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
Bernard’s and Sarah’s Wine Bar will be OPEN on Tuesdays in the month of December
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
Bernard’s and Sarah’s Wine Bar will be OPEN on Tuesdays during the month of December
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
French Country Wine Dinner
Bernard’s & 109 Cheese and Wine
Sunday, May 19th
$95 per person
(tax & 20% service charge additional)
Bernard's Mother's Day Brunch
Sunday, May 12th
Brunch – 11:00 – 12:30 pm
Prix Fix Adults - $60 / Kids - $35
Dinner – 1:30 – 6:30 pm
Prix Fix Adults - $90 / Kids - $50
Beverages, 6.35 % tax & 20% service charge additional
Sunday, April 7th – 3:00 – 5:00 pm
FLOWERS ARE SYMBOLS
WATERCOLOR EXHIBIT BY ELLEN ROSS
I envision flowers as symbols of reproduction, therefore a symbol of life. They regenerate or resurrect come Springtime, having been magnificent, budded, unfolded, exposed their seed, withered, dropped seed and are now about to emerge and grace us again. They assure us of life and growth on our planet earth. Structurally exquisite with an intricacy of design, breadth of colors and shapes, and of shadows cast, they are essential to life. We have used our flowers as symbols to celebrate love, marriage, birthdays, recovery, holidays, forgiveness, end of life, and everyday pleasure. In a time of strife, of division, or changing norms of climate, our flowers have been a constant optimistic companion in our continuing life cycle. We plant, nurture, grow, eat, study, display, and extract from them scents and medicinals. For my painting inspiration, I too grow and tend them. I photograph my gardens, friend’s, public spaces. I interpret both photographs and my direct visual impact. Shared here are my watercolor florals as uplifting spirits. Enjoy!
Sunday, April 7th
3:00 - 5:00 PM
Snacks & Cash Bar
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
Mark Bridgman – Guitar & Vocals –May 4
Mark Bridgman – Guitar & Vocals –May 9
Swing 42 – Guitar, fiddle & Vocals –May 10
Shawn Taylor – Guitar & Vocals –May 11
Jack Ryan – Guitar & Vocals –May 16
Chris Brown – Guitar & Vocals –May 17
Rob & Barry – Guitar, Bass & Vocals –May 18
Mark Bridgman – Guitar & Vocals –May 23
Robert Fullerton – Guitar & Vocals –May 24
Michael Coppola – 9 string Guitar–May 25
Jack Ryan – Guitar & Vocals –May 30
Jack Ryan – Guitar & Vocals –May 31
Dylan & Mark — Guitar & Vocals — June 1
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, May 5th – 12-2:30 pm
The Ridgefield Jazz Giants
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.
Wednesday, May 1st at 12:00 PM
Deborah Burns & Heather Frimmer
Mothers and Daughters: A Fictional and Non-Fictional Look at the Most Important Relationship of All
Prix Fix Luncheon $35 - appetizer, entrée, dessert,
author discussion, book signing
Beverages, Tax & 20% Service Charge additional
Book sold separately by Books on the Common
Deborah Burns is the author of the highly-acclaimed memoir about growing up with her unconventional mother, Saturday’s Child. Burns is a former women’s media chief innovation officer and brand leader for ELLEgirl, Metropolitan Home, ELLE Décor, and ELLE Global Marketing. As an industry consultant, she helps brands and executives reinvent themselves, and she then did the same with her own life through the process of writing this story.
An only child, Burns grew up in prim 1950s America in the shadow of her beautiful rule-breaking mother, Dorothy—a red-haired beauty who looked like Rita Hayworth and skirted norms with style and flare. Dorothy fervently eschewed motherhood and domesticity, and turned her daughter’s daily care over to her aunts. As a child, Deborah revered her charismatic mother, but Dorothy was a woman full of secrets with a troubled past—a mistress of illusion whose love seemed just out of her daughter’s grasp.
“A fascinating mother-daughter tale loaded with the realities of perfection, perception, identity, and the choices we make. An intergenerational story for the ages.”
Hailed as a must-read for every daughter who’s ever wondered where her mother ends and she begins, Kirkus writes that Saturday’s Child is: “Devilishy sharp … a masterful balance of psychological excavation and sumptuous description.”
Heather Frimmer is the author of the prize-winning women’s fiction novel, Bedside Manners, recently awarded second prize for adult fiction in the 2018 Connecticut Press Club awards. Heather Frimmer is a physician by day, specializing in diagnostic radiology and breast imaging, and an avid reader and writer at all other times. A published book reviewer across multiple websites, including Books, Ink and Booktrib, she lives in Weston, Connecticut with her husband and two sons.
Bedside Manners follows Joyce Novak and her medical student daughter, Marnie. While Marnie completes medical school and looks ahead to a surgical internship and her upcoming wedding, a breast cancer diagnosis throws Joyce’s own future into doubt. As she progresses through a daunting treatment regimen, she distracts herself by planning Marnie’s wedding. When the sudden death of a young heroin addict in Marnie’s care forces her to come face-to-face with mortality, Marnie realizes she must strike a new balance between her identity as a doctor and her role as a supportive daughter. Amid this profound soul-searching, both Joyce and Marnie’s futures change in ways they never would have expected.
“Drawing from her experience as a radiologist, Frimmer’s poignant debut examines a beautifully authentic mother-daughter relationship and the challenges inherent in a breast cancer diagnosis.”
―Emily Liebert, USA Today bestselling author
"Frimmer's debut novel takes on cancer, interfaith relationships, and mother-daughter dynamics with grace and humor. Bedside Manners is a genuine depiction of love, fear, and hope..."
―Nina Sankovitch, author of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair
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