “splendid prix fixe brunch.” Bernard and Sarah Bouissou feel very strongly about supporting young musicians. They have been greatly contributing to the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra since 2002.
The Lonesome Boy & the Blond-Haired Angel
3 course Prix fix $35 per person
Beverages, Tax & 20% Service Charge additional
Thursday, July 26th at 12:00 PM
Prix Fix Luncheon $35 - appetizer, entrée, dessert,
author discussion, book signing
Book sold separately by Books on the Common
(Beverages, tax & 20% service charge additional)
The West Lane Inn, built in 1849, situated next door to Bernard's Restaurant and Sarah's Wine Bar, combines the charm of an intimate country Inn with every convenience of a hotel. A special getaway situated in the historic district of Ridgefield, CT.
Bernard Bouïssou was raised in the St Etienne de Tulmont, France where his culinary apprenticeship began at the age of 13, in the tradition of many great European chefs. In 1984, he moved to the US, where his remarkable career began in New York City, working under Chef Daniel Boulud at Le Plaza Athenee and Le Cirque Restaurants. Bernard went on to become Sous Chef at Le Cygne and then Banquet Chef at Tavern on the Green, after which he worked as Executive Chef at La Panetiere in Rye, New York. Bernard and Sarah opened Bernard’s in March of 2000.
Sarah’s cooking career began at Claude's Hohokus Inn in New Jersey. In 1985, she completed a three month stage in Vichy, France at the two-star Michelin rated restaurant, Le Violon d’Ingres. After she returned to the US she worked at Le Cirque Restaurant. Sarah was the first female chef ever hired there to work on the line where she, as the entre métier, met Bernard, the poissonier. They fell in love on the line and have been cooking together ever since. They were married in France on Bastille Day, 1990. Sarah has also worked at Rakel’s, under Chef Thomas Keller in New York. In 1991, she opened a high-end catering business in New York City, Sarah Bouissou Catering, which is still flourishing in the metropolitan tri-state area.
At Bernard’s, Sarah runs the front of the house while Bernard continues to wow people with his culinary brilliance. Their four daughters, Gabrielle, Juliette, Madeleine and Pauline, all hostess at the restaurant. The family continues to love living, working and being in Ridgefield. Bernard and Sarah play an active role in the community, donating time and food to many local philanthropic organizations.Photo by Bruce Plotkin