219 Bistro

4.4
258 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
219 Bistro is centrally located in the vibrant downtown district of Norfolk VA. Serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, 219 recently underwent a renovation and as now re-open featuring new and exciting menus with a fully stocked bar offering a wide variety of draught beer and craft cocktails sure to please every palate!
What 258 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PC
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was outstanding and the food was very good (and lots of it!). Prices were very reasonable too. Definitely plan to visit 219 Bistro again when we return to Norfolk for a visit.

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L
Richmond
22 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were seated immediately in a very nice booth. The service was friendly and timely. We had happy hour cocktails that were very good. Our food was presented wonderfully and was absolutely scrumptious. It was a perfect restaurant to go to before the show at the Wells.

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DR
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

What a delightful find. Being from out of town, I used OpenTable to help select. Well it was PERFECT. Honestly, we showed up a bit late, but they had saved our table and were QUICK to seat us. Great table, not crowded, easy! Our waiter was a delight. In his own words "... I love it when a customer says SURPRISE ME AND MAKE IT GOOD!..." He was quick to recommend the SheCrab Soup. Rich, flavorful, lots of chunks.... The Pasta of the night was a combination of shellfish in an alfredo sauce. Again, rich and delighful… with lots of shrimp and lobster and.... Colleagues had the Pork Chop, the Grill or the Salmon.... ALL said GOOD! Thought we had all filled up, but somehow we found room for dessert - and we were glad we did! My choco-holic wife went for the Chocolate Torte.... Wow, here I go again.. RICH THICK lovely.... Me? The mixed berry cheesecake. I'm from NY, I know what good cheesecake is.... well, this one was clearly out of town....NOT a back-woods cheesecake... I would come back if for NOTHING but the Cheesecake!

Overall - THANK YOU Open Table for the find. A great evening had!

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SE
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was absolutely amazing. My daughter who’s 5 and never eats anything even raved about it.

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LE
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great place, we sat outside; so relaxing! Food was amazing.

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BL
Richmond
16 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

219 has been remodeled recently, except the bathrooms, which they should have also done. Not sure if it's under new management. The restaurant as a whole has a more casual atmosphere than before. The food wasn't bad, the service wasn't great.

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CC
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

The service was good, the food was also good. The server was very welcoming, my overall experience was great.

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IC
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 4

Pre theater dinning. They were very conscious of our need to get there in a timely manner

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s
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great dinner ! Friday evening before a play at the Wells, Jimmy was our waiter. I had scallops my husband had the meatloaf. Food was delicious, Jimmy was terrific and we had plenty of time to walk to the Wells.

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LN
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I was nervous about 219 Bistro because I read a few reviews that said the service was slow. We were in town for a show and we didn't want to be late. From the moment we arrived and through our meal, staff was friendly, attentive and warm.

Our server recommended some of the items. My friend had the heated salmon which she said was delicious. We also ordered the ceviche appetizer and I had the tuna for dinner. We finished up with the Chocolate Almond Torte which was amazing. Everything was delicious. It was great before our show and you will enjoy your meal and the ambiance.

Side note: In regards to my tuna dish, I would recommend changing the Bok Choy to something edible or changing the way it is served. It is served as a whole plant and I couldn't cut it nor eat it as it was chewy. I actually really enjoy Bok Choy so I was disappointed that it wasn't something I could eat easily. That was so minor and I would order the dish again, just wasn't sure if they have ever been given feedback regarding this vegetable. I tried to send this private but the site would not show the submit button.

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OT
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Theatre night at Wells Theatre. Enjoyed dinner at 219 before the show!!

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T
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always wonderful! Good variety of delicious food- never disappoints!

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B
Richmond
13 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

219 has always been a great plact to meet with friends for a special occasion and after their remodeling it is especially so.

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D
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Air conditioning vents hit directly onto tables making it very cold. Cold air blowing on the food made it cool off sooner than usual.

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DD
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great service, Fabiola was terrific! Everyone’s meal was excellent!

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I
Richmond
9 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My wife and I had diner before attending a musical at the scope. The food was very good and served in a timely manner. Wait staff was attentive. All in all a very enjoyable meal!!

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My waiter was fantastic , I wish I could have tipped him more because he mad everything better. the she crab soup was perfect and also the lobster bisque. I will definitely be visiting again.

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JD
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The place was very nicely set up. I went on valentines day and they did a great job managing the amount of water we had in our glass as well as made frequent visits to see if we were doing okay at the table. I've been going there for about a year now for brunch mainly. Now i will be going for dinner just as often.

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C
Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Valentines Menu!!! Would have loved to see the keylime pie instead of mousse. Great waiter! Love his sense of humor!

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AB
Richmond
20 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great menu with lots of seafood. Had an early dinner and service impecable. Good wines too

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C
Richmond
16 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

We were there for brunch. Bloody Mary mix was excellent. Food was ‘ok’. Service was ‘ok’. Waitress seemed really busy.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Stopped in for dinner after our Theatre show at Norfolk State University. Love the new look! Our waitress Lexie was friendly, attentive, knowledgeable but not bothersome. Thanks for reminding us about happy hour.🍷 Shout out to the Chef Rodney for a great meal!!👏🏾👏🏾 The She Crab soup was hot, creamy and full of sweet crab and both Seafood platters were plentiful and nicely fried. I would have loved to seen a little more done with the fingerling potatoes but the coleslaw was delicious not too creamy or sweet. We were so full we had no room for dessert! We certainly will return again!! 😋

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JS
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We enjoyed the new menu and our food was very good. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the food menu and the wine menu and was so friendly and nice.

The reason we chose to go to 219 that evening was that they advertise a happy hour until 7:00pm. There even was a sign sitting in front of the restaurant. Apparently they changed their minds and not the website and decided that happy hour would only occur at the bar. We had a guest with us and had made a reservation ahead of time so we stayed. If we had been alone, we would have left. There is so much competition amongst downtown restaurants that we were disappointed that they did not take care of us at our table for happy hour.

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KS
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was wonderful. Great location for seeing a play at the Wells Theatre. I think our waitress was new, so there were a few issues there, but overall it was a very good experience. I'll return.

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D
Washington DC
58 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Overall experience was OK but not superior. Well having a reservation we were given a table in and out is desirable area of the restaurant and requested to go to a different table but that was denied. In addition, one diner ordered soup and it came out cold to the table. Highlight the meal was crabcake dinner which was an unusual preparation and very tasty. It unfortunately did not make up for some of the sour notes on this visit

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OT
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Our server Allan was fantastic! Our food was great! Just words of advice, for the crab cake, less salt needed. Other than that, everything was delicious! Especially the sweet potato waffle fries with cinnamon, as well as the veggies that were included with the crab cake dinner! Will definitely done here again!

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M
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

219 American Bistro had a delicious selection of food and drinks. The atmosphere was very pleasing and entertaining. The staff was excellent with a good sense of humor. I will definitely be going back to try different food options

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Restaurant week was a blast! Nice portions! Great service!

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OT
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice open restaurant feel with great ambience and wait staff. I had the chicken and waffles with grits and my date had the steak (medium rare) and eggs (scrambled with cheese). Our waitress was attentive tended to all of our needs. The food was amazing and there was not a lot of noise in the restaurant. We had a lovely time and enjoyed ourselves.

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S
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Tried 219 Bistro first time during Norfolk Restaurant Week and Happy Hour. Staff are friendly and enthusiastic. Food and drinks were delicious and three courses nicely spaced for a relaxing dinner. Will return.

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C
Richmond
8 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent menu selection during restaurant week. Great price and service for a birthday celebration!

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HB
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

I made reservations for a Wednesday. To start the hostess sat us by the door and when i asked if we could sit anywhere else, as several tables were available, her response was "i wish i could tell you to go somewhere else but im not allowed."
That scared me. I wanted to walk out right then but we sat instead.
We came during restaurant week to try their dinner fair. We sat earlier and their were quite a few empty tables available, not sure why we couldnt switch the table but they were not slammed by any means. Our service was slow at first but still very accommodating. However, i felt the food seemed similar to pre-prepped banquet hall type cuisine. I was not impressed. We ordered off the $35 menu. My mother had the lobster dinner which she loved. Her only complaint was the broccoli was undercooked; practically raw. I had the she crab soup, the flounder bercy and the chocolate mousse. The soup was wonderful, thick and spicy with the perfect amount of crab but you could tell by the color it was reheated from the day before. My flounder bercy comes on their regular menu priced $20 or $22 so i was hoping the appetizer and dessert would have been on point considering the total cost was $35. The dinner was good but my green beans were undercooked and the potatoes tasted reheated... it just felt like ive had the same dinner many times before at a few weddings. The chocolate mousse was basically chocolate pudding (not whipped at all) with whipped cream and a squirt of razberry sauce. I did not care for the food for the price we paid with drinks and a decent tip. I wish i picked a different restaurant for my birthday dinner....

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V
Richmond
33 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

This was our first time back since they completed their remodeling. A fresher more updated color scheme with same basic restaurant layout. It was restaurant week, and 219 definitely made an effort to put their best foot forward. They had very extensive selections on both their $25 and $35 menus. There were four of us, and we opted for the lobster and the steak oscar. The restaurant week menu included a choice of starters, sides and dessert. Everything was prepared as ordered and very good. A very nice midweek change of pace. An excellent value in a pleasant downtown setting.

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G
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 2

Had the special, and was aweful. Had to send it back. The redeeming thing is that the wait staff and manager both were very helpful.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food. Great service. $5 bloody mary bar for brunch. Whole family had a great time.

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d
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious, the service was excellent. Enjoyed the happy hour martinis and wine

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CG
New Orleans
5 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Came for dinner early on New Year’s Eve - wasn’t very crowded while we were there. Cocktails were great, and food was good with large portions. My only complaint was less than stellar service. Our server, while polite and friendly, was not attentive. He visited our table a total of 5 times the entire service (including taking drink and dinner order), while frequenting his other tables around us an appropriate amount. He once visited a table next to us 6 times in a 10 minute period while I was still waiting for a glass of water I requested. This was disappointing as it was a special evening, and I have had great service here in the past. That being said, the scallop dish was excellent and overall the food was worthwhile.

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L
Jacksonville
10 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic avocado toast! Great brunch and the mimosas to die for

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OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We made dinner out of Happy Hour before a show at the Wells Theater. Food was great - recommend the scallops and steamed shrimp. I let the server know it was a birthday celebration- the dessert came but without an expected candle, which would’ve made it a little more special.

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ID
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 1

The restaurant was recently renovated and while I respect the cost involved it is obvious they did not use an interior designer. The LED lighting against cold tone colors is uncomfortable, garish and does everything but enhance your experience. My dinner dates’ ribeye was undercooked and chewy. My flounder was topped with goo, which I peeled off. We will not be returning.

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