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Bijou Cafe
Bijou Cafe

Bijou Cafe Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.bijoucafe.net
  • Email: info@bijoucafe.net
  • Phone: (941) 366-8111
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Continental, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Jean-Pierre Knaggs
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We have 2 separate private dining rooms. The Bird Room seats up to 30 guests and is fully AV equipped. The Patio Room seats up to 40 and has access to a private outdoor area with fountain.
  • Private Party Contact: Karen Thomson (941) 366-8111

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Pineapple Ave
  • Public Transit: We are 2 blocks west of the main bus terminal.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: We offer valet parking every day at lunch and every evening during the peak season. We have a private, well lit parking lot across the street and there is plenty of on street parking as well
A word from Bijou Cafe
The Bijou Café, located in the heart of Sarasota’s prestigious Theatre & Arts District since 1986, is one of Florida’s best known restaurants. Chef-owner, Jean-Pierre Knaggs and wife Shay, welcome guests with genuine hospitality and unparalleled service. Chef Knaggs, renowned for his sophisticated innovative cuisine, brings a passion for cooking to breath-taking new heights! For more casual fare The Bijou Cafe offers a lighter Bar Bites Menu in the “Gossips Lounge”, or outside on the Patio, the place to be for seasonal al fresco dining. An award winning, value based wine list and a dazzling collection of imaginative cocktails fulfill even the most ardent imbiber’s desires! Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "Truly a wonderful experience. We had never been before but we're pleasantly surprised how lovely it was. We met friends there that we dined with. Don't see them often so enjoyed the atmosphere food and we weren't rushed. Everyone was so friendly and attentive."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "Visited on a Thursday evening. Place was busy - full outside and mostly inside also which did put wait staff under a little pressure but they coped well. Food as usual outstanding. Their duck is unbeatable and the Australian Rack of Lamb would feed an army - and do not miss their speciality potatoes !"
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "I have gone to the Bijou since the 1990's for both lunch and dinner, taken many guests, and never had anything but absolutely superb food. J.P. has turned what was once a corner gas station into an elegant dining experience; he knows good food; he knows how it is to be properly prepared and served; and he most certainly knows his wines. Because I no longer live in Sarasota my visits to the Bijou are not as frequent as before, but it is invariably my first choice when nearby. Our most recent visit was again a culinary delight. I was surprised, however, by a bit of a slip in the service. I'd still call it "good," but normally the service at the Bijou is nothing but outstanding. No worries. We will not hesitate to return. Try the braai!"
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "I love the duck but the rack of lamb is outstanding too!!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "I've had many wonderful lunches outside at the Bijou but this time we came for dinner. For the dinner two of us ordered crispy duck. It was not crispy but a little mushy. The vegetables had no taste. They were probably frozen and quickly microwaved with no spices. One person ordered the ravioli and said it was just OK. The fourth person ordered the veal and wasn't impressed with it. For the prices we paid it should have been better. We are not going back for dinner."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Recommended by the Hyatt. Excellent choice. Food was fab. Love the area."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "A great night at the Bijou Cafe - food was wonderful, our party had a grand time!!"
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "The Bijou is Sarasota's best restaurant in our opinion. We have never had a bad meal there and never been disappointed. We go for special occasions and for a special night out when we want to treat ourselves. My husband's favorite dinner is their duck while if not tempted by the specials, my favorite is the lamb. Both dishes are out of this world."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "My friend and I enjoyed a delicious lunch in a setting that was perfect for intimate conversation. Our reservation was for 1PM; we were so happy and comfortable, the next thing we knew it was 3PM.. We couldn't believe that the time had flown by. Thank you for always providing excellent food, professional service and a very friendly and inviting atmosphere. I've been going to the Bijou for years and have never been disappointed. In fact, it's my favorite restaurant in Sarasota."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "The is my favorite restaurant for upscale dining, which we all need once in a while in casual Florida."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "The room at Bijou Cafe is sophisticated but very comfortable, the service was very good, and most importantly the preparation of the dishes was simple and fresh, an excellent blends of flavors. We enjoyed our dinners very much and will definitely return."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "A friend of ours recommended this restaurant as the perfect place for dinner before the theater. The Bijou Cafe did not disappoint. Delicious food and excellent presentation. Our waiter, Jim, was the most personable waiter that we have encountered in Sarasota, Longboat Key and Anna Marie Island. I have a bad back, he noticed and offered a pillow for my comfort. Outstanding service in my book! Also, it was great that you participate with Open Table. I found it archaic that so many of the restaurants on LBK insisted on telephone reservations. A++ all the way !!"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "The food was nicely presented and the atmosphere was upscale."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "Although the entrees are on the high side, the size of portions make it a good value. We enjoyed our first time there and will go back, especially when we have theatre tickets."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We have been visiting Sarasota for 4 years and discovering The Bijoux Cafe was such a find. It is refined but fun. The food is wonderful and innovative. The wait staff is always thoughtful and efficient. This year our welcome to Sarasota dinner was just the best !!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "A large portion goat cheese appetizer was creamy and mild, but nearly smothered in a tomato marmalade sauce. Mushroom soup was overly salty but filled with fresh mushrooms. Romaine lettuce was not crisp in the Caesar Salad, but was well dressed. Scallops were slightly overdone but fresh with nice caramelization; an accompanying lobster succotash was not especially flavorful - but it may have reasonable attempt not to overpower the scallops. Chicken paillard was overly peppery and overtaken by a vegetable medley base. Our waitress was charming and well intentioned but service was uneven. Basic refreshing of cutlery to match dishes was omitted. This is a restaurant with potential, but the kitchen and staff need work."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Bijou is like a blue chip stock. It has a reassuingly long history with a stable, affluent following. There is little about the food to get too excited about, but then it seldom disappoints. The menu reminds you a top-notch country club --comfort food for the Lexus crowd -- and the service can be correspondingly chummy. A conservative, moderately good return for the money."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "We're snowbirds and have been coming here 4- 5 times each winter for at least 10 yrs, but the last 2 times (Jan & Mar 2014) have been our last visits here...forever. After our Jan visit, I had to wheedle my husband into giving them 1 more chance, but after our March visit, we are both done with them. The portions have been getting smaller and smaller, and their prices bigger and bigger. I weigh 100 pounds and came away from dinner hungry. For 1 very bland chicken breast with a small Caesar salad and 1 very good duck dinner (a la carte & what I often order but this time teeny tiny)...NO drinks, NO appetizers, NO coffee, NO dessert...our bill incl. taxes/tip was $75. We're used to high Chgo prices, but this was ridiculous. Done & done."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Top notch food well prepared, well presented well served. What more can you ask"
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Many thanks to the chef. It's also a great location for dinner prior to attending the Sarasota opera."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Café Bijou is proud to tell you that they have been in business for 28 years. They do a good job considering their longevity. The soups are very good including the daily specials. Lamb shank was very tender and tasty. They are a little on the expensive side but a very pleasant dining experience."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "We come here often before the opera. It never disappoints. Great service. Interesting and well- prepared food. And very convenient."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "The Bijou was absolutely perfect for dinner before the opera. It is right across the street, the service was excellent and the food delicious! I look forward to many return visits."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We found the food to be delicious and very well prepared. The service was good and we found the server to also be friendly and efficient."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Bijou has stood the test of time while other restaurants have come and gone; we have been going to Bijou for 16 years, and it is always a wonderful evening"
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "This is a dinner we will not forget. Although we spent the night in Sarasota, the Bijou would be worth the two hour drive it took us to get to Sarasota in the first place. The food was absolutely subperb and service was terrific. We were not rushed in any way and yet the waiter was always there when we needed something and checked back on us several times."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "The Bijou is a place you can take guests and know it was the right decision. Most of the time, the servers are very pleasant."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Usually a wonderful experience. Tonite it was less than enjoyable. Was it because the boss left early? Things got better after much anguish. I guess they have to be busy to do a good job. This was an Monday evening with no oper goers to cater to."
    Dined on 3/10/2014
  • "Very romantic surroundings. Food was just ok. The service was just okay. Not as good as last time."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "Great place! Really enjoyed our pre-opera lunch here. Nice service; not rushed. Interesting menu with food prepared well. Not cheap, but not terribly expensive, either. Generous pours on the wine. Total bill for two before tip $60; this included alcoholic drinks. Think about coming here before an opera or other show downtown; makes for a special event."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "The service at this restaurant has been impeccable on both occasions that we dined there. The soups are wonderful and the desserts are different and delicious. My roast duck was done to perfection and my husband's dinner with some South African dishes was terrific. In addition, the location is great if you are doing another event in town. The restaurant is right across from the Opera House and very close to the Van Wezel auditorium."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "The Bijou Cafe has been a longstanding traditional restaurant in Sarasota, Florida but manages to maintain a consistent high level of quality. The food is creative and well prepared. The wine list is extensive with something for all tastes. It is always a pleasure to eat at this pillar of the Sarasota restaurant community."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Although this was my first time at the Bijou, my wife and our two guests had frequented before. Our waiter was very professional, having brought my own 36 year old vintage wine to be corked, he gratiously offered to decant it which proved a success. The service, food and ambience throughout the evening was first class. Be it guaranteed I will be making another reservation in the very near future, and will certainly be recommending the Bijou to friends."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "My friends and I each had a wonderful dinner at Bijou. One had steak, one had fish and I had duck, so we sampled broadly across the menu. Each of the entrees was well-prepared, attractively plated and delicious. I had chosen the dinner location for my two out-of-town friends and they were both hightly complimentary of my decision. The service was excellent. The server was aware of anything needed almost immediately but watched over us without ever intruding; The staff was gracious and efficient. Based on my experience, the Bijou deserves its reputation as one of the best restaurants in the area. I will be back."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "Our waitress was overwhelmed with everyone wanting to go to the opera at a certain time. She also din't have quite the class that this first class restaurant should have. When you are at the top, you should hire and then train the waitstaff to be exceptional. She was just ordinary, nice but didn't have the little extra that was needed that night. Great location to the opera. Large tables make noise and we had a couple around us making it tough for us to have a normal conversation. Maybe large tables should be moved into a separate room."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "Special occasions or lunch get together or casual dinner - perfect. Menu fairly consistent ... not a lot of changes over the year but almost all delicious Great service"
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "Karen GM was very helpful and made sure everything was perfect from drinks, decanted magnum, food and service--no hurry enjoyed the whole experience Don't miss the Shrimp Piri Piri and the lamb chops One of the top restaurants in Sarasota"
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "This was our second dinner at Bijou Cafe. The first time we were disappointed by a brusque greeting and being rushed through the meal, though we'd arrived in plenty of time to make the Opera House curtain. This time we were greeted cordially and not rushed. It was my husband's birthday, and our server brought a pretty candelabra and some fine chocolate truffles to the table after dinner. But the sore spot was the tomato-vegetable soup starter. It was so mushy, overcooked and tasteless as to be appalling that this restaurant would serve it. The rest of the food was excellent, however: an exotic cocktail, crab cakes, roast duck, mussels. Except for the vile soup, we would give Bijou Cafe four stars."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "Shrimp and crab bisque was touted as excellent and yet, while loaded with seafood and lush with tones of sherry or bourbon, was overly salty and a bit too thick. Chicken paillard was very tasty, veggies too. Salmon was overly pricey for dish received. Whipped potatoes were tasty but over salted. Rolls were very good..... My main issue was our waiter - he seemed a bit miffed that we chose not to order drinks, more appetizers/salads and coffee/dessert. Not a plus. Water glasses were filled regularly and promptly by a very nice young woman. Would not go out of my way to return here on my return to Sarasota."
    Dined on 3/3/2014