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  • Bon Vivant - Palo Alto

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Bon Vivant - Palo Alto
Bon Vivant - Palo Alto

Bon Vivant - Palo Alto Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://bonvivantcafe.net
  • Email: cafebonvivant@gmail.com
  • Phone: (650) 485-3228
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner:
    Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday
    5:30 PM - 9:30 PM
    Thursday, Friday, Saturday
    5:30 PM - 10:30 PM

    Tuesday - Friday
    11:30 AM - 3 PM

    Saturday, Sunday
    10 AM - 3 PM

    Bon Vivant is closed on Mondays.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: French, Contemporary European, Wine Bar
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, High Tea, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Entertainment: Live music most Fridays. Check FB for upcoming events: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-Bon-Vivant-Palo-Alto-CA/156252334390713

Getting there

  • Cross Street: University Ave
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Bon Vivant - Palo Alto
Bon Vivant recalls the charm and pleasure of Parisian brasserie, located in the heart of Downtown in Palo Alto. Bon Vivant food is inspired by bistro classics which showcase French tradition and technique. We composed a menu that celebrates traditional French cuisine alongside seasonal ingredients. The wine list has a great selection of French and Californian wines by the glass, as well as assortment of cocktails and mixed drinks.

Bon Vivant is about great food, interesting people, music and art. Enjoy and thank you for dining with us at Bon Vivant!
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "We chose Bon Vivant for an informal birthday lunch because of the pleasant atmosphere, the interesting menu, and the very helpful staff. When we asked questions about individual items on the menu, the staff gave clear reasons for their recommendations. We had the Salade Nicoise, Salmon Crepes, and Baba Au Rhum. All were close enough to the classic recipes to be enjoyable but also used slightly different ingredients to create a memorable lunch. The low noise level and the leisurely pace of the service allowed us to enjoy a very pleasant visit over lunch."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "We had a big lunch with a friend last Friday. We had an appetizer, soups and entrees, also added wine. The food was excellent, the waiter was perfect, ten out of ten!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "I find that the bon Vivant is not there yet, food or service wise. My husband never got his ice tea. The potatoes were cold under by scallops and his was really cold along side his duck. The attending waiter had other things on his mind so couldn not totally concentrate eventhough we had a 5:30 reservation. It has a nice setting but it not there food wise."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Excellent French cuisine. We had the escargo was divine. The salad with smoked duck and truffle oil was very tasty. Duck was well prepared. The filet mignon was a tad over done - more medium than medium rare, so should order on the rarer side. Desserts were heavenly as was the coffee. Service was good. A better command of the menu items especially the specials or the substitutions. Need to listen more carefully."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The food was delicious and presentation was great. The service was excellant"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Nice ambiance but food quality was pretty poor. Not what I would expect for Palo Alto. Nice presentation, but not an impressive showing for true foodies. Needs help. Not cheap."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Made you feel that outside is Saint Sulpice or St Germaine in Paris Staff and service is super appetizers were very good the salmon is tops seafood forté"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Everything was a perfect balance of flavor and quality from the Astor, to the Mousse de Canard, to the salad, through my duck, and punctuated by the chocolate soufflé. No over seasoning, no over saucing. I recommend letting your server make recommendations for wine pairings and cooking style (my duck was perfectly pink). Service was fantastic."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Outstanding pot de creme! Wasn't crazy about the smoked salmon crepes--will try something different next time. Atmosphere and service will tempt me back."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "After reading the other reviews we arrived with high hopes and this place did not disappoint - Everything about the meal was outstanding. We couldn't believe that we were able to get in on a Friday night, last minute in Palo Alto. Can't wait for our next visit - have already recommended the place to a few friends."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "I went to Bon Vivant for the first time on a Friday night with a few friends, and was shocked at how wonderful the experience was! The restaurant was very quiet for 7pm Friday by Palo Alto standards, and the decor was tasteful and contemporary. Our waiter was a very sweet person who served us with delicacy and humor. The food was GREAT. I had an acorn soup that blew my mind, delicious scallops in saffron cream, and a transcendent creme brulee. I had not expected Bon Vivant to be such a sleeper hit, and I will certainly go back again and again!"
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "I live nearby; and I should have learned about this place a while ago. Yesterday I ordered Fruit de Mer. This is a huge plate of fresh seafood incl mussels, scallops, oysters, shrimp and a few more items. Coming with tasty sauce. I'd say it is the best Fruit de Mer I ate in America so far. Very, very impressive. Their Souffle Grand Marnier was also excellent. I highly recommend this place."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "This restaurant was empty, which speaks volumes perhaps about its attractions. Everything is nice, but nothing special. We went for lunch; I expect it would be much nicer for dinner."
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "I had heard that Bon Vivant was a good spot to come for a "special" dinner - anniversary, birthday, etc., and now I can see why. The setting is beautiful and sophisticated. The food and service are top-flight as well. I'm not normally a fan of classic French cuisine - too stiff for my taste, but Bon Vivant seems to have found the right blend of serious attention to cuisine while making the dishes approachable and delicious. My duck was absolutely perfect - savory and moist, with delicate flavors intermingling. Definitely not your simple Duck L'Orange. Anyway, I've been back a couple of time since, and am happy to report that both lunch and brunch were also happy experiences. Give Bon Vivant a try - I think you will find it a treat."
    Dined on 11/24/2013
  • "We came between hours of brekfast and lunch, They were still serving breakfast, we asked if we can get lunch menu. No problem The waiter was exellent, he knew every single item on the menu to the little details. We ordered, french onion soup-tasty, scalop-very good, and rabbit dish (it was amazing) and a poached pear in wine for dessert(outstanding). Love everything about this dinning spot."
    Dined on 12/1/2013
  • "Wild mushrooms (and they actually know how to cook them), smoked duck, beef tartar, home-made pate, souffle and the list goes on and on. Everything was very tasty including Rootless Cosmopolitan (a funny name)!"
    Dined on 11/22/2013
  • "I've been to Bon Vivant three times. The atmosphere is charming, love the live music, the staff is very nice and the menu is very French and interesting. It has such potential but really falls short. The food just isn't very good and after three tries I will only go back to have a glass of wine at the bar. I hope they can fix the problems before they go out of business."
    Dined on 11/19/2013
  • "great food but guitar vocalist on 11/2/13 absolutely terrible and distracting; would not return unless music changed or cancelled"
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "We were a party of 4 at Sunday brunch. The menu was confusing (hors d'oeuvre portion sizes varied ) so we ended up ordering several dishes to share to make sure there was enough to eat.. The food was good but not outstanding; the service was slow considering the number of diners at that time.The interior of the cafe was nicely appointed but that only gets them so far. The next time we want some French brasserie/bistro fare, we'll hop over to the West Bank in Menlo Park instead."
    Dined on 10/27/2013
  • "If you are looking for a quiet place to eat good food and talk the piano on Friday night interfered some. Music was Ok if that is what you came for."
    Dined on 10/25/2013
  • "Made reserv for 7:30 p.m.; walked in 7:15 p.m., There were people on only 2 tables. Dead quiet. This should've been my Q to walk out and should have. I thought the night was still young but night went on with no improvement. Waiter messed up on my salad and brought out the correct one but it was so sour that I puckered my lips with every bite. Then came the scallop. I don't know about you but I goto the French Rest expecting to eat scallop with roe. That's how they serve it in France and all the French rest. I've been to. This place did not serve it with roe. To make the matters worse, they overcooked it so it was rubbery. Ordered Creme Brulee for dessert. Not creamy at all but watery with no vanilla bean in sight. Stay away."
    Dined on 10/23/2013
  • "Perfect food (not a bad bite out of 7 dishes ordered around the table) Excellent service (not a helicopter server, but always right there when needed) Beautiful room."
    Dined on 10/17/2013
  • "Great food, service a little on slow side, but this would NOT prevent us from coming again for a romantic dinner out."
    Dined on 10/5/2013
  • "A+ for delicious food A+ for being able to carry on a conversation We already made another reservation here"
    Dined on 9/6/2013
  • "Our first time there and we will most certainly return. The cuisine is exceptional and the service attentive. The wines are over priced, but apart from that, the value is good."
    Dined on 8/31/2013
  • "Very much enjoyed the food and atmosphere and service. The service and wine list was impressive. The food was very good, well seasoned - don't order the octopus salad though.. duck and sweetbreads and scallops were all good."
    Dined on 8/17/2013
  • "Service was very slow. The piano bar had popular a singer who was flat often. The appetizer of a goat cheese and mushroom tart had just a trace of goat cheese smeared at the bottom of the tart. The escargot was served without its juices that normally can be soaked up with bread. Utensils for the escargot were served as an afterthought. The rabbit was over cooked and dry with no hint of mustard. The Crepe Suzette was served cold and had to be returned and the second attempt was just luke warm. The ice cream in the affogatto was bland . The noise from the piano and singer made it difficult to carry on a conversation. I would not go again."
    Dined on 8/16/2013