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
77 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating3.7
  • Food3.9
    Service3.6
  • Ambiance3.4
    Noise LevelModerate
85% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (46)fit for foodies (30)notable wine list (18)great for lunch (18)special occasion (13)great for outdoor dining (10)great for brunch (6)good for groups (4)romantic (4)hot spot (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • 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
    ImaSoprano
    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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • First Try
    CinnamonVIP
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    This was the first time I have eaten at this restaurant. It makes a nice visual impression, beautiful bar and tables are nicely spaced out. The menu has a nice selection of traditional French bistro fare, and the wine list also has a good selection, including quite a few wines by the half carafe.The food was somewhat disappointing. I had the tuna tartar appetizer, which was generous, but not particularly tasty. My friend ordered the duck carpaccio, which was very small and odd tasting. We ordered duck confit and seared tuna. Both were acceptable, but not spectacular. The restaurant did not have many patrons on a Wednesday night. The owner stopped by our table several times to ask about our meal. I think he understands the quality issues.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 45 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 5, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.8
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.5
    • Service3.7
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 206 reviews are from the Bistro Vivant reviews archive.
  • Better during the week
    Publicola76VIP
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    We have dined at Bistro Vivant several times, usually at lunch on the weekends. The service was slow and sometimes careless, although the food is always good. Most recently, we had dinner on a week night, and both service and food were excellent.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Easter Bruncher
    SWICKSTER
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Many restaurants take the opportunity of a holiday (in is case, Easter) menu to relax. BV chose to feature their expertise in a few, choice items. The Canadian lobster salad was fantastic. The entrees were excellent.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mclean treasure
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    A little bit of France in Mclean. The beef bourgogne is fabulous. Best NY strip in town.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Patient servers
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    Our experience and food were enjoyable. We were dining with a friend who was very exacting about what she liked and our server was very patient and pleasant with her and with us. We had differing choices from the menu, and everyone was pleased. The only drawback was too much salt in the food, especially the beef dishes we ordered. We had to send our coffee back because it tasted stale and bitter, but the servers brought us fresh coffee, which tasted delicious. All in all, it was a pleasant dining experience and once again, I commend our server for being so accommodating.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Expensive, Mediocre
    french1lover
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    Bistro Vivant was a great disappointment. There is no ambiance in this French restaurant located in a McLean strip mall other than some pretty half curtains on the window. The Croque Monsieur was no better than an underdone toasted cheese sandwich with chunks of ham. A friend ordered mussels and frites only to find that there was an additional $5 charge added to the bill. The butternut squash soup had the most peculiar yellow color, it was hard to identify the source. I will definitely not recommend this restaurant to friends and am sorry I suggested it to the two friends who accompanied me there.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Worth a second try.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    When Bistro Vivant first opened we gave it a try and were very disappointed in our meals Recently we decided to try Bistro Vivant again and had a wonderful dining experience. I ordered salmon that was prepared perfectly. We also had the grilled octopus that was very good. We enjoyed our dinner so much we decided to try their Sunday brunch. I would have liked a little more variety on their brunch menu but the eggs benedict and the brunch cocktails we delicious.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A gem in McLean
    WGL1VIP
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    Excellent food, reasonable prices, nice atmosphere. Easily the best place in McLean and a Northern Virginia standout.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing Return Visit
    Publicola76VIP
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    We have eaten at Bistro Vivant several times. Usually it's a good experience, however this time we were not happy with the meal or the service. It took about 10 minutes for the server bring us our drink order. I ordered hangar steak and frites; my wife ordered salad and French onion soup; we split an order of escargot. My wife requested that her soup be brought out when my entree was served, but it came with the appetizer. Service was really slow, considering the place was not that busy at the time. My hangar steak came very rare, instead of medium rare as I requested. I'm not sure if we'll be coming back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate