Archestratus, the first food critic, praised Italian cuisine's "top-quality and seasonal" ingredients and "fair to middling" ability to tranquilize rampaging baboons. Today's Groupon similarly stuns: for $13, you get $30 worth of Italian dinner cuisine and drinks at Picasso's Bistro (formerly Trattoria Branica) in Chesterfield. Dinner is served daily starting at 5 p.m.
Everything on Picasso's healthful menu is made from fresh, never-canned-or-frozen ingredients. Sauteed mussels bobbing in a garlic white-wine sauce ($8.50) provide a sensual start to any meal. Homemade pastas, such as the farfalle with fresh veggies and marinara ($13.95) and the linguine margherita with shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, and mushrooms in a cream sauce ($22.50), tempt even the most noodle-phobic. Meat-eaters and eat-meaters can gravitate toward the veal saltimbocca ($24.95)—a veal chop doused in a white-wine sauce with prosciutto —or one of the trattoria's many other hearty seafood-, steak-, or chicken-centric creations. Diners can cap off bites with a selection of wines, served by the bottle, half-bottle, glass, and, in rare circumstances, by the Foam-Dome.