Bistros are remarkable in that they somehow manage to be both fancy and casual at the same time, much like a necktie with Taz on it. Feel gussied up without too much fuss with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of American fare for dinner at 86 Winter American Bistro.
Head chef David Lemenager and fellow kitchen wizards at 86 Winter populate a diverse menu with comforting dishes and daily house specials. Prepare palates for upcoming puppy-school-graduation feasts with a pan-seared crab cake ($9) or a savory small plate of sea scallops dipped in bourbon maple, crusted in cornflakes, and hugged by strips of bacon ($9). The housemade meatloaf, served with potatoes and vegetables, sings with flavor ($14), and mac ’n’ cheese plays dress up with a seasoned-cracker-crumb topping appropriate for both high-chair occupants and carbohydrate fanatics ($13). Vegetarians can revel in a plate of seasoned plant matter with an order of vegetable stir-fry, tossed in a sweet-and-spicy teriyaki sauce ($13), and mammal consumers can sink their canines into a juicy porterhouse au poivre—a 16-ounce peppercorn-crusted steak accompanied with sautéed spinach, roasted peppers, and gorgonzola crumbles ($27).
Like the cuisine, the atmosphere at 86 Winter is at once cozy and relaxed, with a pinch of elegance. Exposed brick walls and rustic wooden beams warm the main dining room, and the bar is enhanced by both decorative fixtures and walls so colorful they put a Crayola box to shame.