Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Bistro Voltaire
Bistro Voltaire is a favorite of the well traveled patron wanting to indulge in the sensibilities of France without leaving Chicago.
Chicago, IL 60654
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Saturday, 5-10pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Plenty of street parking per signs
Across from the CTA Brown-Line, Chicago stop
Bar Dining, Full Bar
Special Events & Promotions:
Bistro Voltaire lends an intimate and festive dining room filled with Parisian charm and can accommodate up to (45) seated guests. Please contact us for further information.
Bistro Voltaire has become a favored destination for Chicagoans seeking the romantic, spirited vibe of a French bistro without leaving the Windy City.
Bistro Voltaire Ratings and Reviews
Bistro Voltaire never fails to impress. Wonderful service that never rushes (if you're in a hurry, nota bad idea to let them know, since rushed dining isn't their typical style). The mussels, duck and creme brûlée are my favorite. My husband loves the scallops and escargot. Personable server with just the right amount of interaction. This was our go to spot when we lived in the city, and now our spot for date nights when we're back in town
Restaurant was a good value for the neighborhood, especially the wine list. The food was very good. Started with mussels and French onion soup. I had coq au vin and my husband the lamb chops. Also kept room for crème Brule and molten chocolate cake. We were looking for something different than the typical Chicago steak house and wanted a smaller place with a cozy feel. This definitely fit the bill.
Excellent all around!
The food is fantastic, and -- having traveled throughout France several times per year for several years -- very authentic IMHO. The service is bright and helpful, and the ambience perfect for a romantic date or a get together with friends.
We were there on Monday night and there was only one waiter serving the entire restaurant with probably 6-7 tables. We had the Prix Fixe dinner which was a good value and you still get to choose selections of appetizers, main course, and dessert. The food was very good, cocktails were fine, the service seemed very slow and our waiter did not remember each of us (3 people) own selection of each course put on wrong orders...We felt we were back in Paris..a dinner can take more than 2.5-3 hours. I noticed some other guests were there earlier than us but their main course were came out much later than us. We enjoyed our dinner just hoping the service need a big improvement.
Another reviewer commented about the slow service and that there were others who'd been there earlier but hadn't gotten their food. That was certainly the case with our table. We've dined here several times (I'd written a positive review!), and our friends had been to Bistro Voltaire with their friends, so we were expecting a wonderful evening. Something was definitely amiss in the kitchen, not the waiter having to work alone that night. There was also an owner/manager (??) present. Our main course took more than 2hrs. to arrive at the table. Our food was tough, bland, and all brownish (even the ratatouille). Meat on a lamb shank should fall off the bone. I struggled to cut it. The polenta (not much there) was a disappointment. The Coq au Vin had no flavor. The steak frites was tough though the frites were plentiful and quite good. Hopefully, whatever problems there were behind the scenes on Monday have been solved. This restaurant is definitely a hidden gem when everything goes right.
Outstanding per usual. On a Monday night we literally had the restaurant to ourselves, which was a treat as was service. Living on the other side of the city, we still made the hour trip to this place several times a year for the fantastic French experience. Now that we live closer, I imagine we will go all the time. It is the perfect cozy romantic spot for two.
The owner, Nate, and our server, Matthew were extremely welcoming and courteous. They explained the menu and specials. The food is authentic French Bistro fare which is prepared perfectly and is reminiscent of days in Provence. The desserts are diabolical and made daily. The atmosphere is very cozy and warm. Excellent wine list and full bar. If you seek a liqueur or after dinner drink that Nate does not have, he will have it for you the next time you call. Wonderfully retro French Bistro which is great for special occasions, dates or pre theater.
Bistro Voltaire has long been one of my favorite French bistros. Classical French food well prepared, the onion soup, snails, salads, a party of three begin with the salad, frogs legs and onion soup which we all enjoyed. Four main courses we had the snapper, scallops and lamb shank which again we all enjoyed although the portion of scallops, 3 could have been a bit more generous. We ended with the chocolate lava cake and a cheese plate and we all left quite happy. There is no pretense of the Cutting Edge of Haute cuisine, but for an enjoyable evening of well-prepared classical French Bistro food they do a great job
Service was great. Very long wait for the food. The side of fries was served long after the steack. The profiteroles stayed 5mn on the counter waiting for three scoops of ice cream which eventually took 10 seconds to be served. Disappointed compared to last time I visited in January.
Celebrated my dad's birthday, we ordered off of the French Week Prix-Fixe menu and all the food was delicious!! The service was a tiny bit slow but that was because there was only one waiter for all the tables and I felt kind of bad for him. Overall great experience though!
Our party of 4 had the prefixe menu for Bastille Day. The escargots were buttery and garlicky and the beet salad was tasty and beautifully presented. Two diners who had the scallops said they were good. Two of us had the salmon with gnocchi. The salmon was OK but the gnocchi were crunchy which was a bit strange. The chocolate dessert was great. I think the bread could be improved.
Loved the "French Week" prix fixe menu for Bastille Day! A wonderful value that included a choice of several appetizers (the escargot were great) and several entrees (lamb shank was delicious). One of my favorite restaurants in this growing neighborhood. I need to come here more often.
Had a wonderful date night at Bistro Voltaire. The service was attentive but respectful of time and pace of conversation and dining experience. We had the shrimp scampi and beet and goat cheese salad for starters which we both well balanced and delicious. For mains we had the duck and the salmon with Parisian gnocchi. Again, both were delightful but my husband and I agreed that that gnocchi was the star of the meal, so light, crisp and yet savory! Overall it was a truly wonderful dining experience on all levels!
I had dinner here on a Tuesday evening a little later than the normal rush, so it was not crowded and I ended up being the last to leave. Sometimes when this happens the staff are in a hurry to get you on your way. I had the opposite experience here. The service was all focused on me and my having a good experience and I did not feel rushed at all. The French onion soup was delicious. I had the rack of lamb which is one of their features and it was also very good. They have a nice selection of French wines as well. Unfortunately they were out of the wine I selected, but instead of upselling and trying to get me to take a more expensive bottle, the server recommended a bottle of comparable price. The dining area is very small with the tables very close together, so if they were busy, privacy could be an issue.
We are devoted Francophiles, and Voltaire was like visiting a quiet Paris Bistro. The menu is solid French staples (+Escargot & Profiteroles). It's a little off the beaten path, but a short hop from Michigan Ave and the WaterTower. Well worth a taxi ride from anywhere in downtown Chicago. Monday night is a fixed price, three course meal and an excellent value.
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