After 22 years of wowing Tri-State area restaurant goers, Bernard and Sarah Bouissou are closing the doors of the beloved Bernard’s to undertake their next culinary endeavor.
Since opening in March of 2000, the elegant French restaurant and wine bar quickly won the heart of Ridgefield, CT, stood the test of time, and became a truly iconic dining scene. Their legacy will continue in the Ridgefield area through the esteemed Sarah Bouissou Catering and a new prepared food storefront that brings Bernard’s fabulous food to your family’s table.
Meeting as chefs under Daniel Boulud at Le Cirque in the 1980’s, the gourmet power couple led accomplished careers in New York City. Following their dream to raise a family in the country, they settled down in Ridgefield at 20 West Lane. For more than two decades, Bernard and Sarah raised their four daughters there, while gracefully operating the restaurant and catering business. As one can imagine, dedicating all of your nights, weekends, and holidays to your business is no easy task.
They did not want to pass the torch to just anyone, they wanted to make sure the next owners would persevere as a pillar in the community. They found those ideal new owners in local restaurateurs Dave Studwell and Rob Moss of Washington Prime; and B.J. Lawless, of BJ Ryan’s Restaurant Group, all in Norwalk, CT. Sarah emphasizes, “We could not be happier for the assured success of the new restaurant coming to 20 West Lane. Moving on is always challenging, but we were deliberate in our search for someone who would care for and appreciate the place we called home.”
With one tour of the fabulous property and gardens, the trio recognized the unique opportunity offered to them–just as Bernard and Sarah had all of those years ago. With extensive experience working together in the hospitality industry, the trio was quick to realize this was a “right time, right place” kind of moment. Washington Prime is notable for winning “Best Steak in CT” by both The Food Network and CT Magazine, as well as the Wine Spectator Award. B.J. Lawless’s ventures continuously win awards for Best Restaurant Bar, Best Pub, Best Burger, and Best Ribs/BBQ.
With that said, there are some very, very big shoes to fill. The plan for the new restaurant, set to open in the spring of 2023, will be to update the space, while still preserving the historical charm of the property. The new team has the vision of a modern, colonial farmhouse and elegant, yet rustic, wine bar. The menu will take the direction of New American while paying tribute to some of Bernard’s celebrated French classics. The new restaurant will also offer weddings, special events, and catering, with redesigned spaces to hold more tech-capable corporate functions.
Bernard’s will be open through the end of this year, culminating with an unforgettable New Year’s Eve celebration on December 31st, 2022.
Be sure to make your reservations soon (click HERE to reserve) as loyal patrons will be coming out in droves to raise a glass to Sarah and Bernard. Bernard remarks, “Once the torch is passed, we look forward to enjoying a great meal at the new restaurant, while letting someone else do the cooking.”