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“Two good lunches followed by a very rude hostess at dinner”
Review of Bistro 218

Bistro 218
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Ranked #25 of 957 Restaurants in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $16 - $42
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Welcome to Bistro 218 Nestled in the heart of Downtown Birmingham’s Financial and Theater District, Bistro 218 features side by side dining concepts. Guests can enjoy a glass of wine or craft cocktail in our upscale casual bar room and indulge in a full bar menu under or proceed through the French doors into the main dining room and take pleasure in French classics paired with seasonally procured wines and local craft beers. Reservations are available in either room. Ever changing menus are seasonal, with Gulf Coast influences and feature local foragers and farms supplying the best Alabama has to offer. Bistro 218 honors the traditions of French bistros with minimalist decor in a historical setting. Dark Brazilian mahogany, high ceilings and exposed brick adorned with local art emanate a comforting yet elegant atmosphere that is perfect for a romantic dinner, a pre-theater meal or a relaxing night out. Bistro 218 brings French cuisine to every palette. Enjoy your bistro favorites-from quiche to duck confit. We invite all of our neighborhood friends to join us for a high quality dining experience in a relaxed atmosphere where our standards in service and food are testaments to the history of Birmingham dining.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level 6 Contributor
170 reviews
122 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“Two good lunches followed by a very rude hostess at dinner”
Reviewed December 14, 2013 via mobile

Because I enjoyed two well prepared and served lunches this week, including gumbo and crab cake sliders with fresh cut fries, that were very good, I returned tonight with my wife for dinner with an advanced reservation. When we arrived on a cold evening, the valet was not available. He was "running late". The restaurant is in downtown Birmingham in an area you would not want to be walking in at night, from parking meter parking a block away. We did, however. There were no diners in the restaurant when we arrived. It had only been open about 10 minutes. It was completely empty. We were shown to a table for two close to the front door. It was very cold and we asked for one of the dozens of empty tables and were told that every empty table in the restaurant, was unavailable. We pointed out to the curt hostess that there were many two tops in the back. She rudely responded that the table she brought us to was the only one available to us. Because it was cold we left with not so much as an apology from the hostess. There are too many fine dining restaurants in Birmingham, in safe areas, that want your business, to be treated with this high level if rudeness. I cannot conceive of returning. A fine dining experience includes more than good food.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank JMG44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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126 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Birmingham, Alabama
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Red Snapper”
Reviewed December 13, 2013

Get it, youll thank me later. Great atmosphere, excellent food. Also the bar upstairs is cool. The owner/chef made a brief appearance at our table.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Adam G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Excellent food and service downtown Birmingham”
Reviewed December 10, 2013

We had to make a visit to the big city of Birmingham for some Doctor appointments and decided we would eat out after. It was also a day off from work, so we decided to enjoy ourselves. I hopped on tripadvisor and found some good options near us. Based on the reviews, Bistro 218 sounded good. It's down in the deep downtown of the big city. We parked in a big downtown deck. It was around 1:30 on a Friday, so it was relatively emply. My only complaint with this place came at the very beginning. The concierge seated us next to the only other people in the restaurant. If you are like me, you prefer not to hear the conversation going on at the other table. So, we asked to move over a table. The concierge acted like it was a big deal to move. Oh well, after that, the entire dining experience was excellent. The waitress was soft spoken and extremely nice. The other helpers were quiet and helpful in clearing items from the table, etc. The food was very, very good. What topped it off for me was the music. It was a mellow jazz sound that reminded me of the Crooners. This is a great place, just needs to train the lady at the front counter.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Reg1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
“Terrific meal!”
Reviewed December 8, 2013

I came here for lunch on a business trip with a large group of about 10 people. The staff did a great job of serving us, including refilling our beverages promptly (before we even needed refills!). The food was terrific. I had the crawfish and leek crepes as my main course. We also shared several appetizers, including the crab cakes, the homemade pomme frites (french fries) and the pork belly sliders. All were delish!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TravelBear12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“New-found Gem Downtown Bham”
Reviewed November 5, 2013 via mobile

We recently dined at Bistro 218 on a Saturday evening and were delighted that we had chosen to celebrate my friend's birthday there. The meal was excellent, wine delicious and very reasonable, and the atmosphere allowed our party of three to chat comfortably without competing with the music tract or peering through the dark at one another. The crab cake sandwiches and West Indies salad appetizers were exceptional. We all raved over our entrees: seafood crepes, pan seared Grouper, and pan seared Snapper. The seafood was incredibly fresh, as was the accompanying vegetables. We shared perfiteroles for dessert -- to die for! We all agreed that we'd be back.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mbmom9093
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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