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Bistro Vivant

Bistro Vivant Details

  • 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 & Promotions: 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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Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "while the wine list is small, the wines on it are really quite exceptional."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "lunch was not very good , but I've had two good dinners there"
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "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."
    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. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Took my long time gf. And had the best food I have had in a very long time'nn"
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "A little bit of France in Mclean. The beef bourgogne is fabulous. Best NY strip in town."
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Nice, authentic French restaurant/cuisine in "downtown" McLean. Interesting specials and attentive, friendly service."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "Excellent food, reasonable prices, nice atmosphere. Easily the best place in McLean and a Northern Virginia standout."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "The place was fine. Very pork and shellfish heavy. If I lived there, I might return, but I would not drive there even from Arlington."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Came here right after they opened and was underwhelmed. After 2 lackluster meals, I stayed away. Lately, the reviews had improved and then I heard there was a new chef. I decided to give Bistro Vivant another try and I'm glad I did. Is it Le Diplomate? Mais non! Is it a solid neighborhood bistro? Oui! A celery root soup was comforting and a starter of poached duck egg with mushrooms, kale, parmesan and prosciutto was decadent. Salmon was well cooked and moist. Lamb shank cassoulet was tender, albeit a bit underseasoned. The bartender makes a superb Manhattan and the wine list was well chosen and fairly priced, with an almost completely French list and good choices by the glass. Bottom line-I will be back."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "Great service and wonderful food. Great wine list also."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "Food (a special menu for Valentines Day) was excellent. The lobster salad was simply outstanding, but all the food was very good. It was a great evening."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I used to love this place but the service has gotten very sloppy and frustrating. Previously there seemed to be more wait staff, perhaps tat is why it is so lax. The waiter mixed up our order...giving my friend a different dish than the one she ordered...and this last time, the vegetables were cold. Wen the dish was returned for reheating, it took ages to come back...and repeated requests for salt were ignored until we enlisted a bus boy to bring some. I miss the old service!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Had a working lunch meeting. The food was good- salad and soup for me and salad and sandwich for my guest. The bread was great, service was attentive and we were not rushed."
    Dined on 2/5/2014
  • "no flavor in truffle mousse, carot soup, and trout too sweet-restaurant tries too hard to do unique things and misses core flavors. bread is great. a bit pricey for the atmosphere and food."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "I don't mind paying premium prices for very good food in the context of an excellent dining experience, but Bistro Vivant falls a bit short. The service was very good, the bread was excellent, and it is clear that these folks are trying. And I hope that they keep trying, because McLean really doesn't have a "special occasion" restaurant. However, at the end of the day, fine dining is about the food, and the food just didn't meet my expectations for the price. I believe I get a better meal with higher quality ingredients at Clyde's for less. Bottom line: McLean still lacks the outstanding fine dining restaurant it arguably deserves."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "We have been coming here occasionally since before it was sold to the present owners and the food has never been this interesting or this good before. The menu is not extensive, but everything looked tempting so it was hard to choose. My husband ordered the "cassoulet" which worried me inasmuch as he is a purist, and I was right in thinking this might be an original "take" on it. Well, we were both right--it was certainly not the cassoulet of his youth, but it was delicious. It was also very abundant, so we got two meals out of it; ditto for my steak/frites. In all, it feels like a polished good restaurant, bistro-style..we enjoyed everything."
    Dined on 2/6/2014
  • "Bistro Vivant is delicious treat. The onion soup is just right, fois gras was exceptional (wanted more!) and the duck confit was some of the best I have ever had. I only wish that there was more space between tables and the wine list had more moderately priced options."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Poor to mediocre food at high prices. Need more moderately priced wines."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "Food was very good, especially their soup du jour (turnip soup). They made special accommodations for my friend & altered his meal to his liking. The owner stopped by twice to check on us. It was not intrusive & he was very friendly."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "The restaurant has lots of good food choices on the menu and we really enjoy dining here. However, to bring this restaurant from good to great, it needs to focus on consistency and making sure it delivers hot food to the table even during the busiest time of the evening."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "I used to frequent Bistro Vivant. Then a chef that came in tried to make it mainly French delicacies and limited the choices for those of us that like French food...just not some of the 'specialties'. The menu offers plenty of French cuisine choices with some more mainstream main offerings. I hadn't been there for months and am glad I returned. Please keep this chef and menu (I know it changes somewhat seasonally). Their Hanger Steak is a winner and altho' their 'frites' are great...I opted for the salad substitution and it was great."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "My wife and I had a weekend lunch at Bistro Vivant. We ordered a bottle of wine and four appetizers/side dishes for a relaxing afternoon. The grilled octopus was outstanding, the steak tartare very good, the foie gras mousse excellent, and the frites cooked in duck fat with paprika aioli were also good. The service was attentive and friendly, but in a low-key, non-intrusive way. The wine selection, which was recommended by our server, was a very good choice. We've been here before and we'll be back again!"
    Dined on 1/20/2014