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“Good as - better than - most bistros in France” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Le Chien Noir Bistro

Le Chien Noir Bistro
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Ranked #26 of 424 Restaurants in Kingston
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Canadian, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Brunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Downtown Kingston
Description: Located steps from historic Market Square, Le Chien Noir features French bistro classics & modern 'Farm to Table' features served in an upbeat, comfortable atmosphere. All dishes are prepared using fresh, high quality, seasonal and whenever possible local ingredients. Enjoy our colourful heated Courtyard Terrace, Dining room or our spacious Zinc Bar. 20 Wines by the glass, Craft beer, Vintage & Contemporary Cocktails. Prix Fixe Menu, Children's Menu, Vegetarian Options.
Kingston, Canada
Level Contributor
164 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Good as - better than - most bistros in France”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2013 via mobile

I guess that the vagaries of voluntary surveys is reflected in the fact that Chien Noir is #30 while Grecos is #1 today. There is no accounting for other people's taste.

We have lived in or near Kingston for the last 30 years and the Chien Noir is our most frequented restaurant. We've also travelled and lived abroad all our working lives and our judgement is that CN's steak & frites and their moules & frites are as good as - no, normally better than anything - we have been served in France, Belgium, Switzerland or anywhere else.

On rare occasion, there has been a mediocre plat, but by and large our experience at the CN keeps bringing us back: for normal, downtown shopping lunches, for special dinners and for a good meal with family and/or friends.

Plats and entrées, wines, spirits and coffee are all normally excellent, often superlative, both in presentation and taste. Desserts, we have learned over the years, are better to pass on and walk down to Ontario St. For a gelato.

I've noticed one negative comment on service and a reference to visible disappointment at a 15% tip. My only comment on those is that, again there is no accounting for individuals and individual reactions. There may well have been a marginal server but there may also have been a customer whose level of expectation is unmatchable.

All I can offer is that the staff has been invariably friendly, attentive, kind and careful with us over the years.

And as for tip expectations, that has never been any kind of issue for us. I tip 15% of the pre-tax amount, give or take a few cents for rounding up or down. I have never observed chagrin, anger, disappointment or any other emotion other than gratitude and courtesy from our servers. And we are always welcomed back.

By the way, permit me to get on my soapbox for moment:

If restaurants in Canada and the U. S. would/could put tax & service included prices on their menus as is done in civilized countries, we could all enjoy our meals out, knowing what we are paying up front, without uncertainty, disappointment, angst or other emotions associated with tipping. Either for the customer or for the restaurant staff.

Chien Noir remains our #1 go to in Kingston.

Helpful?
1 Thank JLicharson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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477 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    210
    152
    62
    36
    17
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Toronto
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Good: but worth the price?”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2013

We had a good dinner last night at Le Chien. As it happens, we hadn't eaten all day but an apple in the morning so we were starving by the time we arrived for an early dinner at about 6. We ordered a salad to split which was good as well as three cheeses which were delish. I had the steak which was served with stone cold mashed potatoes and my partner had the sturgeon which he really enjoyed. Desert was a pear tart--only okay and my partner had the ice-cream. He was underwhelmed. We were having a good time but the waitress sort of blew her tip when she remarked that she couldn't believe how much we ate. I tipped her 15% on a $200 dinner, and boy, she did not try to hide her disappointment. I'm a bit torn about returning. It was expensive for the quality but it was good. Just not outstanding. Didn't like the waitress's attitude.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank torontotravelalot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Amazing dinner to start a new marriage”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2013

Myself and my wife decided to go for dinner here as we met in kingston UK and got married in Ottawa yesterday. First impressions of the restaurant small, quaint and very appealing. We ordered the meat and cheese board for starters which when came out was with pure honeycomb and amazing. I ordered the duck confite and my wife the spaghetti. The duck came with noodles that had so much flavour in them. I couldn't finish the dish but was so full from it. It was so tasteful and delicious. My wife struggled to finish the lobster spaghetti and her response was " I can now die happy" food amazing, staff delightful. Thank you to are waiter Andrew who was just brilliant. So worth a return visit.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Bri M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
65 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Wonderful dinner”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2013

We were passing through Kingston on our way back from touring the Prince Edward County wineries and had a wonderful dinner here. The service was stellar and the food was great. An extensive wine list is available, that also features local wines. We thought the menu was very inventive and offered a lot of fresh seasonal options. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Ottawatraveller547
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“I go for the steak”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2013

By far the absolute best steak in Kingston! Yes, it is overpriced, yes it is a bit smarmy, but damn the food pleases my palate. So much better than these food chains taking over our downtown core.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank jevb76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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