1287 First St
Sarasota, FL 34236Neighborhood:
ContinentalPrice: $31 to $50
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.bijoucafe.net/
- Phone: 941-366-8111
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Continental, Contemporary American
- Executive Chef: Jean-Pierre Knaggs
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Private Party Facilities: We have 2 separate private dining rooms. The Bird Room seats up to 30 guests and is fully AV equipped. The Patio Room seats up to 40 and has access to a private outdoor area with fountain.
- Private Party Contact: Karen Thomson 9413668111
- Cross Street: Pineapple Ave
- Public Transit: We are 2 blocks west of the main bus terminal.
- Parking: Valet
- Parking Details: We offer valet parking every day at lunch and every evening during the peak season. We have a private, well lit parking lot across the street and there is plenty of on street parking as well
A word from Bijou Cafe
The Bijou Café, located in the heart of Sarasota’s prestigious Theatre & Arts District since 1986, is one of Florida’s best known restaurants. Chef-owner, Jean-Pierre Knaggs and wife Shay, welcome guests with genuine hospitality and unparalleled service. Chef Knaggs, renowned for his sophisticated innovative cuisine, brings a passion for cooking to breath-taking new heights! For more casual fare The Bijou Cafe offers a lighter Bar Bites Menu in the “Gossips Lounge”, or outside on the Patio, the place to be for seasonal al fresco dining. An award winning, value based wine list and a dazzling collection of imaginative cocktails fulfill even the most ardent imbiber’s desires!Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Bijou Cafe - Best Restaurants in Sarasota ›
Bijou Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
134 reviews since May 20, 2014
- Ambiance4.4Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (90)fit for foodies (70)romantic (62)neighborhood gem (46)great for lunch (34)notable wine list (27)good for groups (11)great for outdoor dining (9)great for brunch (6)hot spot (6)late-night find (5)scenic view (3)vibrant bar scene (3)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- rack of lamb rocksJerryDined on 4/20/2014This is an outstanding resturant. We are very happy with resturant. We loved all the food selections as well. the service is always great.Special Features:
- Holiday HappinessLynnVIPDined on 4/20/2014We enjoyed an outstanding dinner on Easter Sunday with our family. The specials for Easter were excellent and it was also nice to be able to order from the regular menu. The service was excellent, attentive and not intrusive. Not feeling rushed was so nice for our family time. The lamb and grouper were delicious and cooked perfectly. Definitely THE place to dine in Sarasota.Special Features:
- Very good, could be greatktravelbugDined on 4/19/2014Very knowledgeable friendly waitress who anticipated our needs. Her wine recommendations were dead on. The food was nicely prepared with a lovely presentation. My fish was a bit overcooked to my taste and the puree beneath confused my palate texture-wise. Was it the fish or the puree I was tasting? Odd. My husband's lamb was very good and prepared to his specifications. However, when he had ordered it before, he remarked that it had held a wow factor that was missing this time. The chocolate mouse we ordered for dessert was average at best. I think there are other items on the dessert menu that would have been a better choice, in retrospect. Despite the negatives we enjoyed a lovely evening celebrating my husband's birthday. I would return.Special Features:
- Mediocrity RevisitedKewenaDined on 4/16/2014Having had a rather poor experience there a year ago, I thought it was time to revisit this much-ballyhooed, generally well-critiqued mid-town establishment. Unfortunately, I was again disappointed. The ambiance is one of aging and dated elegance, and this applies to diners as well as decor. Most regrettably, the food and indifferent service was no better either -- it was just about average, or certainly below average if one is to handicap reputation and some of the reviews. Aside from the convenient location and the pleasant and rather unique exterior, there is sadly nothing much to write home about.
- Our Weekend Getaway in Sarasota, FLOpenTable Diner Since 2000Dined on 4/10/2014My wife and I escaped Chicago to warmer climes for a weekend. We ate here our first night. We shared all dishes including entress of Yellow Tail Tune (Rare) and Roasted Duck. I'd go back there in a flash and will do so when I'm back there.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Visited on a Thursday evening.jontyDined on 4/10/2014Visited on a Thursday evening. Place was busy - full outside and mostly inside also which did put wait staff under a little pressure but they coped well. Food as usual outstanding. Their duck is unbeatable and the Australian Rack of Lamb would feed an army - and do not miss their speciality potatoes !Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not sure what that wasOpenTable Diner Since 2004VIPDined on 4/5/2014I ordered the duck and it tasted very much like Turkey and it was huge like a turkey thigh would be. Weirdest duck I've ever been served. The drinks were so potent they were undrinkable by both my wife and I. My wife liked her meal.
- FOOD & SERVICE VERY GOOD.TERRYDined on 4/5/2014FOOD & SERVICE VERY GOOD. THE TABLES ARE A LITTLE CLOSE TOGETHER AND IT WAS VERY LOUND IN THERE, OTHER THAN THAT VERY HAPPY.Special Features:
- Great food and serviceJerryDined on 4/5/2014I love the duck but the rack of lamb is outstanding too!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Disappointing for the first time.suemarietDined on 4/5/2014I've had many wonderful lunches outside at the Bijou but this time we came for dinner. For the dinner two of us ordered crispy duck. It was not crispy but a little mushy. The vegetables had no taste. They were probably frozen and quickly microwaved with no spices. One person ordered the ravioli and said it was just OK. The fourth person ordered the veal and wasn't impressed with it. For the prices we paid it should have been better. We are not going back for dinner.Special Features:
- Nice Sarasota findJtaravellaDined on 4/4/2014Recommended by the Hyatt. Excellent choice. Food was fab. Love the area.Special Features:
- Great!!!blpskiDined on 4/3/2014A great night at the Bijou Cafe - food was wonderful, our party had a grand time!!
- A Can't MissDavidDined on 4/2/2014I have gone to the Bijou since the 1990's for both lunch and dinner, taken many guests, and never had anything but absolutely superb food. J.P. has turned what was once a corner gas station into an elegant dining experience; he knows good food; he knows how it is to be properly prepared and served; and he most certainly knows his wines. Because I no longer live in Sarasota my visits to the Bijou are not as frequent as before, but it is invariably my first choice when nearby. Our most recent visit was again a culinary delight. I was surprised, however, by a bit of a slip in the service. I'd still call it "good," but normally the service at the Bijou is nothing but outstanding. No worries. We will not hesitate to return. Try the braai!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great dineBabyliciousDined on 3/31/2014Truly a wonderful experience. We had never been before but we're pleasantly surprised how lovely it was. We met friends there that we dined with. Don't see them often so enjoyed the atmosphere food and we weren't rushed. Everyone was so friendly and attentive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Never disappointed!Bara2Dined on 3/31/2014My friend and I enjoyed a delicious lunch in a setting that was perfect for intimate conversation. Our reservation was for 1PM; we were so happy and comfortable, the next thing we knew it was 3PM.. We couldn't believe that the time had flown by. Thank you for always providing excellent food, professional service and a very friendly and inviting atmosphere. I've been going to the Bijou for years and have never been disappointed. In fact, it's my favorite restaurant in Sarasota.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- My favoritelovecoffeeDined on 3/30/2014The is my favorite restaurant for upscale dining, which we all need once in a while in casual Florida.Special Features:
- The Bijou is Sarasota's bestsieataVIPDined on 3/28/2014The Bijou is Sarasota's best restaurant in our opinion. We have never had a bad meal there and never been disappointed. We go for special occasions and for a special night out when we want to treat ourselves. My husband's favorite dinner is their duck while if not tempted by the specials, my favorite is the lamb. Both dishes are out of this world.Special Features:
- Did Not DisappointAndorraGirlDined on 3/27/2014A friend of ours recommended this restaurant as the perfect place for dinner before the theater. The Bijou Cafe did not disappoint. Delicious food and excellent presentation. Our waiter, Jim, was the most personable waiter that we have encountered in Sarasota, Longboat Key and Anna Marie Island. I have a bad back, he noticed and offered a pillow for my comfort. Outstanding service in my book! Also, it was great that you participate with Open Table. I found it archaic that so many of the restaurants on LBK insisted on telephone reservations. A++ all the way !!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The food was nicely presentedOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 3/24/2014The food was nicely presented and the atmosphere was upscale.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not a home runOpenTable Diner Since 2010VIPDined on 3/22/2014A large portion goat cheese appetizer was creamy and mild, but nearly smothered in a tomato marmalade sauce. Mushroom soup was overly salty but filled with fresh mushrooms. Romaine lettuce was not crisp in the Caesar Salad, but was well dressed. Scallops were slightly overdone but fresh with nice caramelization; an accompanying lobster succotash was not especially flavorful - but it may have reasonable attempt not to overpower the scallops. Chicken paillard was overly peppery and overtaken by a vegetable medley base. Our waitress was charming and well intentioned but service was uneven. Basic refreshing of cutlery to match dishes was omitted. This is a restaurant with potential, but the kitchen and staff need work.Special Features:
- A special restaurantMadamsaVIPDined on 3/22/2014Although the entrees are on the high side, the size of portions make it a good value. We enjoyed our first time there and will go back, especially when we have theatre tickets.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Welcome to Sarasota First Dinner !ohiosunDined on 3/22/2014We have been visiting Sarasota for 4 years and discovering The Bijoux Cafe was such a find. It is refined but fun. The food is wonderful and innovative. The wait staff is always thoughtful and efficient. This year our welcome to Sarasota dinner was just the best !!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Kind of disappointedMEG1Dined on 3/22/2014Overpriced precooked food, should we say more?
- Excellent ExperienceOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 3/20/2014The room at Bijou Cafe is sophisticated but very comfortable, the service was very good, and most importantly the preparation of the dishes was simple and fresh, an excellent blends of flavors. We enjoyed our dinners very much and will definitely return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What's happened to this place?donnaDined on 3/19/2014We're snowbirds and have been coming here 4- 5 times each winter for at least 10 yrs, but the last 2 times (Jan & Mar 2014) have been our last visits here...forever. After our Jan visit, I had to wheedle my husband into giving them 1 more chance, but after our March visit, we are both done with them. The portions have been getting smaller and smaller, and their prices bigger and bigger. I weigh 100 pounds and came away from dinner hungry. For 1 very bland chicken breast with a small Caesar salad and 1 very good duck dinner (a la carte & what I often order but this time teeny tiny)...NO drinks, NO appetizers, NO coffee, NO dessert...our bill incl. taxes/tip was $75. We're used to high Chgo prices, but this was ridiculous. Done & done.
- Top notch food well prepared,mupahDined on 3/18/2014Top notch food well prepared, well presented well served. What more can you askSpecial Features:
- Excellent foodDaveDined on 3/18/2014Many thanks to the chef. It's also a great location for dinner prior to attending the Sarasota opera.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Bijou is like a blue chip stock.AvidDinerVIPDined on 3/18/2014Bijou is like a blue chip stock. It has a reassuingly long history with a stable, affluent following. There is little about the food to get too excited about, but then it seldom disappoints. The menu reminds you a top-notch country club --comfort food for the Lexus crowd -- and the service can be correspondingly chummy. A conservative, moderately good return for the money.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Café Bijou is proud to tellDavid11Dined on 3/16/2014Café Bijou is proud to tell you that they have been in business for 28 years. They do a good job considering their longevity. The soups are very good including the daily specials. Lamb shank was very tender and tasty. They are a little on the expensive side but a very pleasant dining experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The Bijou was absolutely perfectOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/15/2014The Bijou was absolutely perfect for dinner before the opera. It is right across the street, the service was excellent and the food delicious! I look forward to many return visits.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great as usualSarasotaSueVIPDined on 3/15/2014We come here often before the opera. It never disappoints. Great service. Interesting and well- prepared food. And very convenient.Special Features:
- the test of timeOpenTable Diner Since 2000VIPDined on 3/13/2014Bijou has stood the test of time while other restaurants have come and gone; we have been going to Bijou for 16 years, and it is always a wonderful eveningSpecial Features:
- Enjoyable dining experiencelovelyladyDined on 3/13/2014We found the food to be delicious and very well prepared. The service was good and we found the server to also be friendly and efficient.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- EXCELLENTFrankDined on 3/11/2014This is a dinner we will not forget. Although we spent the night in Sarasota, the Bijou would be worth the two hour drive it took us to get to Sarasota in the first place. The food was absolutely subperb and service was terrific. We were not rushed in any way and yet the waiter was always there when we needed something and checked back on us several times.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- RELIABLE SPOTRobertaDined on 3/11/2014The Bijou is a place you can take guests and know it was the right decision. Most of the time, the servers are very pleasant.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- UnusualOpenTable Diner Since 2010VIPDined on 3/10/2014Usually a wonderful experience. Tonite it was less than enjoyable. Was it because the boss left early? Things got better after much anguish. I guess they have to be busy to do a good job. This was an Monday evening with no oper goers to cater to.Special Features:
- Nice neighborhood restaurantEvie1Dined on 3/9/2014Very romantic surroundings. Food was just ok. The service was just okay. Not as good as last time.Special Features:
- My first occasion at the BijouOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/7/2014Although this was my first time at the Bijou, my wife and our two guests had frequented before. Our waiter was very professional, having brought my own 36 year old vintage wine to be corked, he gratiously offered to decant it which proved a success. The service, food and ambience throughout the evening was first class. Be it guaranteed I will be making another reservation in the very near future, and will certainly be recommending the Bijou to friends.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food even better servicecatzcrumDined on 3/7/2014The service at this restaurant has been impeccable on both occasions that we dined there. The soups are wonderful and the desserts are different and delicious. My roast duck was done to perfection and my husband's dinner with some South African dishes was terrific. In addition, the location is great if you are doing another event in town. The restaurant is right across from the Opera House and very close to the Van Wezel auditorium.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great food in a traditional spaceMontaukVIPDined on 3/7/2014The Bijou Cafe has been a longstanding traditional restaurant in Sarasota, Florida but manages to maintain a consistent high level of quality. The food is creative and well prepared. The wine list is extensive with something for all tastes. It is always a pleasure to eat at this pillar of the Sarasota restaurant community.Special Features: