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“notpreparedtoleaveearly”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Hilltop Bistro

Hilltop Bistro
Ranked #8 of 321 Restaurants in Nanaimo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $13 - $21
Cuisines: Canadian, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Nelson street
Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“notpreparedtoleaveearly”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013

The food was presented nicely and the server was good. My steak was not tasty but the salad and desert were excellent. I would not go back as we had an early reservation and were not ready to leave when the server told us we would have to leave as the table was booked for the next seating. This should have been mentioned at the time of the reservation so we could make alternate plans. It was very noisy so not good for trying to catch up with old friends.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Opinion16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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166 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    125
    29
    9
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Bistro, Great Time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013


My lady and I had an early Valentine's Dinner earlier this week as we both worked on the actual night this year. We sat at the table closest to the kitchen and we didn't find it too loud at all. The gentle kitchen noises of pans, stoves and chef talk was a nice background ambient noise. Perfect for a bistro setting.

Our dinners were very well prepared. The menu has been thoughtfully written, covering all dietary restrictions and lifestyles. We had a 3 course dinner, everything was nicely seasoned, and very delicious. It's not very often that I get very jealous of the ladies dish across the table but halfway through each course we pushed our plates towards each other and shared each others to ease my jealousy. The Chef has an amazing pedigree and we are lucky here in town to start gathering quality chefs and cooks to start creating a real food scene and culture here.

There is a large window etched with the restaurant's logo between the dining room and the kitchen that you can watch chefs and cooks work. Quite a nice touch.

Service was friendly and attentive.*

*It's true, as other reviewers seem to like to emphasize, they don't follow all fine dining rules of etiquette. That being said, Hilltop is a bistro. If, what you are expecting is "service over your right shoulder, fine dining, service staff dressed to the 9's then going to a bistro and complaining about how the service isn't up to your "standards" is misleading to other reviewers and people reading these reviews.

Thank-you and all the best to the team at Hilltop Bistro

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Kyletillotson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanaimo
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Excellent Food -- Good Service -- Very Noisy”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2013

Hard to find better prepared food in Nanaimo. Presentation is creative and pleasing to the eye.

The service was good and the servers have a positive attitude so should see further service improvement with time.

I would like to go back because of the food. Unfortunately, I likely will not because it's very noisy. The noise is not from the kitchen but some how the accoutics in the dining area are so bad that you can hardly hear your dining partners. If you get a particularily loud group or even one loud person the noise level increases dramatically.

If a loud noise level doesn't bother you then I would recommend going because of the food. The atmosphere is smart casual but offers fine dining food.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank toobusytolaugh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanaimo
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Every bite a delight”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2013

A meal at the Hilltop Bistro is a very special experience. Over several visits, there has never been a note out of place. The food is fresh and innovative, creative and beautifully plated. I look forward to the little surprises on my plate. The servers are highly professional and now remember us when we come in, even though it's only once every several weeks. Be sure to try the prix fixe menu, as it's a great value and you don't want to miss trying the desserts.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank historygirlNanaimo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
58 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Soon to be Number 1 in Nanaimo!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2013

A super start of a restaurant that will soon be number 1. Firstly, I am a fan of the set menu style along with the Bistro environment. We had the 3 course special for $35 + wine + coffee.

She had an olives appie, goat cheese/beet and Lamb main.
Me: Frites, mussels/smoked tomato/ smoked cod.

The food was really good but not superb. The frites were excellent, lamb and smoked cod even better.

The olives appie were just ok, goat cheese/beet looked fantastic but was just good, mussels with smoked tomato puree sounded awesome but I would stick with the wine next time. Plus a lot of the mussels were too large and consequently tuff.

The cod was the best but rather small portion considering everything else was amazing. The quinoa cous cous was superb and a runaway hit!! 10/10

Environment: The lights was a bit too bright and needed to be more directive and larger candles to give that dark/intimate feeling of a french bistro.

The service was great and attentive. She was a little undressed for my liking. A t-shirt is a little too casual for me. I prefer the white/black

This place is going to iron out the mis-hits and hit more home runs then any place I have been to in Nanaimo. It has potential all over the place. The squash soup was fantastic and a welcomed surprise.

Both of us said we would come back again!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank NickInTofino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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