Italian cuisine was born when, after building the city of Rome, Romulus and Remus discovered Greece didn't deliver to their new address. Taste the origins of an empire with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of Italian cuisine at Tragara Ristorante in Bethesda, Maryland.
Distinguished Parisian chef Michel Laudier crafts an expansive dinner menu to indulge diners with simple, authentic Italian dishes and house-made desserts. Diners can comb a fork through a savory pile of pasta filled with parmesan sauce and spinach ($19.95) before attempting a noodly french braid, or dig into the asparagus risotto with grappa-flamed lobster meat ($36.95). Stomachs win after taste buds duel with grilled swordfish smothered in carrot-orange sauce, raisins, and pine nuts ($26.95), and the veal scaloppini impresses the senses with a simple dressing of light sage sauce and wild mushrooms ($26.95). Desserts, such as Tragara's signature bianco nero cake with white- and dark-chocolate mousse or 16 flavors of house-made gelato, give mouths the sugar rush they need before competing in Lord Byron speed-poetry slams.