219 An American Bistro
219 An American Bistro

219 An American Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.219bistro.com/
  • Phone: 7574166219
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Asian
  • Executive Chef: Amarin Reelachart
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Brooke Ave
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Our valet is located on Brooke avenue in front of our sister-restaurant, Byrd and Baldwin Bros steakhouse. Our expertly trained valets will tend to your vehicle while you enjoy an awesome dining experience.
A word from 219 An American Bistro
219 an American Bistro continues downtown Norfolk's tradition of chef inspired and locally owned restaurants. With its location central to the vibrant downtown district, 219 an American Bistro is the place to see and be seen. The cuisine is American with an Asian twist and the ambiance upscale but never pretentious.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
219 An American Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
22 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.8
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for lunch (11)neighborhood gem (10)fit for foodies (9)special occasion (7)great for outdoor dining (6)great for brunch (4)scenic view (3)vibrant bar scene (3)good for groups (3)late-night find (3)kid-friendly (2)romantic (1)notable wine list (1)Show More
  • Anniversary Dining Experience
    MSPS
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    40 years ago we were married in Norfolk. We wanted to spend a day together in the city and dine downtown. Many places were not open on this holiday/Sunday evening. We had frequented the former 219 before it re-opened as 219 The Bistro. We made reservations for Sunday evening and I requested a little something special for our 40th anniversary. The staff printed our names and an anniversary greeting on the special entrees menu. Our waiter was so attentive and gracious calling us by name. I ordered the crab cake and my husband had the seared tuna. The food was tasty and well presented. Not quite the crab cake of the former venue but good. We would go back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Treasure in Norfolk
    VisitingVirginian
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The food was creative, well-cooked and well presented. My only "complaint" was that the she-crab soup was a bit salty, but that might just be my palate. The service was impeccable. I dined alone and felt perfectly welcome and comfortable. A very nice experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Downtown Norfolk Eatery
    KidsdocVIP
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Pear salad was excellent and the fish was very nicely prepared. Will have to return again for what looks like good desserts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good meal
    JazzmanVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Soups are great. Meatloaf bland and had more filler than meat. Mashed potatoes were outstanding, as were salads.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great downtown find
    LonnieL
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    Considering restaurant week, we were seated promptly and service was quick and friendly. The burger and fries were quite good. My only complaint was the Cobb Salad needed a different salad dressing. The flavor was very earthy tasting and ruined a perfectly assembled salad. My fault for not requesting the dressing be served to the side. The creme brulee and key lime pie were a fine finality however I wish they would bring back the yummy home-made donuts from past years! They were simply the best and we miss them dearly!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • So-so experience
    Pete
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Though our lunch choices were somewhat tasty, one guest had a tiny piece of meat basically thrown onto a bun -- this they called a tenderloin sandwich. We all laughed because it was absurd to even serve. Our friend gave it a try and said it was extremely tough & exchanged it for another item. As a restaurant, I would've been embarrassed to even bring it out. Waiter seemed overworked and service was slow due to "short staff." Probably won't return.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great dinner
    timbob
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We had crab cakes which were amazing. Most restaurant's crab cakes are a dissappointment, 219 delivered.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 219 An American Bistro
    BonAmi
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    This was the most beautiful Father's Day Brunch in years. From making the reservation, to the choice of table available, made the ambiance delightful. The food was delicious, and the service very pleasant. I highly recommend this restaurant for a Sunday Brunch.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Downtown Norfolk Eatery
    KidsdocVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    My wife and I had a terrific meal dining outside with a fabulous waiter. We each had a different grouper entree, each of which was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nicer than most Norfolk Restaurants
    spinsterkVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    We were looking for a "ladies lunch" or brunch spot that did not cater to the wings and beer crowd and this was a nice alternative. Not exactly a "yacht club" vibe but more upscale than the average spot downtown. Nice brunch cocktails, nice crab and shrimp cocktail, very traditional, light and crispy calamari, lovely French toast, great shrimp and grits, creamy crab bisque. Light and airy venue. Good food without being pretentious. The kind of place you are not embarrassed to take your sister to for brunch and you know they will have a great meal with courteous service, but where you would not feel out of place alone with a date or out with your (well behaved) kids.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 12 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.8
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 51 reviews are from the 219 An American Bistro reviews archive.
  • Prom
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Thanks for being so nice to my prom kids! They had a great time.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 219 Bistro
    fossman
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Went there on a Sunday evening. The place was crowded; good thing we had reservations. Three of us ordered a bunch of Apps and did more of a tapas kind of eating. The Sashimi Tuna and the Fried Green Tomatos were standouts. The creamed corn with the Oysters was a bit heavy. Overall the Apps were very good to outstanding. Our fourth opted for the Ribeye dinner. It was very good but not stellar. Overall it was a good safe bet.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 219 bistro
    downtownNFK
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    I like going here if it's just the two of us. Large groups don't really work at this restaurant. I like their bloody mary bar. The brunch is decent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Brunch Downtown
    VBLocalVIP
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    Have been for Sunday Brunch a couple times now with the family. Good deal, good food...you won't be disappointed. Can be a little slow because everyone hits about the same time, but brunch is something you generally want to linger over so it didn't bother me.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 219 or Tattoo
    RocketMom
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Tattoo Hullabaloo cancelled due to weather. Open Table found a nearby restaurant with an appealing menu. Food was outstanding with friendly service. Top dish of the evening was a pork tenderloin special wrapped in bacon and served with lentils. The pork was extremely flavorful and moist. Crab cakes were also good with not much filler, but Dijon sauce was slightly overpowering. Mashed potatoes side and grilled broccoli were delicious. Husband ordered goat cheese and pear salad which he declared phenomenal. Finally, burger ordered from kid's menu was tasty and fresh, receiving two thumbs up from hungry child. While ours was a family experience this time, I look forward to returning to explore their menu further with and without children.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, drinks, service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/31/2014
    Best crab cake I have ever had! Huge, and no filler, all crab! Great wait staff, and drinks
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Thumbs up
    wineanddine
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    Our group of 6 enjoyed delicious meals ranging from fresh fish to fresh pasta and a couple of bottles of smooth red wine. We will definitely frequent this little gem nestled in downtown Norfolk.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sunday Brunch at 219
    FitnessbabeVIP
    Dined on 3/23/2014
    Enjoyed a lovely brunch on 23 March 2014 with a party of 6. I've been to 219 a couple times, but this was my first brunch there. If you haven't heard, they have a Bloody Mary bar with all the fun accoutrements - definitely give it a try! I had the crabcake benedict with grits, which tasted exactly how I like it, but the homefries were a bit overdone. If you have a large party, sit at the big table in the back. I adore the location - great view of Granby and lots of windows. Thank you 219!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always Outstanding
    ScottAB
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    Never a bad meal or less than spectacular service (Mark, you ROCK!). Consistent excellence.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love it!
    Fatkidd
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    I recently took my boyfriend out for our valentines dinner! And he absolutely loves it! And the chef came to our table personally and asked us if we loved our food! We definitely did! I was surprised because the chef only came to our table! It was his first time going and he recommends going again! I love the place, my 2nd time coming and again they did and outstanding job
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Valentine's Day Treat
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Dinner was great, we made reservations and our table was ready upon arriving. Look like 219 was prepared and well planned for the Valentine's Day crowd. Our server Holly was great and very attentive. I had the best shrimp and grits ever and being a Chef myself that means a lot. My wife also enjoyed her Lamb a little chewy but had great flavor. We will definitely return again. I highly recommend 219 American Bistro to anyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rude Manager
    vbaxt001
    Dined on 2/10/2014
    I tried to use my diner's cheque from you all, just to be told that they don't take those there by the manager. I called up OpenTable's customer service dept, they informed me that EVERY restaurant that is featured on your website is supposed to take the diner's cheque's, but the manager didn't budge. I even let him speak with the customer service agent, and he just told them the same thing that he told me. They put in a ticket. I'm never going back here. Manager (wannabe mobster looking dude) was very unpleasant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • a little pricey for average quality
    datenight1
    Dined on 2/7/2014
    The food was ok..not seasoned very well and portions we're fairly small. For the price paid. The ambience was good and would be good for happy hour hang out.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great time
    JohnC
    Dined on 1/26/2014
    We have been here several times now at different times of the day and week. It has been great every time we've been. Will be going again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Doug
    Doug
    Dined on 1/23/2014
    Food and service were excellent, and the atmosphere and furnishings were exceptional for a restaurant of its type. The chilli starter was a bit watery but the flavor outstanding, and the valet parking a real plus. We would definitely go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • not disappointed
    dotell
    Dined on 1/23/2014
    Had not been since former owner sold it... very goo.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 219 experience
    Angelo
    Dined on 1/4/2014
    I have dined at the 219 several times and will continue to do so. The food is excellent and served by a professional wait staff that take care and pride in their occupation. The restaurant is managed very well which makes for a special evening every time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Caught it on an off night??
    Sweeteats
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    We were really disappointed by 219. We went on NYE with another couple and the food just wasn't up to par. I've heard good things about this restaurant so maybe the main chef was on vaca? But my husband who LOVES shrimp and grits got a very fishy tasting entree with grits that tasted like they were straight from the box. My meal which was a Parmesan crusted grouper had a watery spaghetti sauce on it that ruined it. Our friend who ordered a steak and crab entree - his portions were extremely small and dry looking. The best meal at our table was the gamehen and an appetizer of fried green tomatoes. The lobster bisque had pieces of shell in it too. We won't bother going back but if you do, I hope you catch it on a better night.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A pleasurable experience
    ScottVIP
    Dined on 12/16/2013
    Dinner at 219 was pleasant. The service was good and the food was good. The decor is warm and inviting. When I selected 219 I checked out the menu on Opentable. I think it has changed significantly and I did not see many of the items I originally wanted to try. The meal was tasty, the crab bisque was delicious and the fried calimari very nice with the sweet thai glaze and scallions. I was disappointed that the entre arrived in the middle of the appetizer. This is both a kitchen and a service faux pas and should happen rarely and then never. 219 is worth another try.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bright Light
    john
    Dined on 12/14/2013
    On a rainy dreary night in downtown Norfolk, the bright light was the 219 Bistro. The restaurant was crowded but the service for two people was surprisingly timely. The food was excellent from the fried green tomatoes that had a little bite to the delicious crab cake that was all crab. Well done.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food and service are consistently
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 12/2/2013
    Food and service are consistently outstanding. This was reserved as a business lunch. Our server was professional,attending to our needs quietly and efficiently. Hope to return for dinner as well.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food!
    Sean
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    Fried oysters were delightful. Steak cooked perfectly. Seared tuna TOP NOTCH. Heather, our waitress, was charming and very helpful. Drinks were delicious and strongly poured!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, late-night find, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Date Night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/12/2011
    Good atmosphere...Good service...Great food...Would return
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Brunch is an awesome addition!
    PranaVAVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2011
    Brunch is an awesome addition! The food selection is great. Regular breakfast items and some other food with a twist. The pricepoint is perfect. The bloody mary bar is great for those who drink bloody marys. I highly recommend 219 for brunch!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The updated menu is great!
    PranaVAVIP
    Dined on 8/25/2011
    The updated menu is great! The $20 special is a good deal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We went to 219 American Bistro
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/23/2011
    We went to 219 American Bistro for our anniversary dinner and loved it! The service was amazing and the food was fantastic. The server recommended the fried green tomato salad as a starter, which my husband ordered. He had to keep me off his plate. I ordered the pork loin and it melted in my mouth. So tender and juicy. My husband had the crab cake dinner and if your a Virginia restaurant you better do it right. It was delicious. They have a wonderful wine selection and the server was very knowledgeable about the list. We where so full from dinner that we took our dessert to go and enjoyed it later that evening. The carmel cheese cake was divine!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good service and good food
    DMinMass
    Dined on 7/14/2011
    Good service and good food at a reasonable price. Tempura lobster tails were especially good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The 219 (a prior favorite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/2/2011
    The 219 (a prior favorite of ours) was sold to new owners last Fall. The original 5-star chef is gone. The sesame tuna (one of the previous chef's signature dishes) was ruined by swimming in a failed sauce reduction which was thick and overpowering, and sent back. The new chef should never have allowed it to leave the kitchen, and management admitted the sauce maker was inexperienced. Management says a new menu prepared by the new chef will be out momentarily. Disregard prior reviews as things there have changed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • First time at 219 to celebrate
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/25/2011
    First time at 219 to celebrate husbands 40th birthday we both had a great experience. I would definetly recommend your restaurant to friends and family.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent seafood platter
    hungrybutnotrich
    Dined on 5/21/2011
    Excellent seafood platter at a very competitive price point. Crab bisque w/ marsala was delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate