One of the great simple pleasures of traveling abroad is stumbling upon a restaurant frequented by locals, followed closely by bathing in gelato and loudly explaining why everything in America is better. Replicate that feeling with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of European bistro fare at Bistro 324 at The Renaissance Room.
Each weeknight, The Renaissance Room’s stately event space transforms into Bistro 324, where talented chefs construct nightly changing menus of European-inspired bistro fare, tailored to suit the culinary tastes of its American guests. Cheese tortellini splashes into waves of cream sauce and hops aboard lounge chairs of pancetta and mushrooms ($21). To sample further oceanic fruits, plunge forks into grilled jumbo shrimp atop jalapeño-and-onion risotto ($23), or divide and conquer landlubbed entrees such as panko-crusted eggplant parmesan ($15). Chefs drape 12-ounce new york strip steak in a cape of brandy-sautéed portobello mushrooms and a parmesan-butter sauce ($23) to attract the admiration of upper-class wines. Bistro 324 serves as The Renaissance Room's main dining space, designed and appointed by architect Thomas Hamilton, surrounding guests with deep crown molding and carved wooden accents. Once weather warms, Bistro 324 invites guests to dine alfresco on a stately outdoor patio paved with bricks and mortared with béchamel.