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Bistro 211

3.8
71 reviews
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$30 and under
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European
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Lunch
  • Fit for Foodies

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About

A cozy and quiet diner, Bistro 211 was established in 2012 by Carmen Magnusson and provides a culinary experience based on a variety of options from its breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner menus. This French tavern-style restaurant infuses Californian flavors in its cuisines as well as décor. A comfortable, covered patio dining area is available which is dog-friendly. Guests can also enjoy craft and bottled beers as well as wines.

The brunch menu at Bistro 211 features an all-day long hot and cold breakfast menu includes a variety of omelets and eggs Benedict. Fruits bowls, oatmeal, pancakes and French toasts are featured in a variety of different flavors as well. The daily menu at Bistro 211 includes cheesy appetizers, salads, grilled and fried sea food and chicken, beef, turkey, ham or vegan burgers. The sandwiches served with sides of fries and different sauces are enough for two.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
European, Californian
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Hours of operation

Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 12:00pm
Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:00am - 4:00pm
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 8:00pm; Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm
Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 8:00am - 3:00pm
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Phone number
(831) 625-3030
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Private party facilities
We can accommodate up to 47 guests inside with an additional 24 on the patio.
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Private party contact
Carmen Magnusson: (831) 625-3030
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Rio Road
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Entertainment
Music on Friday nights from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Check our website for details.
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 71 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.8based on all time ratings
4.0
food
3.9
service
3.9
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Quiet
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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1.0Dined on June 17, 2016

Time for a new chef. The fish was undercooked (in a bad way, not a great fish, medium rare way). The bouillabaisse was weak. the Caesars salad was bad. the pasta sauce was bad. Just all over bad. Were there on the early side for dinner at 6:30 and were the only people there. Felt like a dying restaurant and was kinda sad to be there. Would not go back.

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1.0Dined on May 8, 2016

Chosen because of past brunch experiences, but Mother's Day was a bust. Tried to reserve by phone on previous day, but no answer, so we used OT. Personnel knew nothing about our reservation, but moved patrons already seated to accommodate our six. Provided ONE menu for table - with specialized items, not including our former favorites - at an increased, one-price-fits-all rate. We were ignored completely for 5-10 minutes while personnel was busy fussing for news media visitors, and finally left, walked to a nearby restaurant, and had a nice meal.

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2016

Charming little French restaurant in a shopping center just outside of Carmel. Everything we had was delicious. The five onion bisque was heavenly. Main courses including the Seabass Salad (Which was unusual and delicious)and the steak frites satisfied all. if we lived in the area this would be one of our regular go to places.

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4.0Dined on February 6, 2016

Wanting easy highway on/off access while passing through the area, but good food for lunch, this was a great stop just outside of Carmel. The carpaccio, salads, and hot sandwiches were very good. The inside has colorful and delightful humorous painted murals. The wait staff is very friendly and pleasant to talk to.

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3.0Dined on January 7, 2016

I find the food here consistently good and a terrific value, especially for dinner. I had the steak frites - done to perfection. The problem was our server. He was the only waiter in the (small) room and appeared so clumsy and inept that it overshadowed a lovely meal. Case in point: he kept reaching over one of us to place the plate. Watching him balance a cup of soup from one end of the table, stretching over to hand it over to the other side of the table was nerve-wracking and rude, especially when guests are mid-conversation. It never occurred to him to walk in between the two diners and place the meals. In explaining the gravy that came with the chicken, it was painful to hear him attempt to describe why it was so good. Sentences incomplete, thoughts errant, focus nowhere to be found. He was so unpolished that we worried if our dining experience would be a good one. This is not the first time we've encountered sub-par wait staff here. A shame, really.

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5.0Dined on December 26, 2015

We tried this place on a whim for lunch on 12/26 and were pleasantly surprised with service and fresh baked goods! We will definitely go again and try their brunch menu~

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1.0Dined on December 23, 2015

We had a 5:45 reservation and were the first and only people in the restaurant when we got seated. 8 people, 3 of which were kids. Will never know why it took 1 1/2 hours to get our food. By then, one kid was asleep and the others were sufficiently full on bread.

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5.0Dined on December 11, 2015

The food was above my expectations and service was great! Definitely one of our new favorites!

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5.0Dined on December 11, 2015

For the past 12 years bistro 211 has consistently impressed both my wife and I with the food preparation and the quality of the dishes they serve
If it weren't for the fact that we live 90 miles away we will dine at this restaurant at least once a week
They offer weekly wine pairings with many of the dishes that are prepared at the restaurant and each week the types of tissues prepared vary
One thing I can always count on at bistro unlike many other restaurants is fresh prepare hot bread right out of the oven always a favorite of mine

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5.0Dined on December 5, 2015

Went with two friends on Saturday night. We all had different dishes (beef stroganoff, steak, and prime rib). Everything was delicious. The service was terrific and personal. The recommended wine was all our server said it was. Be sure to try this Crossroads bistro.

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5.0Dined on November 27, 2015

A small family-run bistro, in business for nearly 20 years, it is across Hwy 1 from the busy, touristy Carmel village. Menu has a French touch, but is really more engagingly eclectic than that. Careful little touches, such as a dinner salad that was much more memorable than one usually gets elsewhere, show an attention to detail that few restaurants match. Bistro 211's beef stroganoff, for instance, is utterly unlike, and better than, the countless other versions I've tried. The owner is a charming woman originally from Brazil, and her son, who is sometimes one of the servers, is as knowledgeable and accommodating as his mother. Bistro 211 is a place that cares deeply about its food's quality and range, and about its guests' enjoyment. A happy recent discovery after years of visiting Carmel! In a city with a few exceptional restaurants, in addition to many that are essentially over-priced tourist attractions, this is one of the most memorable, in a nicely understated way. We'll make it a regular stop from now on.

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5.0Dined on November 21, 2015

Service was great, food was fresh and flavorful. It was a very delicious lunch!

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5.0Dined on November 14, 2015

My husband and I went to Bistro 211 for our wedding anniversary breakfast. It was a very enjoyable experience at a cozy and warm environment, delicious food, and great service. Special thanks to Angela, our server, for making us feel welcome at this place.

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5.0Dined on October 30, 2015

It is not a cheap place to eat, but the portions are reasonable and the food is outstanding. They have a children's menu, which is much appreciated by this hungry family of four. Will go again soon!

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5.0Dined on October 22, 2015

I always enjoy dining at Bistro 211! Great food and service!

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5.0Dined on August 29, 2015

The Salmon was delicious. The Beef Stroganoff was as well. The kids loved their meals. Service was great too! Very friendly place.

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4.0Dined on May 29, 2015

My wife and I really enjoy Bistro 211. The food is good and the wine list is adequate, though limited. The service is consistently very good and there is usually an open table. Try it... I think you'l like it.

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1.0Dined on May 9, 2015

The food was excellent and the ambiance was inviting. We had a large party and it's a small restaurant. Our waitress seemed quite overwhelmed, annoyed and was rude to our party when she had to provide extra tables and chairs. She also failed to provide menus to everyone. One of the guests spilled something and the guest had to clean it up because she didn't. She also said she would make separate checks for everyone, and in the end couldn't do that which was very inconvenient for everyone. I ended up paying way more than expected. She received an $80 tip from us, so you'd think she would have been a little bit nicer. I have never had to write a bad review for anywhere I have had lunch; however, I don't believe anyone will go back because of her brashness.

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5.0Dined on April 10, 2015

We will go to Bistro 211 whenever we are in town. My favorite is the Salmon!!!

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5.0Dined on April 3, 2015

We were vacationing in Carmel and wanted a nice, relaxing dinner for one of our few remaining nights in town. Bistro 211 is located in the cute little mall on Rio Road. It's a small restaurant, but the food was great and the ambience was very French bistro. The menu had a lot of diverse items - my husband had coq au vin, which was the best dish among our group. My son had a chicken quesadilla, which he enjoyed very much - it was a bit more sophisticated than your typical quesadilla, which he appreciated. I had the beef stroganoff, which was good but a bit bland compared to the other two dishes. Dessert was great all around - a chocolate bread pudding and the dessert crepes were enough for the three of us to share and the perfect end to a very good meal.

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4.0Dined on February 13, 2015

It was our first visit to Bistro 211 and we knew it had outdoor seating because we had confirmed before hand since our dog was traveling with us. Apparently the patio wasn't open that evening but when I mentioned the dog, they were very accommodating and set one of the tables outside, turned on the lights and even added a new propane tank to the heater. We had quiet romantic table on the patio and a fantastic meal. I was impressed by butter "rose" that came with the bread (hand made, not molded!) and my bouillabaisse was delicious. My husband ordered the special paella that night, which was tasty but a little odd, since it was in a broth and was very similar to the bouillabaisse? But I loved that the place is family owned and the mom/son team were gracious hosts. I'm only sorry we didn't have room for dessert!

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4.0Dined on January 1, 2015

We had been touring CA and AZ for pre I ous 12 days, and so had eaten out lots. I had booked a table for midday on New Years Day. We arrived early, and were told there'd be a wait of c. 40 minutes for food. Combined with fact it is in the back of a pretty non descript shopping mall this made me feel the restaurant may not be quite what I had expected. I was wrong. The food was well worth the wait. Our three boys wolfed down their meals. My wife struck up a conversation with one of the other customers (? A regular). The staff were chatty and engaging, without being trite...and despite them being busy.
Local wine was lovely.
Will class this as "one of our finds" on a generally exciting and interesting holdish.

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4.0Dined on November 18, 2014

Definitely, is a neighborhood gem! Thanks to Open Table we found this delightful restaurant! My husband started with the white bean soup and then had the Coq Au Vin. I started with house salad served with an in-house made basil vinaigrette. The vinaigrette was delicious!! My entrée was an open face quesadilla made with their in-house made smoked salmon. Everything was great!

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3.0Dined on October 8, 2014

I'm vegetarian, and the chef prepared a special dish for me. It was very tasty.

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2.0Dined on September 28, 2014

We were happy to find a place in the crossroads area of Carmel for brunch and we're delighted that they had reservations available. When we finally arrived, there were only 2 other tables taken but we had to wait for a while to be seated and then waited for a while for our order to be taken because the workers were all roiling silverware in the napkins. Eventually when one of them came to take our order, she was rushing us because another party just walked in. Geez, we had reservations and came on time and waited for 15 minutes. Anyway, I ordered the eggs Benedict and she ordered the pancakes, egg & bacon combo. the food was ok but the service lacked in every way. Very pricy and guess they don't like Asian people coming to there place.

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3.0Dined on September 16, 2014

Moderately priced for Carmel, good food and terrific service. Nice listings of wine by the glass.

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4.0Dined on August 19, 2014

Their nightly special was very nice; we plan to return again & again

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3.0Dined on August 8, 2014

Good food, reasonably priced, truly a neighborhood restaurant. It's tucked into the Crossroads Shopping Center & not easy to find. We enjoyed it for its simplicity. Caesar salad had fresh greens & home made dressing, steak was prepared as requested, fresh spinach was not over cooked, pasta was well prepared & lightly sauced. All in all an enjoyable evening.

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3.0Dined on July 20, 2014

this was agood find, its in the crossroads outdoor mall, food was very good, will go back again, they have a very nice pear tasting champagne

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5.0Dined on June 13, 2014

We wanted a nice friendly quiet place for a light dinner. Bistro 211 is it. We enjoyed the friendly service, the great food and wine and we could talk to each other without yelling. There is a small area for dining outside with your pets if you wish. Definitely keeping this place on our go to list.

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2014

It is rare to find a neighborhood restaurant featuring food fit for a king! The soup is far and away the best in Monterey County and the ground Angus beef is in a class by itself. Also the fresh Fench rolls are delicious. The service can lag from time to time, but this is not a problem for me. The service personnel are pleasant and helpfull and the prices are reasonable. The chef(whom I've never met) is a genius!

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4.0Dined on May 26, 2014

I've been to Bistro 211 several tiems and have never been disappointed. Good food, good service.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2014

If a full-sized hamburger is too much, by all means try the Petite Nepenthe. It combines 4 oz. of outstanding beef with lettuce and tomato on a chibatta roll, with a choice of (excellent)soup or a small salad. An outstanding value and a delicious treat. The Bistro also serves fine speciality dinners.

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2.0Dined on May 11, 2014

We had a 9:00 am reservation for six, four adults and two kids, on Mother's Day. A very large party came in after we ordered and they became the "excuse" for our unsatisfactory service. The four adults in our party were served at least five minutes before the kids. Inexcusable! I'm sorry to say that although their food is excellent, we won't be coming back for quite a while.

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4.0Dined on March 1, 2014

My group of 15 descended upon Bistro 211 this past Saturday night. We were a bit surprised to discover we were the only group there on a Saturday night. However our surprise quickly turned to delight when we realized we could be as loud as a group of 15 people drinking copious amounts of wine tends to be. We took over the music selection, ordered tons of food, danced around. Basically it felt like we were taking over someone's home.

Even without other customers, a group of 15 is hard to serve. The service was perfect- attentive but not overbearing. They could not have been nicer!

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3.0Dined on February 8, 2014

Wait staff was a bit overwhelmed by a crowded restaurant. Hostess seemed surprised we had made a reservation but
acknowledged they were running late. Our dining experience was not as good as it has been because they seemed
understaffed. Usually this is a friendly, comfortable, enjoyable cafe. We'll go back but probably not for a while.

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5.0Dined on December 31, 2013

We're so happy we found this delightful, low- key restaurant for New Years Eve. We were visiting from out of town and didn't want a mob scene or an 11pm reservation. The NYE menu was well-thought-out, starting with an amazing Lobster Bisque and offering a choice of delectable entrees and chocolate mousse. The service was impeccable. We will make sure to return when we're in Carmel.

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4.0Dined on December 31, 2013

My husband and I were in the area for NYE and made reservations late that afternoon. Bistro 211 is a cute spot despite its location in a shopping center. We had a cozy table and the service was friendly. The special menu was very good and included items I would not normally order (such as lobster bisque), so I was pleasantly surprised that I liked it. The only things that didn't make the experience outstanding was that my entree was nearly room temp whereas my husband's was hot, and the staff seemed a bit flustered. However, they were so charming and welcoming that I opted not to send my plate back and it didn't affect my overall experience. We will definitely stop at Bistro 211 again as we are interested to try their regular menu, too.

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5.0Dined on December 26, 2013

Bistro 211 was a wonderdul experience. Delectable food. Great wine selection. Thoughtful service. All at an affordable price.

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3.0Dined on December 14, 2013

This little mall restaurant was a pleasant place to have dinner after a day on the road - nice to find it open and available on an off-season evening in December. We had a nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon at a reasonable price.
I had a good caesar salad and the plank steak special, which was very tasty. My mother was less impressed with the bouillabaisse, which she said was bland. Neither of us cared for the creme brullee; the custard was overcooked and cold, and the hard sugar topping sat on the top as though dropped on (which it may have been).
The service was very friendly and efficient.

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