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
74 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating3.7
  • Food3.9
    Service3.6
  • Ambiance3.4
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (43)fit for foodies (31)great for lunch (18)notable wine list (16)special occasion (12)great for outdoor dining (9)romantic (5)good for groups (4)great for brunch (4)hot spot (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Hanger Steak Delivers
    BClarkeVa
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    Wife and I have been several times for lunch and dinner and I've ordered the hanger steak and fries each time and it consistently delivers. My wife has had daily specials and they have usually been quite good as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We were in the mood for some
    Peach
    Dined on 10/18/2013
    We were in the mood for some French food and we were pleasantly surprised by Bistro Vivant. Nice selection, good flavours, modern cuisine. Very pleased. Creates the atmosphere of a small bistro.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A fine addition to McLean
    LocalVIP
    Dined on 10/13/2013
    Dinner was very good. Service was great. We will definitely return. All ingredients were fresh. Dishes were original, and very attractively presented.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved Sunday Brunch
    TexasDinerVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2013
    After church, my husband and I were looking for a nice, quiet place to have brunch with good food. Bistro Vivant is just wonderful. The service is outstanding, absolutely outstanding. So nice and so helpful. The food was outstanding. We both had omelets, different ones. Delicious. Great, HOT coffee. Love my coffee hot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I'm a very finicky eater (pescatari
    RegularVIP
    Dined on 10/3/2013
    I'm a very finicky eater (pescatarian), like a good wine list, atmosphere is important, and customer service is the icing on the cake... If any of these relate to you, this is your place! Its French.. but offer daily specials, nice variety on menu, and kitchen is always accommodating. Bistro Vivant is my neighborhood place seeing popular figures there often. I frequent at least once a week. Love the owner and staff - genuinely friendly! You can enjoy outdoor dining, sitting at the vibrant bar, or dining with others in restaurant making you feel like you're sitting in a bistro in Paris.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, notable wine list, kid-friendly, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We will definately return
    MikeandLoVIP
    Dined on 10/2/2013
    This was our first visit and we stopped by for lunch. The hanger steak was perfectly prepared and tasty. We can't wait to come back for dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The greeting was warm and
    mommaVIP
    Dined on 9/21/2013
    The greeting was warm and friendly, and our server was so helpful, enthusiastic, and professional. The cooking techniques were good, but I must have a problem with their recipes. While prepared properly, much of the food just didn't taste good. Sorry
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great restaurant but...
    BigPopVIP
    Dined on 9/1/2013
    Granted, the HVAC system was on the fritz on Sunday, but they didn't tell us until I asked. It was HOT. In the winter it's way too cold as the doors on each end allow for all heat to leave everytime they open and they don't turn the heat up to compensate. I guess we'll have to confine our visits to Spring and Fall, which is a pity as the food here is excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous soups and salads
    GardenersVIP
    Dined on 8/20/2013
    We had a luscious tomato salad, a frothy creamy beet soup, a cold tomato soup, and duck fat fries- all excellent! My lamb Provençal was good over a creamy risotto .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cost
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/10/2013
    More expensive than expected from the star rating; would have chosen a different restaurant if had realized how expensive this restaurant would be.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Menu somewhat limited though
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2013
    Menu somewhat limited though not bad. Food good although portions disappointingly small. E.g. the "1 1/2 lb lobster special was little bigger than a large shrimp. Wine list adequate, not distinguished, Real problem was the perfunctory service. We had to wait while servers could be seen and heard socializing at the bar, descriptions of dishes not totally accurate. Servers pleasant enough and service improved as we became more insistent. It seemed that there was no one "running the show". And the restaurant was not particularly crowded. We will go back because of location and good food, but they need to pay more attention to the guests in the dining room.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We recently made our fourth
    DuckSoup11VIP
    Dined on 7/30/2013
    We recently made our fourth or fifth visit to Bistro Vivant - the food is always excellent and interesting. On this occasion we went especially to try the Tuesday special - rabbit. Rabbit stew was tasty and tender; the first-course offering of a rabbit liver pate and rabbit sausage also delicious. As a first course, we usually can't resist the grilled octopus. Service is very accommodating. The wine list is varied both by type and price; overall we'd prefer to see somewhat lower prices, but the restaurant does offer half-price deals on the slower days earlier in the week. Typically at BV we see more interesting-sounding dishes than we can sample in one visit. This time was no exception so we will be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently terrific!
    TallTalesVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2013
    We live in the McLean area, and dine here once or twice a month. The menu is constantly changed and the offerings have a fresh flair with a French twist. Bistro Vivant is sitting in a little strip mall off Old Chain Bridge Road and looks deceptively "diner-ish" from the street. The increasingly busy dining room suggests people are catching on. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great lunch
    Culinarian
    Dined on 7/20/2013
    We had a great lunch at Bistro Vivant and will certainly return for dinner soon. I hear the bar is a lot of fun. It was quiet in the restaurant for lunch Saturday, but it is summer after all. Food was great! Nice to have another quality restaurant in McLean.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic French bistro
    NoVaFoodieVIP
    Dined on 7/17/2013
    Loved the authentic menu, extensive wine list, friendly and helpful service. Could have sworn I was in Paris not McLean Virginia. The only difference--in a good way--between bistro vivant and a champs élysées lunch spot is that American chairs are WAY more comfy!! Highly recommend the cochon de lait (suckling pig) and the apricot tart. Will definitely be going back here.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great McLean resto
    dcdinerVIP
    Dined on 7/14/2013
    The food here is surprisingly excellent (lamb shank with polenta was one of the best dishes in recent memory). The service, though, is consistently mediocre--slow and disorganized. Similar problems befell this restaurant's predecessor, McLean 1910, which closed quickly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The staff is very pleasant,
    donmak
    Dined on 7/13/2013
    The staff is very pleasant, the service is responsive and helpful and the food is very good. All in all, a very enjoyable experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Something changed at Bistro Vivant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/13/2013
    We have dined at Bistro Vivant at least six times in the past and always enjoyed the experience. Our visit on Saturday left all four of us disappointed in the food ( 2 Bouillabaisse, Sole, and steak au poive) which were overcooked and portioned incorrectly. Our waiter was energetic and tried to accommodate our requests but the kitchen did not help him. Bread used to be a highlight, but that was dried out. The chocolate mousse dessert was described to be in a phyllo wrap, there was a hard scone type cookie laid on top of the mousse. When we provided negative feedback on the food there were no apologies. I have recommended Bistro Vivant to many. I will not be doing so from here on out.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great - but needs to up its service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/10/2013
    Really, really a big fan of bistro vivant. Great food and wine list. A little on the pricey side. The one draw back is the service feels immature and unseasoned relative to the overall restaurant value and niche. Service is too slow and poorly timed. Service was amateurish relative to everything else in restaurant (fork and knives got reversed, felt like had to track down the waiter, ask for bread, didn't have knives for butter, etc.).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful Food
    CarolVIP
    Dined on 7/7/2013
    Bistro Vivant is a great new addition to the McLean neighborhood. The food is exciting, tastes great and is presented beautifully. Service is attentive and helpful. Don't miss the grilled octopus - it is a standout! I've been twice in recent weeks and am planning to return as often as possible.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good bistro menu: hanger steak
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 7/6/2013
    good bistro menu: hanger steak cooked to specifications, excellent frites, one of us had the roulade of lamb which was a big hit. Appetizers/salads a little pricey but good. It's on the end of a strip shopping center in downtown McLean so ambience is lacking (the view is of a parking lot). Service friendly and attentive.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This was our fourth or fifth
    DuckSoup11VIP
    Dined on 7/1/2013
    This was our fourth or fifth visit to Bistro Vivant for either lunch or dinner. Its location in a strip mall belies what's inside - an ambitious and masterful kitchen and chef, turning out really excellent bistro fare. On this occasion we had a first-rate hanger steak, a tender and delicious lamb shank, and the grilled octopus first course, all of which were perfect. There is a long and varied wine list to match. Service, helpful and professional.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food but pricey
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/1/2013
    We greatly enjoyed the food at Cafe Vivant. But I thought $100 was pretty pricey for lunch. Of course, we did have 3 courses (and not from the "special" menu). Salad with goat cheese, pea soup, grilled octopus on chickpea puree, shaved roast beef "hamburger," glass of wine, a beer, and dessert (strawberry-rhubarb tart and caffe affogato) were all delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not what we expected
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/28/2013
    The food was heavily salted and it's unclear what "type" of restaurant Bistro Vivant is striving to be. We had the bouillabase and the scallops with escargot as entrees. Both were OK, but not something we would order again. It's unclear if we will return.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    CraigVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2013
    Compared to the many good and even great places to dine in DC Vivant hardly measures up. I was a little suspicious when there were lots of empty tables when I arrived. The service was lack luster. I ordered one of the specials, a steak au puave with fritte. I ordered it medium rare. It arrived medium well. I sent it back and the next one arrived rare. I kept it as I didn't want to spend the whole night there while the chef played guess whether this meat is right. If I lived up the street we might come back from time to time. I imagine if one knew what to order the place might not be bad. But given we come from out of town, looking for something nice, we probaby won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Outstanding lunch! I will be back!
    luvDCdiningVIP
    Dined on 6/5/2013
    I love the fact that this restaurant is close to home and I always get amazing food... every time. This was my first lunch experience at Bistro Vivant, and I was so happy afterwards, I can't wait to return. They offered a Prix Fix menu for lunch with 2 or 3 courses. I chose the three course meal (Roasted Beet salad, Duck Confit Salade, and Chocolate Mousse). The food was outstanding -- fresh, simple, with amazing flavor combinations -- and the portions were large, especially for lunch. We stayed for a while and were not rushed. The only down side is that it was a beautiful day and there is outside seating, but it's on the parking lot. So we ate inside; after we tasted the food, this seemed like no concession at all.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Saturday evening's meal for
    diningoutVIP
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    Saturday evening's meal for four of us showed a noticeable and surprising dip in quality. Bistro Vivant had been going strong, but the food was not nearly as good as the four or five previous times we have eaten there and something was clearly going wrong in the kitchen, because the service was extremely slow. Hopefully this was just one off night, but listening to the complaints of the diners around us, it was clear that many patrons were disappointed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Creative Bistro
    LizSVIP
    Dined on 5/28/2013
    Nicely done! Creative food. Good use of unusual vegetables including purple potatoes and tri- colored cauliflower. Interesting lavender creme brûlée. Prices are to be expected in McLean
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    LeftHungryVIP
    Dined on 5/27/2013
    Staff seem well meaning but lack focus. There are several basics to waiting tables. Bring the bread without having to be asked, check if people want their drinks refilled and get on the kitchen about all parties food coming out at same time. Every NOVA restaurant, including this one, fails these basic requirements and for no good reason. Seasoning is key and again pretty basic. This restaurant places no salt on the table. Fine, then salt in cooking. The food is bland to the point where you might as well have boiled everything. This is a strange outcome at any restaurant, but especially here where the frites are the star and salted upon the end of cooking. Too bad and unnecessary blunders that can be corrected. Try tasting your own food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicieux!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 5/24/2013
    Excellent mussels and frites! Try the squash blossom appetizer. In a strip mall, but a great find for lunch or dinner. Lovely service, too. Nice wine selection.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Innovative and delicious
    UMichFanVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2013
    This was my second dinner at Bistro Vivant. Both times I have had specials of the day, and found them to be truly special. On Mother's Day I had lamb shanks in pesto sauce, and on Escargot Day I had escargots and mussels in a garlic sauce with gnocci. I am not a food critic so can't describe how wonderful they were, but they were 5 star. The bread, desserts, and wine by the glass were also excellent. My companions were equally happy with their choices. The service is very friendly; they are still ironing out a few kinks. There were a couple of long waits - between the appetizer and main course and then between dessert and the bill - and they forgot to bring us all plates for bread. But it did not detract from the experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • simply fantastic
    secret
    Dined on 5/19/2013
    I enjoyed a lunch here on a Sunday with a friend and the food was remarkable, the menu is well designed and written, the service is attentive and well done, the grilled octopus apatizer is amazing! And the hanger steak with the duck fat fries is wonderful, a must visit!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, notable wine list, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/18/2013
    This is a lovely little restaurant in a strip mall. Not cheap but not terribly over priced. Have been dining there a number of times. Every meal was quite delicious.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/14/2013
    I hadn't been there before and didn't know what to expect. The food was good, the atmosphere pleasant, service attentive without being a distraction to enjoying lunch with a friend. I would go back again and would recommend it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent meal...when we got it!
    HomesickTexan
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    Dined on the evening of Mother's Day which likely caused some of the kitchen and server slow down. The food was excellent, the service was very nice. We will definitely go back for the food!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Diamond In The Rough
    Pete
    Dined on 5/10/2013
    Bistro Vivant is simply superb...the seafood dishes are fresh, creative, well prepared and taste excellent. The salads and salad extras are unique to the Norther Virginia restaurant scene...and complement perfectly any lunch or dinner entree. The daily specials rely on local and seasonal produce, and each is prepared with a flair not often found in restaurants today. The owner strolls through the dining area to ensure that all is well, and the wait staff is attentive, but never interrupts the table conversation. The menu is straightforward without the clutter of many menus that require a ring binder. The wines are mostly French and are from smaller vintners...a needed break from the "storied wine lists" many restauranteurs promote.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great birthday dinner!
    MCanEat
    Dined on 5/7/2013
    The menu includes something for everyone, and everything was delicious. My two dinner companions had the hanger steak and the trout, and I had the duck confit. Each of us agreed that our meal was properly prepared to our specifications. Unfortunately, my preferred escargo appetizer was not available, but my second choice of oysters was not disappointing; they were firm, juicy, and briney with a touch of caviar. Our friendly server was knowlegable and attentive without hovering. And the half price bottle of wine was worth the trip.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This is a good addition to
    james
    Dined on 5/4/2013
    This is a good addition to the restaurant options in McLean. The food was fine but not spectacular. But I would go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • An Exceptional Experience in McLean
    CraigVIP
    Dined on 4/30/2013
    The good people at Bistro Vivant have transformed a location that has seen restaurants come and go. Do NOT drive by thinking you can pass up this new entrant into the McLean dining scene. Bistro Vivant has find food, a wonderful selection of French wines and a total commitment to giving us an exceptional experience. Give them your email and enjoy their special evenings. The food and wine pairings share some of the best of French cuisine and wine. This is a new place to try and return to over and over again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, romantic, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Post- Concert Delight
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/28/2013
    Other than Evans Farm, which has been long gone for many years, I had not eaten at a restaurant in McLean until this past Sunday. Our group of three We were very pleased wwith Bistro Vivant. It was just perfect for a post-concert (as a choral singer, I was the only one in the restaurant wearing a tuxedo). Our waitor was very patient while the three of us had difficulty trying to choose from a wonderful menu. The food was superb. We will return soon (although I won't be wearing a tuxedo the next time.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet