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“Repeated Visits, Never Disappointed”
Review of Willows Bistro

Willows Bistro
Ranked #14 of 663 Restaurants in Winston Salem
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Repeated Visits, Never Disappointed”
Reviewed June 11, 2013

Last Saturday, June 8, 2013, we dined at Willow's with another couple, friends of ours that we enjoy fine dining with on a semi-regular basis. It was a very pleasant evening, so we opted for outdoor seating on the long front porch of the former railroad freight station that serves as Willow's home.

We each started with the grilled romaine salad. My wife and I had tried it on our last visit and looked forward to ordering it again--great choice as a starter. I ordered the grilled duck breast entrée and my wife ordered the grilled tuna. We pretty much cleaned our plates (what can I say? We're from that generation.) Willow's, despite being 4 hours+ from the coast, does fish quite well--my wife's tuna was perfect and I was glad to take a taste. My duck breast was slightly charred, cooked medium inside, tender and tasty served with a glace worthy of bread sopping.

All-in-all, it was a very enjoyable evening, from the company, the cocktails to the cup of coffee. I only have one small suggestion for the management--install an espresso maker. Espresso after dinner really fits the establishment.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Laz1544
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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368 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
97 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Well prepared food but expensive”
Reviewed June 6, 2013

My wife and I have eaten at Willows twice in the last 6 months and have enjoyed both experiences from a culinary perspective. The chef really knows his trade and plies it well in both preparation and presentation.

During our last visit, we both got the snapper and scallops (real scallops!) special and this time remembered the sticker shock when we ate there previously. If money is no object then don't bother asking how much the special entrees are because they typically don't tell you, but if you are value conscious then the $26 - $32 price for the specials may come as a bit of a shock. To put things in perspective, I have eaten in restaurants in larger metro markets where the food is just as good but less expensive. Most menu items are priced reasonably imho. On this occasion, we split the snapper special plate for a very reasonable $3 upcharge. We also got the hummus small plate as an appetizer. I strongly suggest this as a starter; you could almost make a meal from it alone.

Service was impeccable. Our water glasses were dutifully attended to and our waitress was very affable without being obtrusive. She always seemed to appear at the right times, was very knowledgeable of the entrees and professional.

Despite the cost factor, Willows remains an excellent dining option in downtown Winston-Salem for us.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank bwt1951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster, Pa.
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great little restaurant, tucked out of the way, in Winston Salem”
Reviewed May 22, 2013

I'm new to Winston-Salem, and found this restaurant, by accident, while walking on the Old Salem trail. I noticed the red umbrellas on their outside porch area and it attracted me to it. The ambience is casual, but inviting. There is an open-concept kitchen, which in itself, is not at all distracting, but adds to the charm. It is a small space inside where you can choose to sit at the bar, which looks directly into the kitchen, choose a table inside from tables positioned along the wall or in the room itself, or sit on the covered patio/porch. There are beer/wine choices that seem well thought out. The menu choices were varied with additional "specials" posted on a large chalkboard. All are freshly prepared. We had the flounder and chicken, which were both quite good; although the presentation was slightly sloppy where, for instance, the chicken dish seemed to be in one mass on the plate. The desserts, mostly made in-house, were great. Our server, Lauren, was fantastic! Definitely will return to this great little restaurant.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PJ9156
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“One of the Best in Winston-Salem”
Reviewed May 19, 2013

Willows Bistro is one of my favorite restaurants in Winston-Salem. It is close to Old Salem and located in what was once a railroad station. It is not a particularly large space and is fairly popular with other locals, so it is a good idea to make reservations. Willows is one of those places that I think of as "upscale casual." That is, you can certainly drop in casually dressed, but you will also see people who are clearly out for a special occasion - either way you can be comfortable. Anyway, I have found their food to be consistently very, very good over the past several years. While it is by no means a "seafood restaurant" I think their fish and seafood preparations are a particular strength. There is always a scallop special - either as an appetizer or a meal portion - and I especially like their Shrimp BLT sandwich. Among their salads, I especially like the Chicken and Pear Salad. The menu has a reasonable amount of variety but is not overly long and the daily specials are always of interest. The wine list has a number of good, reasonably priced choices. If you are visiting W-S, you would be well-advised to seek out this local favorite!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank washpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greensboro, North Carolina, United States
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“One of my top picks...”
Reviewed May 19, 2013 via mobile

To keep it simple, this is probably one of the best restaurants in Winton-Salem and the Triad. We finally had a chance to check it out this weekend, and were very impressed. Overall, it was a great experience; from the service, to the ambiance...and not to mention the cuisine. They have a nice wine and brew list, and offer some nice custom cocktails as well, so it can definitely be a good place to spend time with friends after work/ happy hour. Do yourself a favor, and put this on your list to try, if you haven't already.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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