219 Bistro

4.5
338 Reviews
$31 to $50
American
219 Bistro is centrally located in the vibrant downtown district of Norfolk VA. Open Wednesday - Saturday, offering Happy Hour 4pm - 6pm. Join us for the best outdoor dining in downtown Norfolk. Our menu features are sure to please everyone offering small plates, burgers, sandwiches, tacos and chef inspired entrées.
What 338 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
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J
Jeanbean1
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2022
Overall4food4service5ambience4

A nice little restaurant with good food and great service. We arrived in time for Happy Hour and took advantage of the drinks. We just had small plates but all were good. Crab Cake and the She crab soup were selected. Delish. For dessert we all decided to have our own. We got the mousse (very rich and tasty), creme brule and the pistachio icecream. Everyone agreed the food was great.

Only issue with our experience was the parking. We aren't from Norfolk, so were new to the parking meters. We paid for an hour (we assumed that parking was free after 6:00 as the meter mentioned you only had to pay until then. What we didn't realize, was that the area became "valet parking" after 6:00 p.m. We were shocked when we went out and saw another car parked very close to ours and it had to be moved to move our car. The restaurant manager was outside and said that we were lucky we weren't towed. Which is, of course, true. But we did ask when we initially arrived at the restaurant if where we parked was OK and we were assured we wouldn't have an issue. We were pointed to signage on the other side of the parking meter which we didn't see when we arrived, as we entered the money on the curb side. Not sure who can address this, and it may have just been our party, but wanted to let you know to let your customers know.

BG
BobG
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Family Christmas celebration dinner with 6 people. Food and service were over the top! Everything was wonderful.

NA
NikA
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fantastic menu that easily accommodated my vegetarian daughter. Wait staff was prompt, new the menu, and made solid recommendations. Will definitely keep this on the short list when we visit Norfolk!

PM
PamelaM
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an amazing dinner here before the Christmas Carol show at the Wells. Thank you Rowan!

FM
vipFrankM
Richmond
46 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It had been several years since we were last at this restaurant and we had an outstanding experience. Food and service were impeccable.

MB
MichaelB
Richmond
8 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Server was awesome. Food hot and fast. Cocktails excellent

CH
CassieH
Orlando
3 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thanksgiving Dinner

J
Jilzy
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Very disappointing Thanksgiving experience. Unsure whether it was due to the crowd or lack of experience, but our cocktails came after our appetizers. We had our meal and were given the check in an hour--and that was after waiting for our waitress to come over and take our drink orders for a good 10-15 minutes. Really poor execution for what should have been a lovely holiday celebration. Other tables got their cocktails with time to enjoy them before having their food served. Will not be going back for any holiday celebrations in the future.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Richmond
12 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall1food1service3ambience2

We decided not to cook on Thanksgiving and went here instead. As ours drinks were brought to the table, I asked the waitress how many deviled eggs came with the order, she answered 4 and left. Next think we know, an order showed up. Though intending on ordering them, we had not done so yet. She apologized and we ordered our other appetizers. The Charcuterie Board which was very good expect for the odd combination of house made jams. We ordered our main courses; 2 got the Thanksgiving Platter’s and the other 2 shared the Steak and Cake. We got 2 side items; Gouda mad & cheese, Brown Sugar Glazed Malibu Carrots and a “Gravy Boat for the Table”. General comments: there was no seasoning on any of the food, so if you like bland tasteless food, this is the place for you. Thanksgiving: The term Platter is very misleading, the portions were small and we were glad we got the gravy boat as none came on the food. My dressing was a raw mess of bread, I asked the waitress if the dressing was supposed to be raw, she said (and not for the only time), I would say yes but they just threw this menu on us and told us nothing about it. The ham was dry. The green bean casserole was encased in a grey tasteless thick paste. The turkey was ok once you covered it in gravy. Steak and Cake: The steak was not seasoned and missing the sauce the menu promised. When they asked for A-1, they were told they only had a house made cranberry steak sauce, they got it and it was horrible. We all tried it and could not figure out what they were going for but agreed they missed it. The sauce that came with “Cake” was so spicy that nobody could eat it. When asked about cocktail sauce, you guessed it, they did not have any. The waitress made some and it was pretty good. Now the sides: The gravy boat was only half full and tasteless. The carrots were raw and tasteless. The Gouda Mac & cheese was ok. Last, as I got to the bottom of my grey paste, I found a hair. Manager came to the table with a that’s nice!

KJ
KristineJ
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thanksgiving was fantastic. Highly recommend for nice meal.

R
Rodney
Richmond
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great... the food, drinks, ambience, and service was awesome. We'll definitely be dining here again, with friends.

D
Daniel
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Dinner was great. Lamb stew was the star or the meal. They were very busy so service was a little slow but it was absolutely made up for by the friendly staff. Will definitely be back for the duck burger and a few cocktails at the bar. Great time

B
Bobandjane
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

All four fishes we ordered were excellent, especially the steak. Desert were excellent especially the cream brulee.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing!

S
Stephen
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience1

More of a cafe than a bistro! No separation of tables and definitely no privacy! For as much as the food costs, you'd figure there would at least be 1 booth. I requested a high top (they ask what table you'd like in OpenTable reservations) and they realized when I showed up 5 mins early, they had given my table away so the lady at the front (who was kind of snobby) realized this and gave us the next table available which was by the window and right next to another nosey couple. The waitress took forever (more than 5 mins) to greet us and was also training someone during their busiest time! She then took almost 10 mins to come back to take our order and at that time, realized we needed to order everything at once if we had a chance of getting out of there anytime soon so we ordered our dinner and drinks. The waitress then came back twice within another 10 mins to tell us our drinks were on the way. We ended up leaving after another few mins without eating or drinking anything. Slow service, terrible restaurant (if that's what they want to call it). Felt like we were in a Starbucks without the booths though. Terrible restaurant, won't be going back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Got us in fast so we could make a show not too far from the restaurant

R
vipRich
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Wonderful food, amazing happy hour. Try the fish taco. Got a burger and really loved it! Would definitely go back.

MT
MsTNA
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was excellent. Our server was attentive, had a great personality and we thoroughly enjoyed the food and the ambience.

AT
AmberT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Kind of small servings for the price but definitely good quality and tasty food!

D
Diner
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience1

For us old folks it was pretty loud! Otherwise a great dining experience.

K
Kashmer
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Moderately priced for an unique menu. The cocktails were delicious. I would dine again to try something new.

DJ
DawnJ
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We visited our daughter abs took her out to dinner. The food did not disappoint! Great service, tasty food with good portions.

SI
vipSienaItaly
Washington DC
82 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A classic bistro style restaurant with outstanding food and diverse menu which should appeal to any foodie in your group. The best She Crab soup we have ever tried along with really creative main courses. The bar drinks were excellent as well. We look forward to returning soon.

Y
Yor5307
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ate outside. Not too noisy. Food was excellent...especially the spicy penne dish. Service very professional and attentive.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice menu. Nicely decorated. Attentive staff. A great choice.

k
katrin23
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was out of this world! Our server was very good, and the hosts were very friendly. The valet service nearby was convenient as well.

DW
DanielW
Richmond
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Luke warm coffee. Steak overcooked. Other aspects of 4 dinners were fine.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and great service. I had the Passionfruit cocktail, tuna taco appetizer and the scallops which were all fantastic! My husband had the filet au poivre and my son had the duck, and they both raved about their dishes.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Jacksonville
3 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and drink. Service as always is impeccable.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great food and service. Highly recommended.

KB
vipKathyB
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nicki at the bar was fantastic. She suggested the charcuterie board and it was awesome!

BT
vipBillTaylor
Richmond
16 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Kaeko was awesome as a waiter. Olivia is the brains behind the organization and we always enjoy seeing her. One of our fav restaurants.

T
Terri
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

This was our first time. We had She-Crab soup-delicious, generous amount of crab meat, a tiny bit spicy but not overwhelming. We had a cheeseburger & Drunken Duck burger, fries & green beans. I would recommend the Duck burger (no duck meat)
Food was cooked to order & tasty.
Great service & atmosphere. We’ll go there again.

J
Jeffreyt
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience3

The menu was not as we remembered(last April) and it seems like it could add some variety.
Very quiet early Wednesday evening, yet the hostess was attending to us as much as the waitress.
The food was fine, again, I would have rather seen less potatoes and maybe a green bean or two.

EG
EdwardG
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding in all aspects. Can’t wait to do brunch there again!

219 Bistro
Responded on February 18, 2020

Thank you for your review!

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M
Macaroons
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food1service5ambience4

New menu was very disappointing. Been often, loved previous the ahi tuna entree on old menu.
Piling fries on entree plates to cover up the lack of actual food seemed to be the norm. Crab cake didn’t taste like crab plus way too much filler and mayonnaise. Mussels were tiny with no meat at all with fries piled on top. Tacky to fill plates with fries.
Good service is the only plus.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience3

Food was not fully cooked all the way. Our waiter forgot what we ordered and had to be reminded several times in which delayed us receiving our food. Given the prices the service and food did not reflect. Would never come back nor recommend .

EF
EFD2016
New Orleans
17 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Valentine’s Day: like love, our 219 Bistro experience changed through the night. Visited for nearly 10 years of Valentines, this year was the best. Starting at the bar for cocktails. A great “first flirtation” for the evening. A well kept bar is the heart of a bistro. ... the Bistro has one. A slight stumble for the hostess forgetting about us at the bar when our table was ready.... like a second date can be: the wait was worth it.
We went for the holiday specials: Caramelized onion tart, arugula salad with green olives to start. Paired with an Oregon pinot noir, the goat cheese and onion tart was really great. Only thing it lacked was more goat cheese to balance the onions. The arugula salad: please make this a regular menu items!!!Light peppery greens, zippy olives and smokey salami in a tangy vinaigrette. Heart strings pulled!
Main course was the haddock special. The fish done well. Polenta creamy and satisfying. The lightness of the sprouts- nice.

We specifically asked our server to go slow with the evening and she did. Great job! While enjoying our meal we realized the bistro was much quieter than on previous visits although it was full of chatty diners. The bistro has been renovated and to the betterment of the experience.

Capping the evening with dessert, my love affair coasted into a rut with creme brûlée that was a bit lack luster. Served traditionally with whipped cream but no fresh fruit, the custard was but a thin layer in the dish. A bit more love in the dish would be my request, but it was tasty. The flourless torte was the breakup for our celebration of Love’s day. Lacking moisture it crumbled when cut - texturally gritty. Disappointing.
Again our server, who was a champ juggling all her tables,
made it right with a bit off the bill for the chocolate dessert.
Overall a great evening. Like love, a good restaurant takes work. 219 is working it and getting better. We’ll be back.

JB
JohnB
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Food was good served almost too hot to eat. Not enough varied menu options for me. A bit too upscale, which was a little contradictory to photos and description on website.

a
andret
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience4

Experience was great!!!

FAQs

219 Bistro offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (757) 416-6219.

219 Bistro is rated 4.5 stars by 338 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.