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Bernard’s Backyard Bounty

A chef’s secret garden source––Bernard’s and Sarah’s Wine Bar



Bernard Bouissou in the extensive vegetable garden aside his eponymous fine French restaurant on West Lane.

Photos by Deborah Hayn

For Bernard Bouissou, owner and chef at Bernard’s and Sarah’s Wine Bar, the concept of “farm to table” isn’t a recent restaurant trend. Growing your own food was part of the culture in France where he was raised. “I’ve gardened all my life. We never bought vegetables,” says Bernard, in an accent as thick as a Hollandaise sauce. 

When Bernard and his wife Sarah, also a renowned chef, bought property on West Lane in Ridgefield, the sizable lot had some unused space, which the couple transformed into a vegetable garden in 2012. Now with over 27 beds, the garden supplies a significant amount of the restaurants’ produce. 

Bernard grows for three seasons of the year: “Spring is always a challenge,” he admits. “After everything is in place, it gets easier.” Summer months, however, bring the bounty.  “We grew 600 pounds of 15 varieties of tomatoes,” Bernard comments. Harvesting continues through the fall. Cases of apples and squash are stored in the wine cellar. Even in winter months menu items come from his garden: he cans and pickles what he doesn’t use right away.

Gardening in Fairfield County comes with challenges: namely, deer. Bernard constructed a large, ten-foot fence to keep the deer out and uses locally purchased organic products to deter the smaller critters. “For a couple of days,” he says, “it really smells, but it works great.”

Bernard has gotten creative with his growing practices. He uses metal-pipe framing to support the tomato plants. He also keeps rabbits to eat the restaurant scraps and provide fertilizer. Most ingenious is the “bean castle,” which consists of a wood-frame dome covered with mesh netting.

The plants grow up the sides and the beans fall through the holes. The beans are picked from inside the castle, “Much easier on the back,” Sarah notes.

The menu at Bernard’s and Sarah’s Wine Bar fluctuates daily as well as seasonally, influenced by what’s growing. Often, Bernard’s morning harvest will dictate the day’s menu. Green lettering indicates items on the menu that are grown on the premises. Crabmeat stuffed zucchini blossoms and a roasted heirloom beet salad are two delicious sounding examples offered during the late summer months. 

Customers and restaurant reviewers appreciate the freshness of the ingredients. “When you grow it yourself, you know what you put in there,” Bernard says.

 

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October 2017

Join artist, and The Aldrich’s Education Programs Assistant, Noah Steinman for an insightful gallery tour and engaging conversation centered around Anissa Mack’s exhibition, Junk...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

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Keeler library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library/Friends of the Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
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Join us for an inspiring and invigorating Girlfriends’ Getaway from October 15-17 at The Manor House Inn.  This exclusive event includes:   Welcome reception with wine and...

Cost: $260-$345pp

Where:
Manor House Inn
69 Maple Avenue
Norfolk, CT  06058
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Sponsor: Manor House Inn
Telephone: 860-542-5690
Contact Name: Kristen Perlman
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Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
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Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

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Cost: $87.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
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Sponsor: Pepsi Rock Series powered by xfinity
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66 Elm Street
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Join us for an inspiring and invigorating Girlfriends’ Getaway from October 15-17 at The Manor House Inn.  This exclusive event includes:   Welcome reception with wine and...

Cost: $260-$345pp

Where:
Manor House Inn
69 Maple Avenue
Norfolk, CT  06058
View map »


Sponsor: Manor House Inn
Telephone: 860-542-5690
Contact Name: Kristen Perlman
Website »

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Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
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Cost: $40.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield , CT  06877
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Sponsor: Bart's Tree Service Comedy Series
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

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Canfin Gallery
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Jump start the art school application process! Present your portfolio to admissions representatives from leading colleges and universities at The Aldrich. Whether you are ready to apply, or are...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

More information

Join us for an inspiring and invigorating Girlfriends’ Getaway from October 15-17 at The Manor House Inn.  This exclusive event includes:   Welcome reception with wine and...

Cost: $260-$345pp

Where:
Manor House Inn
69 Maple Avenue
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View map »


Sponsor: Manor House Inn
Telephone: 860-542-5690
Contact Name: Kristen Perlman
Website »

More information

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
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Producer, composer, keyboardist and vocalist, Sérgio Mendes is one of the most internationally successful Brazilian artists of all time. His hit single, “Mas Que Nada,” is the...

Cost: $75.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Ingersoll Auto of Danbury World Music Series
Website »

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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
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Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
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WCSU will hold a Community Day for volunteers to participate in mulching the university's Permaculture Garden on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from noon to 3 p.m. in the garden adjacent to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
WCSU Midtown Campus
181 White Street
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

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Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
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Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
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Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Sony Pictures Entertainment present, The Princess Bride 30th Anniversary, in select cinemas nationwide! The event also includes exclusive commentary from a...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Cohen and Wolf, P.C. Fathom Events Presents & Movies Series
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The Institute for Holistic Health Studies will present a lecture by Dr. Brian Luke Seaward, "Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards," at 7:30 p.m. in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall...

Cost: $15

Where:
WCSU Midtown Campus
181 White Street
Danbury, CT  06810
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
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Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

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Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

On Thursday, October 19, 2017, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm,  Fairfield County Wedding Concierge will hold their first networking event for the Fairfield County bridal vendor community at Bespoke...

Cost: $10 in advance and $15 at the door

Where:
Bespoke Designs
5A Sconset Square
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Sponsor: Fairfield County Wedding Concierge
Telephone: 203-864-5084
Contact Name: Gayle Szuchman

More information

Four-time Grammy Award nominee and multi-platinum selling sax-man Boney James needs no introduction to contemporary jazz fans.  The gifted saxophonist, veteran of...

Cost: $60.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Moffly Media Evening of Art, Wine and Jazz Series
Website »

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WCSU will present the Midtown Coffeehouse at 8 p.m. in the Colonial Corner in the Student Center on the university's Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The coffeehouse will feature an...

Cost: Free

Where:
WCSU Midtown Campus
181 White Street
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

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The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

Mary Wilson is one of the founding members of the Motown legends, “The Supremes,”  who recorded twelve No.1 hits from 1964 to 1969  including “Where Did Our Love...

Cost: $57.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Pepsi Rock Series powered by xfinity
Website »

More information

The Department of Theatre Arts will present "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: $20

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Saturday, Oct. 21   Innovation Day, 1 – 5 p.m. Discover, Dabble, Do-It-Yourself at Wilton Library’s annual Innovation Day! Join us for a festival of making, creating and demonstrating....

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Get into the Halloween spirit while exploring the ways in which unexpected household objects can be transformed into magnificent sculptures and festive decorations! Create a pumpkin using yarn,...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

More information

Art opening Fri October 6 from 6-8pm of new art work by Sebastian Tillinger an actor/artist of recent abstract paintings.  Tillinger has appeared in such Hollywood movies as "The Wolf of...

Cost: free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Rd
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 860-619-0422
Contact Name: Scott Bond
Website »

More information

The Fab Four is elevated far above every other Beatles tribute due to their precise attention to detail. With uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles’ songs, The Fab Four will make...

Cost: $55.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Pepsi Rock Series powered by xfinity
Website »

More information

As part of its 2017-2018 concert series, Friends of Music will host the Zorá Quartet on Saturday, October 21st. The group of artists were winners of the 2015 Young Concert Artists...

Cost: $35, Children 18 and younger enter free

Where:
Kusel Auditorium at Sleepy Hollow High School
210 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

The Department of Theatre Arts will present "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: $20

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

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