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3
  • Food3.5
  • Service3.5
  • Value3
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews51

Bistrot Bistro

1961 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6J1M7
Tel: (604) 732-0004 Reserve Online
Neighbourhood: South Granville
  • Cuisine: French
  • Price: $$$ ($30 - $45)
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • Meals: Dinner
  • Features: Ocean Wise
  • Hours: Mon: 5PM - 10PM, Tue - Thu: 5PM - 11PM, Fri - Sat: 5PM - 12AM, Sun: 5PM - 10PM
  • Bistrot Bistro's menu is drawn from the classic traditions of French country fare, where extended families would share comfort cuisine and fun around the table at a leisurely pace. The wine program focuses on food compatibility, diversity, and above all else, value. A state-of-the-art preservation system ensures that each and every wine featured on our list will be available to you by the glass, at any time.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 51 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Delicious food at very reasonable prices
By pkwok of Shaughnessy, Vancouver (123 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 4:29pm [Dine in]

I and my family went there the day before Valentine's Day. The place was packed. Little wonder. Dinner prices are like lunch prices elsewhere, but the food is delicious, with generous portions. The prix fix menu is particularly a good deal. I had the Fisherman Stew. While it can't compare to the one at Henry's Bistro (no one's can), it is still very tasty, with huge pieces of fish, scallops, etc. Very fresh ingredients. My kids had the steak frite. The fries came in a huge container, and while the steaks were not particularly big, they were very tasty, with a prominent charcoal flavour. My wife had the Coq au White Wine. This is the first time I have seen this dish prepared with white wine instead of red, but again, it was delicious. The creme caramel was huge. Service was fine, but because the place was so busy, it was a bit hectic. Also, tables are placed very close to each other, which makes the place feel a bit crowded. After all, it is a Bistro and not a fine dining restaurant, so you can't expect the roominess of an upscale restaurant. Along with that, the noise level is quite high, again fitting for a Bistro. All in all, unbeatable value.

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Pretty Good
By kewpiebaby of Vancouver (200 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, November 20, 2009 - 10:47am [Dine in]

A great neighborhood gem on W 4th! Service is friendly but not overpretentious. It gets super busy and packed so be sure to go early. The food is delicious and so is the wine. And hot french bread? Soo good!! Portions are good, but kind of pricey for my liking. Not bad, pretty good to try on a random night you feel like french food.

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Bistrot Bistro better be here to stay
By sgtoca of Kitsilano, Vancouver (103 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - 9:07pm [Dine in]

First and foremost, I love French food, they KNOW food, they make the best desserts and baked goods in the whole world. I love this place. My dining pal and I checked out their brunch over the weekend and tasted the best goat cheese omelet eva! The wine list was exhaustive and you can order a glass of any of their wines which is too awesome. I did enjoy my chocolate truffle cake but have to say the fruity dessert (can't remember the name) my friend had was best for this summer. The room has some renos that should be done. It was comfortable and not too showy which I like but I still felt some ambiance was missing to go with the splendid food I had. I cannot wait to return for dinner. Thank god for French food, I love them! Délicieux!

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Good value; exceptional service; good ambiance; OK food
By pickyjerk of kitsilano vancouver (67 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, April 23, 2010 - 9:16pm [Dine in]

I went with two others, we tried the rabbit, the filet mignon, the lamb shank, and the charcuterie platter, as well as the potato and brussels sprout side dishes.

I DO NOT recommend the charcuterie platter, the liver terrine was straight up awful, terribly disappointing. The rest of the platter was ok but you could definitely do better. Too bad because the ingredients were quality and the presentation was lovely.

The rabbit was insipid. Tasted like boiled chicken.

The filet was probably the best dish. Great big piece of meat with good sauce.

The lamb shank tasted like a standard lamb shank, the seasonings were really really mild and almost non-existent.

The side dishes were great.

In summary, this is a good place for a decent sized chunk of good protein for a reasonable price.

I would probably go again and try different things.

Really the food is just not very flavorful or complex - at least not the three meat dishes we had.

The prix fixe deal is worth checking out so I will do that since its right around the corner.

If you are looking to be blown away by excellent french cuisine, go elsewhere. If you want a sort of comfort food meal for a decent price in a really well-run establishment then go here.

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Great service, veggie options
By Rasputin45 of Kitsilano, Vancouver (97 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 4:56pm [Dine in]

We recently checked out this place on a quiet weeknight, lured in by our love of french food and the $26 prix-fixe three-course meal. The service was fantastic, hands down some of the best we have had in Vancouver. The food was good, large portions, and well priced. Unfortunately none of our dishes were outstanding. At this price maybe they don't have to be, but I was expecting a bit more in the way of food. I've had better Campagne Pate at other Vancouver French Bistros (recently, even) and also I think the roast chicken is better at Provence, here it was delicious on the outside but the actual chicken meat was on the bland side. Try brining the chicken! We had creme brulee for dessert and found it again, good, but not great with a too thick sugar layer on top. The ratatoullie and portabello mushroom dish were very good, and we will most likely try this restaurant again because of the great service, value, and great veggie options.

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Expensive for what it was!
By stevendrowe of Vancouver (44 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, July 17, 2009 - 9:36pm [Dine in]

Maybe this was a twist on traditional French cuisine but I didn't find it particularly French. There was nothing wrong with the main courses, they were just...ok...but not outstanding. We had Crepe Suzette for dessert and it wasn't great, the crepes were too thick and the sauce almost blew my head off, too sweet by European standards, maybe they were catering to the North American palate!

The service was good for us, the waitress seemed a little bit fed up though. We were asked three times whether we were enjoying the meal, and that was too many times. Other customers didn't get the same treatment as we did, much worse, particularly those who wanted two tables put together.

For those prices I would expect a better food experience. So value for money I marked as the worst.

Ambiance, the place was modern, clean and comfortable. None of the decor reflected a French experience. However these days I am happy for not sharing my table with a family of bugs.

I would not go to this place again mainly bases on the value rating. If the food reflects the price then maybe I will consider going again.

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Less fuss, more value
By anton of Greater Van (23 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 12, 2009 - 4:40pm [Dine in]

This restaurant offers a selection of menu items, both drinks and food. My friends tried the rabbit (quite flavourful), and seafood stew (lots of seafood, but would be nicer if it was warmer), and I tried the 3-course dinner set (nice texture on the arctic char, but the sauce could use some kick to it, but the chocolate mousse is very yummy). Overall a solid pick for a semi-casual type restaurant. Portion size is quite generous (and yes, the fries with the set dinner is enough for 3, same as the desert), even though you may not get wowed by the food presentation or the setting/decor.

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Single-handedly ruined our evening
By wword of Vancouver (downtown) (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 6:14am [Dine in]

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who was disappointed with the fare last night. The food was tasteless, the place was extremely cramped, and the doorway where the made people wait became so cramped that people could not exit. Can't believe what they charged people for their absurd fixed menu that had no price on it. I would have walked out.

My date had the halibut and I had the steak, and it looks like the duck was no better. I will never go back after this awful experience.

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Don't Go!
By Dr.Kats of Burnaby (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, February 14, 2011 - 11:39pm [Dine in]

Was excited to try the place after reading good reviews and checking out their website, but left extremely disappointed. The place was insanely crowded, once you sat down it was nearly impossible to get up without moving one of the tables beside you. Food choices were limited to three dishes, and frankly didn't taste great. The potatoes and desert were good, but the duck was quite horrible. Prices (fixed price, not included on the menu) were insane, with the tip already calculated in for a party of two so we couldn't even reflect our disappointment.

Overall bad experience with ridiculous prices, limited choices, and sub-par food. DON'T GO.

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Extremely Disappointed
By seraps of Vancouver (Dunbar) (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, February 14, 2011 - 10:09pm [Dine in]

Read rave reviews here but was extremely disappointed. Restaurant was very cramped (had to move tables to go to the washroom), menu was sub-par (duck was chewy), vegetables were mushy and the bill was absurd. However, the service was at least helpful and polite. But that can't help a restaurant if the food can't speak for itself.

Bottom line: avoid, not worth it

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Nice Neighbourhood Bistro
By Triedit of Metro Vancouver (37 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, April 4, 2010 - 11:06am [Dine in]

We don't do that well trying to make reservations as we don't like to plan our meals so far ahead of time. Consequently we have only been able to eat here once as it is always very busy.

I had reserved for a birthday dinner and was able to choose the table we wanted which was great. The service was excellent, just the right amount of attention, we were provided with great explanations of the various foods. The wine pairing advice was perfect, just the right wine with each dish.

The restaurant did get very full while we were there and the noise level was a bit high but it didn't really bother us-we were able to converse quite comfortably. The food portions are pretty hefty and we ended up taking some home with us as it was too delicious to leave behind.

We will be back as soon as we can motivate ourselves to make reservations.

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First time -- we'll be back
By Patita of Dunbar, Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, August 14, 2009 - 7:06pm [Dine in]

My husband and I had an excellent meal at BB yesterday evening. Having read the mixed reviews, we didn't know what to expect. We had reserved online for 7:00, arrived on time and were seated immediately. Michelle was very friendly and courteous. My husband had steak tartare (he "collects" steak tartare), which he said was the best he's ever had. (He chose the "spicy" option.) I had a poached pear, walnut, stilton and endive salad. Delicious, but three pear halves was more than I could handle for a first course. We both had the lamb shank, which was really outstanding. We were too full for dessert.

We were surprised when our server suggested we might want to order a side dish. The mains are just that, mains, and don't come with starch or veg. We ordered the very good ratatouille, which was a perfect accompaniment for the lamb (large serving, $3.00). At first we thought having to order sides separately was a shortcoming, but ultimately we decided that it's actually a good thing because you're not dependent on what the chef thinks would be appropriate, and the sides are priced very reasonably. This is, after all, comfort food, not haute cuisine, so the "symphonic" approach to the plate doesn't apply.

When we arrived they weren't too busy, but that quickly changed and by the time we left it was packed. When it's packed, it's really noisy, so if you're looking for an intimate, romantic evening, this would not be the best choice. But it is what it is, a French-style bistro. Except for the fact that everyone was speaking English, we felt as if we were back in France: casual ambience, competent and low key service, terrific food, tables so close together you pretty much have to check out what your neighbours are having (not a complaint as far as we're concerned). The menu is varied and prices are reasonable. We'll go back because there are a lot of dishes we want to try.

Nice selection of wines from France and BC.

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All around a waste of time!
By vanfoodie21 of vancouver (9 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 9:35pm [Dine in]

I had a reservation for a party of 3 on a week night.
We noticed right away that the table next to us was being ignored by the server, no drinks, no food and visibly agitated.
We sat without beverage for 10 minutes, and waited 20 until our wine arrived. The waiter was adding his two sense to our orders, finally telling us that we had "ordered enough food". We ordered mussels to share for the table, they took 40 minutes and were so bland they were not worth eating. Our entrees took 1 hour & 25 minutes to arrive. About 10 minutes before the meals arrived, the server brought out "HOT" plates for everyone. We then sat while the plates turned warm & then cold before the entrees came to the table. Every entree was lacking seasoning & innovation. The seafood was poorly cooked and tasteless. The server came to ask how the food was, we answered with "not great" and he walked away without inquiring further.
I then noticed the chef visiting a patron at his table. It happened to be a well known food critic who was receiving extra special treatment & seemed to be enjoying his dining experience.
We finally decided we had had enough and asked for the bill. We were ready to leave before any dishes were even cleared off our table. A server commented as we were leaving that we were "fast!" I'm not sure how many people have 2 hours to eat 1 course, but clearly I'm not one of them!

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Good experience
By trudgen of Vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, February 7, 2009 - 5:42pm [Dine in]

Went to Bistrot Bistro recently for the second time and overall had a good experience. There was a slight wait for our reserved table and there isn't much room in the place in which to wait. The owner brought out complimentary glasses of wine for us and for some other parties who were waiting to be seated. This was an unexpected and much appreciated courtesy.

The food was uniformly very good, and the value outstanding. We shared the mussels and steak tartare to start. My companion had the halibut in a tomato broth and I had the duck confit with macaroni and cheese. Also shared sides of the frites and a small salad. Creme brulee and chocolate mousse for dessert. Food-wise, the standout among the above was the steak tartare. The servers are young and not 100% polished (needing a gentle reminder for items forgotten), but it's a bistro and casual service is not out of place. The space is tight and so it was a bit hard to have a conversation because of the surrounding noise.

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Quite Possibly My Worst Dining Experience
By rckwng of Fairview, Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, February 2, 2009 - 9:19am [Dine in]

I was looking forward to my first visit to this restaurant. We arrived to a fairly late seating and a fully packed restaurant.. it looked very promising.

Our party of six were seated at a very cozy table with incredibly hard chairs and a terrible draft. The decor was uninspiring and the room was deafening.

Our food was mediocre. The portions were ample and the food was well seasoned but nothing was inspiring. Highlights: the chicken, steak tar tar, brussel sprouts, waffle dessert and frites (but no better than your local chain restaurant.). Lowlights: the fillet mignons were undercooked, the lamb was overcooked and the carrots were bland.

The service was atrocious! Be forewarned, groups of 6+ have an automatic 18% gratuity. While I normally have no problem with auto gratuity for larger groups, I do believe that the service should still reflect that level of gratuity. I was first to arrive and was met by a frazzled and unfriendly host who basically shoed me out of the dining area as our table was not yet available. However, she was completely different when she seated our group. Our first server was okay but seemed to lack adequate training. The problem began when the server checked out. The replacement server was incredibly rude and lazy. She demanded that we write down the charge for each card so she wouldn't "screw it up" (a task she should be responsible for). We did as instructed and handed over the cards. She returned and asked if we had cash to make up the difference as the charges didn't add up. We asked if she did as instructed and she freaked out and said "I did it just like you wrote it!". We asked to see the list, and showed her that it was correct and she had made the mistake. She turns around, with the undercharged card, and stormed back to the til to charge one card the balance. One of our party went back to talk to her and the server tried to dismiss her. This all happened right in front of the owner who did NOTHING! No enquiry, no apology, nothing.

This was easily one of the worst dining experiences I've ever had. The auto gratuity is to accommodate slower service and longer wait times NOT excuse disrespectful and rude serving staff! We will never return to this restaurant even if it's the last on the planet.

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One of my favourites
By sireatsalot of Richmond (2 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, October 23, 2008 - 12:05am [Dine in]

Every time I eat at Bistrot Bistro I am blown away. To begin with Valerie is a perfect host. She and her husband do a top notch job. I have been here 3 times now and have yet to be disappointed by any dish. I think that we, as a society, have lost what it means to eat out. The Cactus Clubs and Joeys have cheapened the entire experience. Eating out ought to be about good food, good friends, good service, and good wine. Bistrot Bistro ticks all the boxes. It's reasonably priced, and most importantly it is run by people who understand what it means to be hosts. This is what other restuarants in Vancouver should strive towards...

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A Kitsilano gem
By alisono of Kitsilano, Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 12:58pm [Dine in]

We were served excellent food at a low price in this small Kitsilano bistro. The ambiance was great, service was excellent and our only negative was a half hour wait for a table that we had booked and arrived on time for. While we were waiting, the waitress brought over wine and appetizers - and though this was welcome, we were losing our appetite by the time the table was finally free. Though some people had obviously over stayed their welcome, some of the blame must lie with the restaurant for not leaving enough of a gap between sittings.

Regarding the food, I recommend the chicken liver mousse, which was like a good quality european style smooth chicken pate that I used to get in the UK. It easily fed 2 people, as did the vegetable accompaniments to the main course.

All of us would definitely go back - even if it was just for the pate!

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Good food but LOUD!
By 148jules of Quebec & 18th (33 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 11:03pm [Dine in]

The food is lovingly prepared and portions are quite generous. The presentation is also wonderfully presented as though cooked in individual pots and pans. Side orders of vegetables were not only reasonably priced but enough for 2. It is home-style eating where it is possible to share many dishes which the two of us ended up doing.

Do order the lamb shank - the most tender and tastiest I've ever had (and I've actually been avoiding ordering it lately because of tough and chewy lamb shanks from other restaurants). The onion tart appetizer was good a bit overcooked as the top crust was quite dark and tasted burnt. The arugula salad accompaniment had a dressing with amazing depth ... simple ingredients with very complex flavours!

A 3 course prix fixe is offered Sun-Mon for $25 - an incredible value. The New York steak with peppercorn sauce was very good. The starter was the salad. And dessert was a couple of generous scoops from the chocolate mousse bowl.

One negative point to declare: this is Definitely NOT the place to go if you want a romantic French bistro meal. The space is not well designed to absorb sound - the noise level from both patrons talking and cooking sounds from the kitchen was incredibly loud. When in the furthest toilet it sounded like you were in a very busy subway station! You could honestly not hear yourself think!!!

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One of the Best Values in Town
By gomer300 of Vancouver (26 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, August 26, 2007 - 12:55pm [Dine in]

We showed up unannounced during a peak dinner time on a Saturday night and the hostess genuinely seemed as though she wanted to feed us. With a few arrangements, we had a cozy seat near the window. The wine list was immediately found to be decent and not incredibly marked-up. The menu for the week was diverse with lamb, rabbit, pork and beef all available as main courses, a broad selection of appetizers and a brilliant selection of sides (we had carrots and snow peas). The food was amazing - especially for the price. Though we spent $35 on wine including taxes, our final bill was $102. The service was excellent with everyone there seeming as though they wanted you to enjoy the experience entirely. They're not trying to be Le Croc, but they're doing their own thing and it works perfectly.

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Solid meal but expected more somehow...
By polska of Vancouver (16 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, February 21, 2008 - 12:21am [Dine in]

Food: Had boeuf borgignon (sp?) and it was good but not great. Mash potatos were scandelously rich as noted by previous reviewer. Loved them.
Service: Went on a thursday night and did not have to wait long for a table. The place was packed. Service was solid but I'm glad I read the bill as server charged us for the wrong wine. She was very appologetic and corrected it right away.
Ambiance: As noted by previous reviewers this is a small space and to maximize it they really pack in the tables. Very crowded. If you are slightly larger in size you will not be able to fit in the space between tables to get to the banquette without moving your table to make some room. At most there is 10 inches between tables. At most but probably less, more like 8 inches.
Overall: Solid but not great or outstanding in any way. Would probably consider going back if only due to the price. Dinner for 2 with wine was 80 bucks with tip included.

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