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 $20, you get $40 worth of French-American-fusion dinner cuisine and drinks at Epernay Bistro in Bridgeport.
French-American cuisine and sumptuous wines make their home in Epernay Bistro's casual fine-dining atmosphere. Chef and owner Peter Wroe forages for the freshest produce from local growers and irate farmers' carrot patches to craft a dinner menu that highlights seasonal ingredients. Inventive evening entrees include the provence-lamb stew over herbed noodles ($20) and a seared-sea-scallop chowder that marries onions, carrots, and celery with red potato and bacon ($23). Meanwhile, the house-made country pâté with dijon and cornichon represents the more traditional end of the fusion spectrum ($10).
Exposed brick and saffron walls describe a sunny space dappled with colorful throw pillows, vibrant mosaic motifs, and smile-prone servers. Wine racks above the bar embody an eclectic list of meal-accenting varietals such as the citrus-tinged Felsner gruner veltliner from Austria ($8/glass) and the Rhône-style Zero Manipulation ($10/glass). After 9:30 p.m., the restaurant takes on a lounge ambience fueled by a classy late-night menu and alternate Thursday jazz jams, in which players perform jazz-fusion renditions of favorite menu items.