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
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
Bernard's Mother's Day Brunch
Sunday, May 14th
Brunch – 11:00 – 12:30 pm
Prix Fix Adults - $55 / Kids - $35
Dinner – 1:30 – 6:30 pm –
Prix Fix Adults - $85 / Kids - $45
Beverages, 6.35 % tax & 20% service charge additional
A Tuscan Wine Tasting Dinner with Friends!
Sunday, April 9th at 6:30 PM
We have arranged for Pierluigi Giachi of Tenuta Torciano Winery to send one of his Wine aficionado’s direct from Tuscany to conduct a very Special Wine, Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Tasting.
$125 per person (tax exempt + gratuity)
$50 of this amount will go to the Friends of Karen organization that supports children with life threatening diseases.
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.
Enjoy Dinner at Bernard's Restaurant and
a show at the Ridgefield Playhouse!
Open for lunch 12-2pm and dinner starting at 5pm.
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Visit Bernard’s before the show for
a great Prix Fixe Menu $45 when
you present your tickets to the
The Ridgefield Playhouse.
April 8: Tracy Morgan: Picking Up the Pieces
April 22: Bruce Hornsby
Visit Ridgefield Playhouse for tickets
or call the box office at 203.438.5795
SWB features live musicians Wednesday through Saturday nights.
Schedule of upcoming musicians:
Music @ Sarah’s Wine Bar
Bob Curiano – Guitar – Every Wednesday
Bruce Carroll – Guitar & vocals – March 17
Albino Tree - Guitar, drums & Vocals – March 18
James Zap – Guitar & Vocals –March 23
Bruce Carroll – Guitar & Vocals –March 24
Rob Fried Duo – Guitar & Vocals – March 25
James Zap – Guitar & Vocals –March 30
Griffin Anthony – Guitar & Vocals –March 31
Bob Curiano – Guitar – April 1
Jason Bangser – Jazz Guitar –April 6
Chris Brown – Guitar & Vocals –April 7
Artie Tobia – Guitar & Vocals –April 8
James Zap – Guitar & Vocals –April 13
Swing 42 – Guitar, fiddle & Vocals –April 14
David & Chenot - Guitar, Bongos & Vocals –April 15
James Zap – Guitar & Vocals –April 20
Cheryl Boyd – Guitar & Vocals –April 21
Shawn Taylor – Guitar & Vocals –April 22
James Zap – Guitar & Vocals –April 27
Griffin Anthony – Guitar & Vocals –April 28
Bruce Carroll – Guitar & Vocals –April 29
Jason Bangser – Jazz Guitar –May 4
Dylan Connors – Guitar & Vocals –May 6
James Zap – Guitar & Vocals –May 11
Swing 42 – Guitar, fiddle & Vocals –May 12
Noreen Mola – Guitar & Vocals –May 13
James Zap – Guitar & Vocals –May 18
Shawn Taylor – Guitar & Vocals –May 19
David & Chenot - Guitar, Bongos & Vocals –May 20
James Zap – Guitar & Vocals –May 25
Griffin Anthony – Guitar & Vocals –May 26
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 28th
Jay Leonhart and Tomoko Ohno
Jay Leonhart, bass
Tomoko Ohno, piano
Thanks to all for making our April evening a success. Please join us on the 28th, for a duo performance by Jay Leonhart and Tomoko Ohno.
Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Don Heckman described Leonhart as
"...the Fred Astaire of jazz, a craftsman so seamlessly smooth that casual observers often fail to grasp the immensity of his talent." H e is admired by audiences and fellow musicians alike for his extraordinary musicianship, which extends to his vocals and his original compositions. His performances are marked by a keen intelligence and a great sense of humor.
Please make a point of saying hello, and thanks to all for helping to build musical community in Ridgefield!
$27.50 cover charge
(includes CT ticket tax)
$20 food/drink minimum + 20% service charge
The last Sunday of every month, SWB partners with Avilena Music to host live jazz musicians. Reservations required. We recommend making a reservation for 6:00 as the first set begins at 6:30 pm.
Thanks to all of you, the Jazz Masters audience is growing steadily. Please make your reservations as soon as possible.
The first set begins at 6:30 pm, so making your reservations for 6:00 pm will ensure that you'll fully enjoy the music and dining.
Thanks again for your continuing support in building musical community. We look forward to seeing you.
Sunday, March 5th – 12-2:30 pm
Jason Bangser - Jazz Guitar
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.
Sunday, March 12th – 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Featuring the work of:
Expressions in Light
Award-winning Ridgefield artist Hans Fischer blends abstract and contemporary representational “imagery” to express a sense of place through patterns of light and color, visually merging those styles with a unique mix of mediums, textures, color, and hand-made papers.
Born in Holland, raised in Harrison NY, he has lived in Ridgefield, CT for many years and maintains his studio/gallery here. A former graphic designer and art director, he has dedicated the last decade to fine art. His paintings are shown widely in galleries and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. Studio visits and commissioned work are always welcome.
March - May
November 19, 2015
Prix Fix Luncheon $30 - appetizer, entrée, dessert, Author discussion & Book Signing
(Beverages, tax & 20% service charge additional)
Award-winning writer and teacher Sally Allen knows that good books don’t just draw us in; they talk to us, shape us, and transport us to times, places, and minds different from our own.
In Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers, Allen deftly weaves personal stories with fifteen thematized, annotated, and illustrated reading lists for what to read next. By sharing some of the treasures in her library and the secret lives they reveal, she gives us permission to embrace the shameless book lover inside each of us. Unlocking Worlds is a testament to how reading passionately—and compassionately—can unlock the world beyond our back yard. Celebrating books and those who read them, Allen shows how the solitary act of reading can be a powerful thread that creates community and connection.
Thought-provoking and eloquent, Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers is a must-have for anyone who can’t leave the house without a book in hand.
About the author:
Sally Allen holds a Ph.D. from New York University in English Education, with an emphasis in writing and rhetoric, and a M.A. in English Language and Literature. She has taught writing and literature at New York University, Fairfield University, and Sacred Heart University. Currently, she is an associate faculty member in Communications at Post University.
The founder and editor of Books, Ink at HamletHub, Sally leads book group discussions, teaches writing workshops, and writes about books. Her writing has appeared in Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, Field Notes, PREP magazine, Patch.com, and The Good Men Project. Her writing for HamletHub has earned three Connecticut Press Club awards.
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’s supplies 109 Cheese & Wine, a local cheese store with an array of wonderful take home foods. Bernard’s selection includes frozen hors d'oeuvres, flatbread pizzas, homemade pates, foie gras mousse, all of his sauces, stocks and his Famous Smoked Salmon & Trout.
109 Cheese & Wine is located at 109 Danbury Road, Ridgefield. To see a full selection of Bernard’s offerings, visit 109 Cheese Specialty items page here.
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