1394 Chain Bridge Rd
McLean, VA 22101Neighborhood:
FrenchPrice: $30 and under
- 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.
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.Continued
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Bistro Vivant reviews from OpenTable diners
62 reviews since July 26, 2014
- Ambiance3.6Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (31)fit for foodies (22)great for lunch (20)special occasion (8)notable wine list (8)great for outdoor dining (6)romantic (3)good for groups (3)great for brunch (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- Never DisappointsDuckSoup11VIPDined on 11/19/2014We had an excellent meal as always. We went particularly to have the Wednesday regular special of braised rabbit with herbs, black olives, etc, which was delicious. Rabbit is hard to prepare without getting it dried out; this was perfect. Also very nice, the frisee salad with duck confit. Wines seem a bit high (or to put it another way we'd like to see a more moderately priced choices on the list) but they're well selected, and the restaurant does have a house wine that's very reasonable. Service was excellent - they've clearly had some training, and it shows. Overall, a top-notch neighborhood place, and even a destination if you're a little farther away.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Birthday dinnerBernieVIPDined on 11/15/2014We had not been to Bistro Vivant in awhile. We heard they had anew chef and my wife for her birthday wanted to try it again. The food and service was better than before. Nothing special nothing bad just an average placeI would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 11/15/2014Too expensive for a bistro - wine also expensive for the quantity.
- sandozDined on 11/5/2014Our waiter brought the wrong food for both the appetizer and main course and forgot one of the appetizers.
- Hates Women - DiscriminatesWorldFoodWineExpertDined on 11/4/2014Service excellent! Otherwise, awful. Ordered appetizer of steak tartare, as usual. Portion for $16 less than 3 ounces. Tiniest little thing I ever saw on the plate, pitiful accompaniments. No egg! Not with my usual male companion this time. WOW!!! They DO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST WOMEN!!!!!!!!!! I complained, "When I last came with a man I received reasonable portions." Manager response, "When you were with that man, we gave you too much; no one complains about too much." Never saw that manager before tonight... I've ordered steak tartare appetizer many times while with my male dinner companion. Tonight, no man, just female dinner companions. Really?? Won't be going back there! Encouraging all women to boycott this place that hates you!
- good foodlovefood2Dined on 10/16/2014I ordered the pot-au-feu which was delicious. Next time, I will try the hanger steak and fries. Please add more non-dairy dessert selections. My husband enjoyed the lamb shanks.Special Features:
- A disappointmentJeanGeorgesVIPDined on 10/11/2014Bistro Vivant has some things going for it: (1) a favorable mention in a Tom Sietsma Q&A--he suggested it as a place to take visitors from New York City. (2) A pleasant interior: e.g., dark wood shelves holding wine bottles above the bar. The tables are well spaced: the neighboring table isn't crowding one's sense of privacy. (3) The menu looks interesting, with potentially tasty items suited to different preferences. The first disappointment--the service: 15 minutes before I could flag a server to take our wine order. Not a huge deal, but then the service alternated between overly solicitous and absent. The second disappointment--the food: not bad, but none of the four of us would come back. We wished our experience were better!Special Features:
- Short but sweetMKVaVIPDined on 10/10/2014The menu seemed a little short but with the daily special, we were able to find items to our liking. The duck confit under appetizers was not what we had expected, it came out in a pate form. The steak tartare was excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Another Great MealeatwellDined on 10/10/2014Bistro Vivant never fails. We had the lovely Friday special Bouillabaisse and it was spectacular. The recommended wine was perfect as was the bread. I will be back! Thanks!Special Features:
- Nice LunchBoringVIPDined on 9/28/2014The menu is very limited. Hangar steak was delicious as was the trout amandine. Food is rich. Service was not very good. Long waits for the server and she had a very sour disposition.Special Features:
- Wonderful to have close byjamievDined on 9/27/2014Bistro Vivant has consistently created meals that we thoroughly enjoy. Their steak and frites is a favorite of ours; simple, perfectly prepared and soul satisfying. Their wine list complements their menu. The daily specials provide delicous variety. Its a great place to meet friends and enjoy a meal together.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wow!!BbLVAVIPDined on 9/22/2014My guest was enthralled by the food at Bistro Vivant. We both thoroughly enjoyed our lunch and will definitely will return.I would recommend this to a friend.
- LuvLocalDined on 9/19/2014Based 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent LunchFrequentdinerVIPDined on 9/18/2014I'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:
- Awesome last minute decision.greatmealgreattimeDined on 9/17/2014We 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- A disappointmentFrenchmamaVIPDined on 9/13/2014We 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.
- Delightful surpriseBethesdaVIPDined on 9/6/2014We 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:
- C'est bon!TranslawDined on 9/5/2014First 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent food and service!DEBBIEVIPDined on 9/2/2014Our 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:
- Delicious as always!LadyTairaVIPDined on 8/31/2014Loved 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:
- Great ExperiencegoodeatingVIPDined on 8/30/2014Excellent hanger steak and frites. Recognized our anniversary with complementary glasses of port at the end of the meal. Wonderful evening.
- Enjoyed lunchNoVa180VIPDined on 8/15/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisappointingsmallfoodieDined on 8/5/2014A 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.
- Decent food, service needs workOpenTable Diner Since 2004VIPDined on 8/1/2014First 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.
- Great concept, execution needs workOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 7/31/2014Restaurant 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.
- The following 235 reviews are from the Bistro Vivant reviews archive.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2003Dined on 7/25/2014The 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful MealKatyVIPDined on 7/20/2014We 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:
- lots of possibilitiesImaSopranoVIPDined on 7/19/2014My 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good Food - Poor ServiceOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 7/15/2014We 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....
- Particularly liked the clafouti.JimboDined on 7/12/2014The pomme frites are the best we have tasted in the area. We intend to return and bring friends.Special Features:
- A great local findeatingoutDined on 7/11/2014It'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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FranVIPDined on 7/11/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A hidden gemFrenchmamaVIPDined on 7/11/2014Bistro 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:
- Needs to refocusnjoy2eatDined on 7/10/2014The 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.
- Good for a surprise birthdayRussDined on 7/10/2014Good was excellent and wait staff flexibly handled late surprise guestSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- wanterd to like it moreFood4lifeDined on 7/3/2014Went 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:
- gudfoodluvrDined on 7/1/2014I'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.
- Wine better than foodCaraDined on 6/26/2014Overall, 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:
- Averagels55VIPDined on 6/21/2014If 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.
- We will be back!luvDCdiningVIPDined on 6/13/2014I 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: