Walter Hansel Wine Bistro
Walter Hansel Wine Bistro

Walter Hansel Wine Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.walterhanselbistro.com/
  • Phone: (707) 546-6462
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: French
  • Executive Chef: Phillipe Collasse
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Special Events: Thank you for choosing Walter Hansel Wine Bistro . Should your plans change, please let us know. We look forward to serving you. 6PM Winemaker Special Dinner Event $79 Prix Fixe 5 Course Dinner Menu Please Visit Our Site for Course Descriptions *Limited Seating Availability*

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Willowside
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Walter Hansel Wine Bistro
French Wine Bistro in Santa Rosa.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFrench
Walter Hansel Wine Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
89 reviews since July 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (67)neighborhood gem (52)notable wine list (42)special occasion (37)romantic (24)good for groups (10)scenic view (4)hot spot (3)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (2)late-night find (2)Show More
  • Perfect for a wine country weekend
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    A weekend wine tasting always calls for a delicious dinner. Walter Hansel Bistro was definitely that. My French boyfriend said it was one of the best boeuf bourguignons he has ever had. The lobster bisque was incredible, as was everything really. The staff is super attentive and friendly, and even though it's a pretty high end place there was a refreshing lack of pretention. The ambiance is warm with plenty of French provençal touches. And the amuse bouche and extra little touches here and there are the icing on the cake. It was easy to get a table here now, but I am betting it doesn't stay that way for long!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous find!
    AnnaVIP
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    We traveled to Sonoma from Atlanta for a long weekend and were careful to pack in only the highest quality dining and wine tastings. We love Walter Hansel wines and heard that this bistro was good. This is in a quaint small setting which along with the attentive and knowledgable waitstaff resulted in the perfect Friday night dinner birthday celebration. The menu was filled with interesting items and everything we ordered was fabulous! The French country fare was authentic and delicious. If we lived nearby we would definitely make this a regular place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always great.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    We're never disappointed when we dine here. The food is wonderful, it's cozy and quaint and the service is exceptional. I'd venture to say that this is the best restaurant in Santa Rosa. Love it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightful experience and wonderful evening.
    DianeVIP
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    This was our first time eating here after new ownership. This turly is like a French bistro. The decoartions, lighting, table placement, the service, the wait staff were all excellent. Each person greeted us warmly, fully explained the menu, were generous about requested changes and specifics. The flavors were delicately blended for each dish and the food presentation was beautiful. The wine special was delicious. As the room was filled, the noise level became a little intense. The whole restaurant is small in scale.The pricing was moderate to expensive, but appropriate. They only serve dinner, and have no facility for outdoor dining.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bistro in the vineyards
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    We celebrated a belated wedding anniversary here and it was our first time at Hansels. Although the wood paneling and packed dining area can make the noise level a bit much, overall its the great preperation and delightful service that will have us come back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful food, but quite pricey.
    Susan
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    A group of six of us, celebrating a birthday, went for dinner. Pleasantly surprised to find a new place relatively close to home. I'd definitely return but probably only for very special occasions. A little pricey for my budget ahd others with me. But still want to emphasize how wonderful the food was, especially the rack of lamb. The dinner plate could have had a larger vegetable portion. The attention by staff was superb even though the restaurant was crowded. A nice touch that the owner came by and introduced himself. G
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Food at a Wine Bistro
    rdegoliaVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Walter Hansel Bistro's food was really surprising. It was terrific. I expected good wine at reasonable prices and an opportunity to taste through the Walter Hansel offerings. I was surprised to find an excellent and varied wine list, but I was really surprised to find terrific food. We were even welcomed, after we were into our meal, by Stephen Hansel, the owner of the Bistro and Winery. An overall delightful experience. We will return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Exquisite Food
    Vivbaby
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Food was delicious, service was spectacular, ambiance was warm and inviting. We had the special of beef burgundy and the hanger steak. Both were fantastic, as were the simple but delicious bib salad and the squash soup. We ended the meal with outstanding creme brulee. And, they top the meal off with a complimentary dessert wine. Lovely! We will be going again to try the duck breast.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • For the price you can do better.
    mnksr
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Very quaint older restaurant, tables are close together and noise level is quite high. Wait staff is very attentive. Special steak dinner was not so special, seafood dishes were served luke warm. Food is mediocre, hard to talk with others in your party. Wine is very good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Walter Hansel Makes the Grade
    marshaj
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    We first visited this restaurant right after it opened. It was suffering from the usual issues of a new place. It certainly has improved. Menu was large and varied, food was delicious and hot when served. Enjoyed the lobster bisque especially. Meal in itself. Nice touches with a treat from the chef to start and choice of after dinner night caps. Both gratis. My husband loved the beef stew and our companions had the muscles and fresh fish on the 3,course prix fixed menu. Worth the drive in Sonoma County.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • All was very good except...
    Michele
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    My husband was the only one who ordered coffee. He always has a double espresso, but he said this time it was awful. Our dessert, floating island, was excellent, and the boeuf bourguignon delicious. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • ScottE-SallyE
    ScottESallyE
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    This small bistro in the countryside west of Santa Rosa, a remodeled longtime roadhouse near Somoma County's vineyards, has been open a year. Responding to glowing reviews, we had dinner there last weekend. It was busy and for good reason. The atmosphere is charming and understated, the menu French but accessible, the wine wine extensive, the service friendly and knowledgable, the food spectacular. We had lobster bisque, beef bourguignon and a marvelous dessert accompanied by Hansel's own reasonably priced pinot noir. We'll be back often and soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • a special occasion indeed
    JohnHVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    went there for my birthday and had an awesome time. everyone in my party was treated like royalty and the food was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Surprise Surprise
    Zoeldar
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    We visited the Bistro on our anniversary, and were thoroughly pleased with all of the food and drink. Talented chef here...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food loud, crowded room
    Redplease
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    The food here is great, Duck, scallops, unique Gaspachio all cooked with artistry and style. The prices are a little high for what you get but the service with the amuse bouch and complementary after dinner drink makes up for that.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NASCAR moments
    EEEEVIP
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    The food and service were fine but the state highway that runs directly adjacent to the bistro was about 20 feet from our table. With the window open we were treated to traffic whooshing by at 55+ mph..... unless the traffic light changed. Throughout dinner I was concerned about motorists more focused on texting than driving while speeding by!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Like a charming European bistro.
    FoodForThought
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Attentive service, comfortable setting, small but excellent food & wine selection, very good value. Had an early seating & was greeted by the owner himself. Really made to feel welcome & appreciated by the staff. A neighborhood high school student provided the evening's entertainment with a couple of short opera numbers - unexpectedly delightful. Lighting's not great; would have liked a small candle on the table (my only criticism). Will be back!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not worth the trip
    NGM1022
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    While the ambiance and service were good at Walter Hansel Bistro, we were less than thrilled with the food. We ordered a special appetizer of chanterelle mushrooms and fingerling potatoes. Sounded interesting but when the warm appetizer arrived, all we could taste was butter. There was no hint of mushroom flavor anywhere in this dish. Perhaps that was intended... We then ordered a seafood platter and chicken breast for entrees. The seafood plate was good; steamed shellfish sitting on a bed of ice. But the chicken entree, described as "mousseline stuffed chicken breast" had no flavor. The predominant taste of the entire plate, green beans and mashed potatoes included, was BUTTER!! Will not be returning.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Bravo Walter Hansel! What a great addition to Sonoma County. The food was superb, well-priced and the little extra touches made it especially nice. The duck confit salad was fantastic. So were the frites. Only regret....wish they were open for lunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food - fantastic; forgot us early
    Gary
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Once we got past a little mix up with our table the rest of the evening was great. Really think they have improved the vibe over the old ZaZu which occupied the location previously. The food was delicious. the wines were reasonably priced, especially the pinots from Hansel. the waitress brought us a tasting of each so we could make a decision since we had not previously tried Hansel wines.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Memorable Anniversay Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    excellent food, wine and service. We will be back often
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A nice transition
    JohnHVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    housed in the former Zazu building, this little bistro does an excellent job of wine-country dining. Althought the vegetarian menu selections are scant, the kitchen has always been very accommodating in preparing seasonal, local vegetarian dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fabulous food
    myvue
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Once again we brought guests here and as usual it went beyond their expectations. The food was delicious, the presentation gorgeous, great service. It is good for special occasions and any time you want a great meal and to feel pampered. We're fortunate to live nearby, so we can enjoy it often.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Find!
    BonnieVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    What a surprise to find this very authentic French restaurant in rural Sonoma County. Wonderful food, excellent wines, and lovely service. Can't wait to return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Knows good food
    1935SFred
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Not our first time here, we would not be repeaters unless the restaurant is GREAT!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    enjoyed the entire experience. will definitely return
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dining at Walter Hansel's Bistro
    sebastopolfoodie
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    The four of us enjoyed our dinner at Walter Hansel's Bistro. The WH Pinot Noir is very good and the appearance of the meals was delightful. We especially enjoyed the desserts and the perfect finish, a glass of sauterne or port, rounded off the meal very well indeed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Will come again
    Leon
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    The food was a bigger hit the first time we were there….so will definitely try again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place for our anniversary
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    We went on Sept 4, 2014 to celebrate our 16th anniversary. Overall we had a lovely time. Friendly service and pretty good food. For starters our party of 4 had the Salmon Rillette, Gazpacho, Oyster Cebiche, and Warm Oyster Shigouku. All were tasty and interesting. The Oyster dishes each came with 5 Oysters. The Warm Oyster dish edged out the Cebiche as our favorite of the two. In the Cebiche the citrus overwhelmed the taste of the Oyster but was overall still a successful dish. The Gazpacho preparation was quite remarkable and different. This was the favorite starter among the 4 of us. It came with two scallops on the side and they were cooked to perfection. The Salmon Rillette was extremely flavorful as well, but a bit too salty. The serving size was also quite large. For entrees 3 of our party ordered the Halibut and I ordered the Duck Breast. The duck was cooked sou vide and then finished (I believe under a salamander). The duck was flavorful but I was disappointed that the skin didn't crisp up as the waitress said it would. The Tromboncino squash puree, compressed Frog Hollow Farm peach, fingerling potatoes, hibiscus gastrique, Chanterelle mushrooms that came with the duck were outstanding. The Halibut dish was unexpectedly very rich, with the Gratin Savoyard, Bloomsdale spinach, crispy onion ring, and "beurre blanc". One of the Halibut was slightly overcooked but not enough to send back. All three diners reported that the Halibut was also a successful dish. For dessert, we had the Valrhona Chocolate Mousse. It was a nice rich dark chocolate and paired nicely with the complementary dessert wine. We will be back in the future to try some of their other dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Restaurant
    Myntjulius
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    The Hansel Bistro has a nice atmosphere that remains unchanged from previous incarnations. The chef creates delightful flavors, but presentations could be improved upon to make the dining experience more pleasurable. The complimentary "amuses" are a nice touch, and prices are moderate for an upscale experience. Would not hesitate to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • neetz
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We had a wonderful dinner. Great service. The mussels were done perfectly. The wine that was suggested paired nicely. We enjoyed our dinner and will be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • knows good food
    1935SFred
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Second time here, WONDERFUL in every respect!!!! I had the special, the butter lettuce was as refreshing as I make it at home, my salmon was cooked to perfection and the strawberry dessert was A-1. My husband and our guest started with Oysters on half shelf, soooo good that my husband ordered a 2nd plate & shared it. I am not sure what they ordered for the mains, but whatever it was they had smiles.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • AAAAVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Lovely restaurant! Wonderful people. It was a bit warm even with the ceiling fans going. Otherwise, a delightful evening!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fine Dining
    DandG
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We had Dinner here at WHWB on Friday night and enjoyed two of the Special Dinners (Salmon and Rack of Lamb). Both were very tasty and well prepared. They use the SousVide cooking method which we have cooked with ourselves and found it to be very good method. The finishing of the dish after the SousVide cooking was very nicely done in both cases and nicely presented on the plates. Salad and Dessert were excellent. Had a bottle of the WH Pinot which was very nice also.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrific
    Levi
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Great food, wine made by Hansel and staff we will return again and again
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect night out except for...
    santarosadiner2
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    The noise from Guerneville Road. There's just no way around it. The food was superb, the servers were knowledgeable and friendly, the wine was delicious. We had a lovely, slow paced meal and since we are locals, we will be back!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    It was a great experience! Very friendly and lively! The food was delicious and the menu was interesting. It was great to taste a few of their wines....very good. We will definitely go there again!! Just a bit noisy
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent all around!
    Intrepid828VIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    The staff bent over backwards to accommodate our change in reservation despite a full dining room. While we waited at the bar, owner Steve Hansel poured our group some wine (on the house) and made us feel very welcome. I highly recommend the halibut and lamb...generous portions with lots of flavor. Large by the glass selection of Walter Hansel wines. I will definitely be back to this neighborhood gem! Thanks Team Walter Hansel!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really Enjoyed
    mosseeVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    For a birthday dinner we arrived a little early. We had a reservation but clearly Saturday night was a busy time with, I guess, a good deal of walk-ins. Despite being early we were directed to the bar and offered a complimentary drink as we waited for our table. That is a first for me and set off an evening of good service. the food was delicious, fresh local ingredients and a superb wine list all at reasonable prices. A return is definitely on the cards.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • knows good food
    1935SFred
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Our dining experience overall was perfection, one felt transported to a real French Bistro. The small cucumber infused starter was superb, my melon starter was excellent, next I had a bibb lettuce salad with goat cheese that I could have ordered twice over, then came disappointment dishes, the chicken was somewhat dry and the apple tart, the apple topping was lovely with whip cream with a mint leaf. The tart shell was tough and had to be cut with a sharp knife, so much so that we simply ate the delicious apples and gave up on the pastry. My husband had oysters which he said were the best he has ever had followed by the mussel dish - he was a VERY HAPPY man until the apple tart which I have already covered. Would we go back? YES!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate