Bijou Cafe

4.7
811 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Continental
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!
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Continental, Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(941) 366-8111
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Jean-Pierre Knaggs
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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.
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Private party contact
Karen Thomson: (941) 366-8111
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Pineapple Ave
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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
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Public transit
We are 2 blocks west of the main bus terminal.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 811 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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AB
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely evening, warm ambiance, delicious food. Bar's an upscale local's retreat, but good for visitors too.

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W
New York Area
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent lunch menu and good wine selections at, for Sarasota, moderate prices. Wonderful scallops with inventive mix of vegetables and stunning deglaze.

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J
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Pasta was good, but a bit too salty, the coq au vin was delicious. Service a bit slow and perfunctory. Overall, liked it and will return.

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B
Tampa
19 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been a patron of the Bijou Cafe for over 25 years. it is my favorite restaurant in Sarasota. Our dinner on Wednesday evening was superb.

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DR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Met friends for lunch recently. Everything was first rate, from the white tablecloths to the delicious French food choices. Will be back soon to check out the dinner experience.

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TL
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was very good. Service was generally good except drink delivery was poor. The glass of wine I ordered before my main course arrived after I was finished.

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SR
Tampa
52 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our friends come to town once a year to visit and enjoy dinner together. The Bijou Cafe is our go to place. The food is outstanding, the service is excellent and it is easy to enjoy a conversation while having a wonderful meal. The staff goes out of their way to make your evening perfect. A must restaurant in Sarasota!

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 2

Service and food were disappointing
Way downhill over the years

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JT
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We had a very nice dinner in a very pleasant environment

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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We will be back!

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FD
Naples
60 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I generally like the Bijou and rate it highly. However, my recent visit was only OK. The service was indifferent and the food was fine but unexceptional. Since, the Bijou is not inexpensive my rating reflects all this. Some of the problem might have been that the restaurant was exceptionally busy and the staff had difficulty managing it all.

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TW
Tampa
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The kitchen was a bit off from a timing standpoint. Three out of four entrees came out, had to wait five minutes for the fourth. The waitress was very apologetic. The food was excellent.

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SC
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious, but it was the amazing service that gets 5 stars! We were a bit tight on time, heading to the opera, our server performed miracles and got us there with time to spare!

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OT
Tampa
4 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always excellent

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MF
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Applied for a reservation for our Anniversary. Without asking, I expected the Main Dining Room. I did move up the reservation 30 minutes. We were shown to our beautiful table in the Bar room. PU. Never again. Great food , great service. Too noisy for an Anniversary dinner. Guess I'm old fashioned. But I'll be back! (who said that?) If they have Duck when you get there, do that! It's super.

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BG
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely venue with consistently great interesting menu options, professional service, nice one options in a great downtown location!

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MC
Tampa
6 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Bijou has become one of our favorites in the last 3 years. We always experience something different and meet great people and enjoy the excellent service we receive from every department of the eatery.
Please recognize our server, LOGAN, for her service to us. She was delightful and a true gem!!!

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C
Las Vegas
11 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Going to the opera next door . Our waiter was excellent- Melissa. I have food allergies and she exactly what I could have. Fantastic wine list too. I want to say I enjoyed our dinner more than the opera.

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t
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Went to dinner with a friend to catch up and had good cocktails and delicious crabcakes. And potatoes. We split the potatoes which was a good thing because either would have eaten them all. The service is always excellent here and the room we were in, although a good number of diners were there, was conducive to being able to carry on a conversation. Lovely evening.

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EK
New York Area
69 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bijou did not disappoint! We had tickets for the opera at 7:30, and we were not rushed at all. Service was excellent, and the food was very delicious. The opera is just a few steps away making Bijou a very desirable place to dine pre-opera.

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GS
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

I don’t understand the good reviews. The shrimp and crab bisque was too salty, the duck was overcooked and stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey, and the pasta was a gloppy mess. Moreover, in making the
reservation I indicated that the occasion was a birthday but there was no recognition at all by the restaurant. The experience was, in a word, TERRIBLE.

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D
Dallas
47 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have eaten here a few times and always had a good experience. This time I ordered a steak as I have done in the past. Instead of ordering a filet, my husband had me order the New York Strip. I ordered it medium and it came out rare. I told the waiter that it was too rare for me and that I had ordered it medium. He apologized and took my plate back to the kitchen to cook it more. It was returned and still more rare than I like. He explained that at this restaurant medium is more of a medium rare. I thanked him, told him that I would eat the steak and next time I would order it medium well. Our waiter did everything he could to make things right for me and he did. We were very much pleased with the meal and will return.

I will offer this tidbit of information, when dining here for New Year's Eve, they offer a special menu for New Year's Eve AND also offer their regular menu.

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p
St. Louis
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

My wife and I went there for the first time on a Friday, not knowing that the pre-opera crowd made for a hectic 6 pm dining time. Food is excellent, prices reasonable, and the service was good until our main course arrived. After that we did not see her again until we summoned a bus person to find her. Other than that, I highly recommend Bijou Cafe for a excellent dining experience.

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NL
Tampa
17 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely! Food delicious, service outstanding.

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t
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always want to Sarasota's favorite for happy hour menu is outstanding which is my favorite time to go also for a special occasion is perfect.

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AD
Tampa
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love it! Quiet, good food, especially soups. Service excellent. A special treat for the gluten free. It is not a choice with me. I'm sorry. I do not want to write fifty words.

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F
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

first timers. The chandelier for our anniversary was a great last touch. Our server was on top of everything and made it a great night. Thanks for everything.

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FF
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect pairing of food, service, and ambiance’s! Excellent across the board.

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B
Naples
3 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a pleasure at the Bijou. We just missed the Savor Sarasota which was a shame for us!

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O
Tampa
6 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We just enjoyed a delicious meal at the Bijou Cafe. I would definitely recommend what we tried: Happy Hour lamb meatballs, Trio soup and Escargot for appetizers, and dinner entrees of crab cakes (photo) and lamb chops. Servers are welcoming and attentive.

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JW
Tampa
36 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

For some reason we had never tried the Bijou Cafe despite living in Sarasota for 11 years. Took advantage of Eat Like A Local promotion. I started with L'escargots Bourguignonne and my wife with the Chilled Champagne Raspberry Soup. Both were excellent--possibly the best escargots I've ever had. For entrees, we had Rack of Lamb and Sole en Papilotte. The lamb was cooked exactly to my medium-rare order and was served with a very complementary rosemary port demi-glace and a delicious mushroom risotto. The risotto was well-seasoned such that it enhanced and did not overpower the mushroom flavor. The sole--our server insisted it was flounder, but no matter--was very good, with julienned vegetables steamed with the fish. For dessert there was only a single choice offered, a Sea Salt Caramel Pear Tarte Tatin with Cream Chantilly. It made for a nice finish to a great meal. Service was excellent throughout and it was a great value at $39 each, plus drinks. The place is bigger than it looks from the outside, and there were a couple of special occasions going on (anniversary and birthday). One person at the adjacent table was a bit loud, but otherwise the ambience and noise level was fine.

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RC
Tampa
25 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed celebrating our anniversary with friends and the special menu. Food was outstanding and the service was attentive. We will certainly visit again.

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w
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great special menu and excellent service. Great atmosphere.

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M
Tampa
43 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good lunch experience. Bijou Cafe is consistent and always a pleasure. Highly recommend.

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BE
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely and untrusted meal. Very good food! Anxious to try bar menu.

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j
Naples
19 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Bijou is the best restaurant in downtown Sarasota--great food, friendly staff, convenient location, nice decor. What more could one want?

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H
New York Area
40 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 5

Have not attended Cafe Bijou for a long time. Your arrangements for La Chaîne de Rôtisseur was always a special event. When in Sarasota I will visit more often.
Dr. Helga Wall-Apelt, ret. MD

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RC
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We often come for happy hour and bar bites before going to a play or the opera, etc. The staff is excellent, the service is great, and the food is superb. On special occasions we make reservations in the dining room for dinner. The same accolades we give to the bar applies to the dinning room. Its one thing to go out to an expensive restaurant and not feel you were getting your money's worth. That isn't the case with the Bijou Café. Yes, its expensive, but well worth the cost.

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L
New York Area
116 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The front bar is our favorite spot for lunch. There are only 4 tables in there so be sure to request it, otherwise the dining room feels very stodgy and hotel-like. Other than that, the food is always great, service is terrific and I look forward to returning.

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T
Tampa
30 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

This restaurant has always been good but thought the portion size has decreased.
The restaurant is absolutely spotless but needs upgrading.

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