Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About The Bistro at Topsail
Award Winning Farm to Plate restaurant on Topsail Island.
Winner James Beard Foundation BBP 2017
Open Table Top 100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America
Finalist North Carolina Best Chef 2017
Wine Spectator Award of Excellence Winner 2016
Wine Spectator Award of Excellence Winner 2016
One of the Best Bourbon Bars in America 2016
MENUS CHANGE DAILY
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Sorry but due to the limited size of our dining room we are unable to accommodate groups larger than 10 people
Surf City, NC 28445
American, Contemporary Southern, Southern
Hours of Operation:
Thu–Sat 5:30 pm–9:00 pm
Surf City Swing Bridge
$31 to $50
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Parking lots in front of restaurant
Chef/Owner Bud Taylor
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
We will gladly book your special event on location.
The Bistro at Topsail Ratings and Reviews
The Bistro had but one flaw, and we considered it major. Half or more of their chairs in the dining room are metal, cold and narrow. They are also used outdoors. The lack of good seating should scare away anyone who is of medium or larger girth, or who doesn't want a cold derriere, unless you want to eat at 5:30 because we were told the chairs were first come- first serve.
Excellent food and server. Martini made to perfection. Fried pickles to die for. My husband enjoyed the catfish and I enjoyed the fresh fish of the day. We shared the bananas foster for dessert..also very good!
Every course was executed perfectly. We will be back!
Chef Taylor has done everything right. The restaurant overlooks the waterway and there is outdoor dining in addition to beautiful views from inside. The menu has just enough selection of meat, poultry and seafood. Everything is locally sourced and the meals are so delicious. My favorite is the pork chop and my wife loves all the fish dishes. The wine selection is excellent. The atmosphere is hip and the service is outstanding. This is the best dining experience and if you haven’t tried it go right now.
From the beginning this evening was a disaster. I had an Open Table reservation for over a month for a 6:45 pm seating. When I made the reservation, I added a comment that we would prefer outdoor seating. The night of the reservation, the weather had turned cold and it was in the 50's outside. The restaurant basically said that since I had made the reservation for outside seating and we did not want to sit outside in the cold that we would have to wait for them to work us in inside. While we waited, we went to the bar. I ordered a cocktail from their menu and some of the ingredients for the cocktail they were out of . My companion ordered a glass of red wine. Guess what? THEY were OUT of it. When we were finally seated, I ordered the Swordfish (the only seafood on the menu except of catfish), THEY were OUT of! We left after the appetizer and went to Beauchaine's instead.
Visit to surf city North Carolina. This restaurant was recommended by rental owner. Reservation required, used open table, arrived earlier to see if we could be seated (with empty tables). Hostess snarled that they were already 15 minutes behind schedule. While at the bar they could have informed us since it's NOT a large place that one of their signature meals is no longer available. We were given the hype on the pork chops ( another signature). Tough fatty with no taste. Flat iron steak order meadium. Served blood rare. Sent it back so I could eat it. Tough. No taste , potatoes hard. Low country egg roll tooo much greens no sausage .
Bar tender David ..super
Waitress ..was lovely.
head hostess/madame NASTY
FOOD was so dissapointing that I needed to write review.
It was fantastic as always! Pork chops and grits were divine. I never would have thought to combine the two, but it was a great pairing. Only one disappointment; they ran out of trigger fish. Needless to say, my husband was very disappointed. Overall, it was a wonderful evening, as always at The Bistro.
We have eaten many meals at this restaurant and the one thing I can say is you can get a great to average experience. My wife enjoyed a meal in mid summer which she raved over so we booked her birthday meal this weekend. We had a lovely fall evening on the patio and a full moon rising over the marsh. The highlight of the meal.
The food is on the upper price end so I expect exceptional service and quality. First they charge for homemade bread. It was a run of the mill baguette. Traders Joes does better. My trigger fish was over cooked and the sautéed greens and polenta was good. Another meal was flank steak which came to the table stone cold. Worse we finally had to go find our waitress to get the meat reheated. Poorly handled all around. Fortunately my wife's pork chop was to her satisfaction.
We love the location and the idea of farm to table dining and will pay for the experience. Personally the unpredictability kills it for me. Far to expensive to not get good food and service.
Fall is not the busy time so the Bistro should have been able to handle a superior meal. It is unfortunate because the fine dining options are very limited in Topsail
Food (a shrimp and grits variation) was good--B+--but be careful where you are seated. Our group of five had two people in direct line of sight of the staff wait station, a brightly fluorescent-lit room with a washer and dryer churning away and wait staff coming and going. While the restaurant ambience is comfortable and positive, watching the mechanics of a restaurant is distracting in the extreme and negatively changes the quality of the dining experience. I mentioned it to our wait staff member who referred me to the manager who looked over my shoulder to check our whatever might be going on that was more interesting than talking to me--she essentially blew me off.
An attractive screen and lower wattage lighting would go a long way in creating a more pleasant dining experience.
We love The Bistro and we at there 3 times in one week while on vacation! We did the same last year! The Bistro serves the BEST food in the area. We are foodies so we know the Bistro is a true treasure. Our only complaint is that the metal chairs they have for seating are extremely uncomfortable. Also, new servers should be trained as to how to open a bottle of wine. Our server the last night opened the bottle and then filled both glasses without letting us taste the wine first. That is a pretty basic step that should not be overlooked. Good food and good wine are both easy to find at the Bistro! They have an very good wine list. Everything on the menu is amazing! We look forward to next year!
This is a mixed review. Was nice to find an upscale restaurant in Topsail/Surf City area. Unfortunately we were unable to get a reservation before 8:00 so we missed the views the restaurant is known for; recommend you plan ahead and go for sunset. We were seated (right on time) in a lovely private room that was nicely decorated although not quite right for the area.
The cocktails were very nice (esp. the bourbon smash). We skipped appetizers (due to late hour) and got right to meal. The trigger fish was AMAZING but it was not served as described on the menu so my dining companions were very disappointed (potatoes and kale instead of zucchini). The grits served with the pork chop were uninteresting and heavy. The steak salad was good.
The verdict was that we would give the restaurant another try on our next visit to Topsail but were not blown away by our first experience as hoped.
Once again we loved our meal and experience at The Bistro. We go a few times a year, but love to go for my birthday when we really splurge on Chef recommended wine and pairings. This meal was fabulous. I had spiced flank steak with roasted vegetables. I took it as the chef recommend it be prepared, which was a tiny bit on the rare side but amazing. My husband had the shrimp over grits. But those grits were so creamy, I swear they tasted almost like rissoto. We opted for the chefs recommended wine pairing, a delicious cab. It was the perfect complement. We both selected hand crafted martinis to start, and bananas foster for dessert. I would highly recommend.
We have been many times and hope this was an off night for them rather than the new norm. We had a reservation and our table was given to someone else after we checked in causing us to wait almost 30 minutes for a table. Then we were seated outside where the lights were not working to see menu, food, etc. They had no candles which a quick trip to any nearby store would have solved. All in all wait staff seemed new and disorganized. Food was good but not excellent as we have become used to.
The woman who greeted us was rude and because we were 10 min early told we could wait at the bar which didn't have any seating. When we were seated and had placed our drink order we waited we waited quire a while to place our order. The menu selections were disappointing. The obligatory shrimp and grits which my husband ordered and turned out to be disappointing, much better at the beach dog. I was very disappointed that the only fish offer was the red drum and catfish. Apparently the menu is changed every nite but not on the website. The beignets were actually donut holes with granulated sugar. I can remember how awesome the meals at the old location were and continue to be disappointed at the new location. Just not worth the trip.
No flexibility at the bar. They have a signature drink and not many other options. And the signature drink wasn't the best. They do offer bourbon. Not a full bar.
My friend ordered the bananas foster and it came out with barely any sauce. She asked for a little more, agreeing to an up charge. The waitress came out and said the kitchen declined her request for more sauce. The was less than a drizzle of the sauce, which makes bananas foster. A few minutes later, as my friend was getting ready to return the dessert, the waitress came out with a little container of more sauce. Kind of ridiculous. We were told no twice at that dinner: no to a hurricane or pain killer mixed drink, and no to more sauce. I don't think I have ever been told no at a restaurant before. Understandable if you don't have the ingredients to make a drink, but I don't think that was the case. I am guessing the chef, and/or the manager get by being very specific with what they want the restaurant to be. Not my kind of place. This was the third time I have been to the Bistro, the other times were good. Nothing out of this world. Too many other restaurants in Topsail to try.
My husband and I visited The Bistro several years ago prior to their move to the new location. Frankly, we enjoyed the old location much better. The intimacy and coziness is lacking at the new location.
We dined on the outdoor patio and it was a pretty setting.
Even though I had to send my shrimp dish back due to the shrimp being raw, they fixed me a new one and the dish was outstanding. The cheese grits were very tasty. Excellent flavor. My husband ordered the catfish meal and he was rather underwhelmed at the piece of fish he received. Disappointing.
Any nice restaurant would either comp your meal or do something special as a result of having to send a meal back, however, they did not do a thing. Disappointing.
We will try other restaurants next time!
Local and organic. We loved everything. Easy, warm atmosphere high end but not pretentious. Notables were the collard green egg rolls, duck and seasonal salad with fried goat cheese. Solid wine list and the key lime pie was terrific. Best on Topsail island.
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