C'est La Vie

4.7
401 Reviews
$30 and under
European
Casual Fine Dining…with Character
Life is made of the places you go and the people with whom you go there. C’est La Vie is a bistro that invites you to enjoy the small things in life, in the company of good friends. Our inviting, playful atmosphere along with our delicate yet satisfying cuisine makes for a place truly like no other. We invite you to experience everything C’est La Vie has to offer — and watch the world go by with us.
Artisanal, yet casual, and above all deeply enjoyable — that is the philosophy at the heart of our food. At C’est La Vie we craft both large and small plates meant to excite the senses and appeal to a wide range of tastes. As another way to pay tribute to life in Lancaster, we source our ingredients from the rich community of local farmers, butchers, and more. Discover our frequently changing menu.
What 401 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
4.8
service
4.8
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined 16 hours ago
Overall1food1service2ambience4

Salmon came out undercooked.
No apologies were given.
Service exceeding slow.
Overall bad experience.

JM
JakeM
New England
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Slow service, in attentive waitress and food was mediocre at best

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Flavorful food in a lovely setting!

TR
ThomasR
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

JUST AWESOME! We love going here and will go whenever we can!

JD
JackD
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience5

We went for an anniversary dinner, they brought us champagne. We just had a wonderful evening.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great experience!

JH
JessyH
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect evening! The food was incredible and the service wonderful. Great place run by great people! Will definitely be back!

DM
DebMK
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Checked all the boxes for a very lovely lunch date!

HM
HarveyM
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Had the crab cakes. They were tasteless . Very disappointed.

ET
ET575
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Food was good, not exceptional. Hard to hear each other with open floor plan n noise level.

BB
BairB
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Server not the best. Never received our wine until we requested it long after our meal was delivered. Server checked back too long after lunch was served. Server seemed rattled and overwhelmed. Also wore a tee shirt from another restaurant. Food was excellent.

E
Erbear
Philadelphia
23 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

John was wonderful. His recommendations were spot on. It’s rare to have a meal where you love every dish, but we did. We started with the scallop bisque and the mussels. Very fresh and deep, well developed flavors. The salmon with capers wasn’t my fav, but my husband loved it. The crab cakes were out of this world- and at $37 they should be. A-ma-zing. Dessert was a giant Farraro Rocher! And a Georgia raspberry meringue. To die for! The chef clearly has an amazing palate. Everything was perfectly seasoned. We will be back!!!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service as good. Gazpacho soup was magnificent . Veal dish was a special abs was outstanding.

KL
KevinL
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First timers… Enjoyed everything about this place… beautiful vibrant atmosphere, delicious food and great service. We had the newly added veal tenderloin and the duck. We will be back!

EZ
EZiegler
Charleston
7 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

We were surprised to see so many “winter” heavy meal items on the menu. Very few salad options.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The summer berry salad was delicious and service was wonderful! Sanjj, the saxophone player, had a lovely set list that made the street come alive with music. Always a treat dining at C’est La Vie!

l
vipluv2dine
Washington DC
79 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a relaxing lunch. The food was delicious and our server Hunter was great.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A beautiful restaurant, perfect for a romantic date night. Food is superb! Highly recommend the mussels appetizer!

JC
JamiC
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best restaurant in Lancaster. Food and service cannot be matched - anywhere!

BU
BobU
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ambiance was open and airy. Cheerful staff and great meal. Never disappointed.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was Impeccable. Have a wonderful evening at the restaurant

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience3

I booked my dinner at 12 noon for 6:45pm , got out of work at 6:15pm drove fast back home changed my shoes . And left with my fiancé who was waiting for me to go eat. We got to our reservation at 6:50 . Everything look very nice per it was 1 Friday, the ambiance was to the occasion.
We ordered a drink and a beer . Along with a pizza to share till we knew what we would have for dinner .
At 7:20 the waiter comes and says . Are you guys placing and order because there is people right after you for this table you need to be out by 8:00 because at 8:15 pm Is there reservation time.


We felt not only embarrassed but annoyed at the fact that we planned this dinner to spend time together and we couldn’t have a nice night together .

When we told her to close our account , she came with the receipt and said “well I don’t want you feeling rushed out “

I mean seriously? After you tell me I need to be out by 8pm while everyone else has been seating at there tables since before we got there . Literally and I am not lying . All the people seating down around us where there when we got there and when we left .
Not only did feel upset I was embarrassed.

R
Redtamato
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

My scallops were delicious, but there was no bread to sop up the sauce, which was a big disappointment.

JK
JeffreyK
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service, ambience and food were wonderful and helped us celebrate our wedding anniversary with a glass of champagne! Thank you!

BN
BretN
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Overall great experience. Food was delicious , our server was great. Overall aesthetic of the restaurant was really nice. This was our first visit but I don’t believe it’ll be our last.

A
Alabama
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food and service!!! Can’t wait to go back!!! Brought friends for the first time and they loved it!!

SQ
SusieQ
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

wonderful outdoor dining!
soup and salad absolutely delicious!

DS
DaleS
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our dinner was for our anniversary. It was a delightful dining experience

CA
ClarkA
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Waiter was very personable and quick! Really great personality and efficient
Perfect French food I have t tasted in years

L
vipLancaster
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a treat popping in to this French inspired local haunt. We opt for the bar every time and Austin and Kate take great care of us. This time they made stellar recommendations for apps and desserts and as always their drinks were superb. One of our favorite date night spots and we can’t wait for Josephines to open back up.

s
suenotigre
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience5

Sad to see the seared tuna salad go!

AS
ASiewert
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience2

C'est La Vie is probably awesome at lunchtime, or maybe when you can be seated outdoors. But indoors, it was a challenge to hear one another. Unfortunately it wasn't just other diners who were loud--it was also servers having rollicking conversations with old friends, which is great, but not particularly friendly if you're at the next table trying to communicate on a one-to-one basis. It was a Saturday night, so we didn't expect it to be quiet. We did hope to enjoy one another along with our food.

Food choices were fine. When our server approached he announced there WERE specials but that they were all gone. Maybe better just to tell guests there are not specials. Why make your patrons feel bad that there WAS something they might have enjoyed but now they can't because their reservation was too late? Instead of starting the meal with the flavor of abundance, they begin with the bitterness of deprivation. I mean, seriously! Weird choice.

The Sauvignon Blanc was delicious; the salmon and filet mignon were both very good. My husband ordered the tart of the day for dessert, which was incredible--fresh cherries.

Our server was friendly and energetic, occasionally MIA but mostly attentive. We might go back and give CLV another try, or we might return to Josephine's downstairs, which we enjoyed despite its more cave-like setting. We'll see....

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great server, food sizes were small, but the food was perfect! Had a really nice Father’s Day

JT
vipJanetT
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

First time to try this place. Beautiful French inspired but modern decor. Attentive service. Our server Mike was very pleasant and helpful. We arrived ahead of our reservation and they politely seated us. My husband ordered the Boeuf Bourguignon which was expertly prepared. The sauce had the right texture with a complexity of flavors for which this dish is known. The beef was tender as a result of expert simmering indicative of a long slow cook. I know and make this dish myself from a recipe book friends from Burgundy gave me. The chef obviously knew what he was doing. I had the Bone in Pork Loin chop which was very juicy with a Dijon sauce. It could have used a bit more salt but I did not mind that. We shared Chocolate Decadence for dessert and it had just the right amount of sweetness which is often overdone in the US. We will be back! On exiting we made sure the owner and chef knew how pleased we were. It was a busy Friday and wanted them to know they pulled it off! Merci et Bravo!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Food was average. We were seated immediately and the service staff was friendly. We had to wait an entire hour for our food though and we did not have complicated dishes. Probably would not go back because the food was not worth the wait. The staff was great though and the atmosphere was enjoyable.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Great service

JM
JohnM
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and food. Asked by several people through out the evening if we were fine. Also got us in one hour early even with full seating
Will be back!

DK
DeborahK
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a delicious, enjoyable lunch celebrating 60 years of friendship! Food was delicious and the service was attentive and professional.

CP
CatherineP
Philadelphia
20 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great as usual. Service was very attentive. Great atmosphere with doors open to outside.

FAQs

C'est La Vie is rated 4.7 stars by 401 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.