Bistro Vivant

Bistro Vivant

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.bistrovivant.com/
  • Phone: 703-356-1700
  • Hours of Operation:
    Bistro Vivant is open for Lunch, Dinner and Weekend Brunch!

    Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 11:30am - 4:00pm;
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 4:00pm;
    Dinner: Monday - Thursday 4:00pm - 10:00pm;
    Friday and Saturday 4:00pm - 10:30pm;
    Sunday 4:00pm - 9:30pm
    HAPPY HOUR: EVERYDAY 4:00pm - 6:30pm
    (available at the bar only)
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: French
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Please contact our General Manager, Shannon Paretzky, for more information.
  • Special Events: Please contact our General Manager, Shannon Paretzky, for more information.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Rt 123 Dolley Madison Blvd
  • Public Transit: Metro Bus stop one block away, on corner of Old Dominion Dr and Chain Bridge Rd.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Plenty of free parking in parking lot.
A word from Bistro Vivant
A contemporary French Bistro in the heart of McLean. We are open ALL DAY, EVERY DAY... so join us for a late Lunch, early Dinner or any Holiday.
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Bistro Vivant reviews from OpenTable diners
73 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating3.7
  • Food3.9
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance3.4
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (43)fit for foodies (31)great for lunch (18)notable wine list (16)special occasion (12)great for outdoor dining (9)romantic (5)good for groups (4)great for brunch (4)hot spot (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • LuvLocal
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Based on an earlier email received, we were expecting the Fall Menu, but instead found the spring/summer menu. Also, one in my party was disappointed that a French restaurant didn't offer Dubonnet (a very French aperitif). The food was delicious! Our service was great, too.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    I've had lunch at Bistro Vivant on several occasions, and the food has improved time. This recent visit was outstanding. I had trout encrusted with almonds and it was simply excellent. I was really pleased. It's a great place for social or business lunches in McLean.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome last minute decision.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    We had family in from Europe. We wanted to take them some place special. Boy did we find it. The service was spectacular and the food was delicious. We had a difficult palate to please. We asked for an item that was not on the menu. Our waiter didn't bat an eye, he went to the kitchen and spoke to chef. Upon his return he informed us that it would be no problem but may take a few extra moments to prepare. The wait wasn't that long and thedish was wonderful. This is our new go to place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A disappointment
    FrenchmamaVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We had had a lovely meal here are few months ago, but our return was very disappointing. The service was lackadaisical, I had to send my main course back to the kitchen because it was barely tepid, and when it came back the cream on top of it was all melted. They had just stuck it in the oven. My sister's portion of black cod was embarrassingly small. I don't think we'll return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delightful surprise
    BethesdaVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We had a terrific evening at bistro vivat..surprised people don,t flock there. Great service, really fine food .for a strip shopping center. And parking right out front!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • C'est bon!
    Translaw
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    First time at this restaurant, which opened after closing of a barbecue restaurant some time ago. Had pot au feu and epoisses cheese, both very good. The steak frites was my wife's choice, and it, too, was very good. We shared mushroom agnolotti as an appetizer, and it turned out to be a savory way to start our meal. A Cahors malbec paired nicely with these dishes. We'll definitely go back. Oh, and not to forget, our waiter, originally from Morocco, was also very good and sufficiently attentive without hovering.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food and service!
    DEBBIEVIP
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Our waiter Ali is always top notch! Dining all day is a great thing to have. One can be flexible. They do not rush you. Nice and innovative daily specials!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious as always!
    LadyTairaVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Loved my meal. Ordered the Sunday Short Rib French Dip. Always like dining here, so I always return. My friend and I were celebrating our birthdays and so they popped a candle into each of our desserts. ;-) Small issue. I ordered the Peach Tart because it is peach season and my friend inquired about 2 dessert before selecting one. The waitress got confused and brought the 2 desserts my friend had asked about and not my peach tart. Erroneous dessert was delicious but wasn't what I ordered. I guess that peach tart will have to wait.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Experience
    goodeatingVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Excellent hanger steak and frites. Recognized our anniversary with complementary glasses of port at the end of the meal. Wonderful evening.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoyed lunch
    NoVa180VIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    We had a very enjoyable lunch at Bistro Vivant. There were many attractive options on the regular lunch menu (including seasonal dishes which were different from a previous visit earlier this year) but we opted for the prix fixe "Restaurant Week" menu. A nice variety of choices and all were very good.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    smallfoodie
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    A friend and I had dinner here on a weeknight after reading a rave review in the Washington Post. The ambiance was nice, and great for conversation. Service was good. However, the food was a disappointment--particularly our main courses. My friend's tuna was extremely salty. I ordered a veal daube (stew) with seasonal vegetables. There was very little meat in the daube, and what there was was very fatty. The vegetables cooked along with the meat did not have the greatest flavor. We shared a half carafe of wine (really a quarter carafe) that was quite good, though pricey. We shared a clafouti for dessert, which was good but not exceptional. All in all, for the price (about $50 per person), this restaurant was a disappointment.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Decent food, service needs work
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    First few minutes were a turn off. Bread was stale. I asked for fresh bread & it was eventually brought, but no apology, no "we'll have it for you in a moment" Once replaced, the bread was good, but it's not French. A "half carafe" of wine is actually a quarter carafe. It would be nice if they offered a real half carafe. I had bouillabaisse, which was quite good, and while the portion was fine, a larger bowl would have made it easier to eat. Also, it was served without a spoon. When I asked for one, I got a curious look. They seem to have a large staff, but are disorganized. And they're dressed like they just walked in off the street. Why not get matching black shirts, or long aprons for them? Also, the limited menu could be expanded a bit.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great concept, execution needs work
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Restaurant did have a bistro feel. Service was OK although restaurant not all that busy. Food was generally good. However, bread crust on multiple orders was burned. Also, sauces on appetizer and one entrée were attractive but lacked flavor. All in all, meals were probably not worth the cost.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    The food and service were both very good. The wine list could use some American selections though. There are lots of high end red and white Burgundy's but I wonder how popular they are here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Meal
    KatyVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    We went out for girl's night to Bistro Vivant and had a wonderful evening. The food was wonderful, especially the tuna and salmon, and the desserts featured fresh fruit in season. We got a good recommendation on wine. The service was attentive, but not intrusive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • lots of possibilities
    ImaSopranoVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    My four meals at Bistro Vivant tell me that there is a lot of potential. The two dinners were delicious, but my lunches made me wonder whether the chef doesn't come in before 5:00 pm. Unfortunately, with dinners in the $20-$30 range but lunches just a few dollars less, it would be hard for Bistro Vivant to attract a large lunch crowd. I recommend the hangar steak with its delicious sauce (made with 30+ herbs, they said) and the cod in roasted tomato sauce.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Food - Poor Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    We enjoyed the ambiance, and the food was good. Sadly, our waitress was so uninterested in us that we had to beg the hostess for bread (45 minutes after sitting down) and wait an hour for our appetizer. She never checked on us, or explained menu options (it was our first visit, so we needed a little help). We had to ask for attention any time we needed something. I would recommend it for the food, and hope they can get their wait staff up to the same level of the food. Not sure I'll go back....
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Particularly liked the clafouti.
    Jimbo
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    The pomme frites are the best we have tasted in the area. We intend to return and bring friends.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A great local find
    eatingout
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    It's so nice to have such a good restaurant nearby. The menu is not huge, but everything was excellent, well-prepared, and fresh. The service was attentive and very responsive. Desserts were as good as the main courses! The only negative is that the noise level is too high. The owner was in the dining room and came to check on each table - a very nice thing to do. I look forward to enjoying this restaurant again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FranVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We had a lovely evening, food was quite good and service very friendly, if a bit slow. Bit of sticker shock once bill came, so now will consider this for a special night out rather than a place for a quick bite after work.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A hidden gem
    FrenchmamaVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Bistro Vivant has a new chef and she's making big changes. My black cod dish was perfect and so complex. My husband's daube de beau was outstanding. The location is a strip mall, but don't be fooled. This is now the best food in McLean.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Needs to refocus
    njoy2eat
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    The Mussels we over done and have gone downhill from when it opened and the Hanger Steak was tough! They need to refocus on the wonderful quality that was so apparent in the beginning. They had the best Mussels ever in the beginning, a very unique recipe! I hope this was a temporary occurrence.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good for a surprise birthday
    Russ
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Good was excellent and wait staff flexibly handled late surprise guest
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wanterd to like it more
    Food4life
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Went for lunch. Both the app salad and the side salad had oddly bitter dressings (different dressings) - to the point I didn't even eat the side salad, and I'll take bitter over as a general rule. The greens looked like they were good, though? The octopus/cuttlefish app was tender but had too strong an amonia taste. Croque Msr sandwich was tasty enough but overly messy (literally dripping) and salmon tartine was fine, but that's all, just fine. Maybe I was there on an off day, but I've had much better french bistro food in VA and DC. Maybe if it was a little closer to me I'd try them again, and if I'm around there I may just to see, but it won't be a destination at their price point. At least our bottle of wine was great.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • gudfoodluvr
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    I'm not a great fan of this restaurant, mainly because I don't like the menu. If you like the menu choices, it's probably fine, but I don't want to go to a French restaurant to eat octopus, hamburgers and french fries.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wine better than food
    Cara
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Overall, the wine list was lovely with a truly impressive assortment of wines by the glass. The bread was also excellent. That said, both my appetizer and my main course and my friend's main course were far too salty. The service was also pretty indifferent, which is surprising for a restaurant in a space where all of its predecessors have failed. We mentioned the excessive salt to the server who said he'd tell the kitchen - it would have been nice to have a glass of wine comped. I'll try it again because every kitchen can have an off night, but it was overall disappointing.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Average
    ls55VIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    If you're going to charge $20-30 for entrees, at least make the atmosphere more inviting. Tables/chars and ambiance looked like TGIFridays. Food was not worth it. Pea soup was bland, gnochii was average, salmon needed salt, hanger steak w/frites was a plate full of fries. Just because it's in Mclean, doesnt mean you can overcharge for mediocre food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We will be back!
    luvDCdiningVIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    I have been to Bistro Vivant in the past and had great meals -- lunch and dinner. This dinner was no exception. I ordered pork cheeks and scallops for dinner and it was delicious. The pork cheeks were as good as the pork cheeks at Le Diplomate -- perfectly prepared, melt in your mouth.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Foxx
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    while the wine list is small, the wines on it are really quite exceptional.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    I had read Tom Seitsema's review and was excited to have a new restaurant in McLean. We tried it one evening and upon entering quickly realized that a reservation was not necessary as there were only a handful of diners present. The waitress was very matter of fact and not engaging at all. I ordered a salad to start and although it was good, not great, it was cold, you could tell this was prepared earlier and refrigerated. Our entrees were okay but not memorable. I doubt this restaurant will succeed. The dining room is just plain with a typical suburban feel. There is no charm or nothing cozy about it. Even the food won't save it. Needless to say we won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • JodyVIP
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    lunch was not very good , but I've had two good dinners there
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • food better than expected, but...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Food was surprisingly good, but waitstaff was inattentive (that is being kind). The configuration of the restaurant makes it challenging to have a conversation. Space is a box, so tables are close to each other and not sound absorption anywhere.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A French treat
    BbLVAVIP
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    We were delighted to find Bistro Vivant, thanks to Tom Seitsema's review. We thoroughly enjoyed the excellent food which reminded us of our recent visit to France.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great
    Eatitall
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    Took my long time gf. And had the best food I have had in a very long time'nn
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ATCBill
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Our first visit in about two years, and my wife and I had a delightful dinner last Saturday (May 31) -- excellent food and service. Menu and wine list are relatively short but with interesting, primarily French, selections. Only negative (minor) is that the time between appetizers and main courses was a little long. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty Food, Fair Atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Never heard of Bistro Vivant, and the comments diverged wildly, but we gave it a try. The restaurant is in a strip shopping center, with patio seating next to the parking lot. We were seated in a booth; the bench seats were too low for our cramped table. The service was good -- the waiter spoke French. The woman clearing the plates hovered over the table as though a shortage of plates and utensils was impending. The food was generally good -- the Steak Frites was cooked perfectly, and the frites were hot, crispy, and perfectly seasoned. My daughter didn't like the chicken, which, like the mussels, was cooked in Pernod and so had an anise flavoring. The desserts were expensive for what we got ... I would skip them next time.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expected better
    hard2pls
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    This was our first time. Having read the Post's review, I expected a little better. The appetizer special was good, but not great. The asparagus soup was also good, but not great. The main courses, veal ragu and lamb stew, were very good. Lava cake was outstanding. Wines list is good, but overpriced.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Liking it better with each visit
    LocalVIP
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    I've been there several times for dinner now... at least five, I think. The experience has been outstanding each time. This is a fine, informal, neighborhood-based restaurant doing very interesting French food. I hope they continue to thrive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 35 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.7
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.5
    • Service3.7
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 209 reviews are from the Bistro Vivant reviews archive.
  • Rediscovered
    NOVAdiner
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    Thanks to the good review in the Washington Post magazine's Spring Dining Guide people popped out of everywhere to dine here. Understandably the service could barely keep up with the overwhelming lunch crowd. I trust that more servers will be hired if the attention continues. And it should! The food and presentation were definitely an improvement over the eating experiences I had before the arrival of the present chef.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Restaurant was not a normal spot for us. But we ate there as part of our "Paris" themed Mother's Day. We were a little nervous about the place when we saw it fomr the outside. It was attached to an small strip mall. But overall the experience was great. The food was prepared well. That saud, the menu was a bit skimpy and did not match what we read online.But the food was good nonetheless. The only suggestion I would offer is to expand the menu.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet