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 $15, you get $30 worth of upscale Mediterranean cuisine at Lafayette Bistro.
Named for a Tunisian city at the crossroads of three major cultures, Lafayette Bistro continues its tribute to the North African roots of its owners and chef with a menu of pan-Mediterranean plates. Culinary cruises may disembark at a starter of house-specialty octopus salad ($12) or surge ahead to the salmon Lafayette ($17), its saffron risotto and grilled asparagus struggling upstream against waves of balsamic reduction. Platters of couscous Royal speckle their fluffy grains with chicken ($18) or vegetables ($16), and house-made gnocchi ($14) grow even plumper and more tender in a gorgonzola cream sauce. The bistro's BYOB policy affords diners a suitably elegant ambiance to finally break out bottles of vintage Capri Sun, softly lighting its wide corner windows, exposed-brick walls, and pressed-tin ceilings with antique-style chandeliers.