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“Good tasting main dishes; however, falls below expectations”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Bistro 54

Bistro 54
Ranked #1 of 63 Restaurants in Perth
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $24
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Owned and operated by it's original husband and wife team since 2005. A menu inspired by "Mamas Cucina" style Italian cooking. Pasta hand made daily.Home made bread.Desserts made in house. Pasta and seafood are our specialties though much diversity is found within the pages of our menu. Extensive wine list roams the regions of Italy. Gluten free options for every dinner on the menu. Reservations not accepted for groups smaller than 8. Maximum sit down table size is 14. Upstairs wine lounge and dining room available.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Good tasting main dishes; however, falls below expectations”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2013

No doubt that the main dishes on the menu are well prepared and taste good. My average rating and big disappointment in this restaurant come from the fact that they have priced their food and promote their restaurant in the class where I would expect a way more creative menu (this menu is something that I would have expected from a North American Italian fine dining restaurant in the '90s); their wine list is boring and predictable; and they have missed a big opportunity to focus, promote, use anything local in their menu.

Nothing interesting is going on here. This just takes you to a tourist trap idea of Italy and charges a lot for it.

I can make outstanding carbonara or veal scallopini at home. When I go out for a nice meal and bottle of wine at this price point, I want more than that,

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4 Thank CestWhat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bumpyroad_12, Owner at Bistro 54, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
I begin by saying that it is hard to even believe that the author of this review says what he says. Let me clarify a few points he or she incorrectly stated.
Our wine list has been created and maintained by two of the best known wine importers in the Toronto/Ottawa area and was originally put on it’s current track by one of Ontario leading experts on Italian wine and renowned sommelier .
Our wine list carries over four dozen vintage wines showcasing 8 varied regions of Italy as well as a few offerings from other countries many of which appear on the lists of top establishments in Ottawa, Kingston and Toronto.
Our menu does not intentionally reflect the 1990’s - I personally worked in most of the high end Italian restaurants in Ottawa in the 1980’s and 90’s and can assure readers that most (not all) of our dishes would never have appeared on these menus. Having said that, some would have. Some still do - in Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston (and New York for that matter).
We do however rewrite our menu at least twice a year and are in the process of publishing our 19th menu. (in less than 8 years!)
We do not mark up our wine prices to current industry standards and as such cannot rely on these sales to offset our food costs as many city restaurants do. Most of our customers regularly drive here and we actively promote safe drinking practices, and, our customer base is not a heavy wine consumption demographic. This may result in our dinner items being a few dollars more than some, however portions are generous and ingredients top quality. We are not the most expensive dining in Perth.
If the author criticizes the sale of veal and pasta, may I ask what should we serve?
We do offer lobster, lamb tenderloin, pork, chicken, seafood and fish. I ask again…
We cook for over 11000 guests each year (30 seats, 5 nights a week, 250 days a year - I think we have a good idea what our community likes. Over 3000 chicken parms - OK you’ve got me there - boring! But this is what these guests want. I don’t make what I want…I make what they want. (We do make a great chicken parmesan though).
And you mention local sourcing…
We source ALL of our produce locally 7 months a year from Stony Brea Farms on Rutherford Side Rd., Perth, On.
They deliver every day from field to kitchen - all of it.
We make fresh bread (not frozen processed) each day.
We make fresh pasta each day before service We make our own bacon from local pork belly. The author acknowledged the food was well prepared and tasted good. Where is the issue?
We do not now, nor have we ever marketed ourselves as “fine dining”. We have chequered table cloths!
We are a husband and wife team trying to feed our family in a tough business environment with the sale of really good, hand made, honest, Italian heritage meals.
We do not claim to be, nor aspire to or promote ourselves in any way as - some gastronomically cutting edge pretentious and trendy restaurant.
WE ARE A LITTLE FAMILY RUN SMALL TOWN ITALIAN BISTRO - THAT’S ALL. You write as if you imagine yourself composing a Michelin star review for the New York Times - Really? (re-read previous line)
Dave Andoff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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211 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
“Taste Test 101”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

If you are looking for an overall eating experience that will in all honesty take you to the heart of Italy, Bistro 54 is the place for you. The beautiful quaint setting, the phenomenal service, and the incomparable food are simply a few reasons to visit this wonderful intimate spot. Engulfed in the open kitchen concept, the food that you hear sizzling will soon emerge on your plate with mind blowing presentation. Will go back over and over again. Kudos to the service and both Chef's Dave and George for making each and every customer feel like family.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Lackey-06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Smiths Falls, Canada
Level Contributor
194 reviews
153 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2013

This restaurant has some of the best italian food i have ever had kind of expensive but defenatley worth it .We ordered the pasta al gricia which is crisp pork with garlic and olive oil and parmesan for 19 dollars each .It was very fresh and we will defenitly be back our server was great .Restaurant is closed Mondays.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Cindy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Bistro 54 never fails to impress”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2013

The food here is excellent. Fresh pasta a delightful appetizers and entrees. We have been her at least a dozen times in the past 12 months.
My only complaint is their portion sizes are inconsistent. There are times the fabulous $12 Ceasar Salad is enough for two and sometimes barely enough for one. The pasta dishes too are not consistent in sizing. While in many restaurants this would dissuade us from going. The food at Bistro 54 is fantastic alway.

Visited January 2013
Thank Peter P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
“Amazing Food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013 via mobile

We frequent this restaurant often and always come away with a great dining experience. Attention to detail, excellent menu choices, excellent food ... always fresh. Very friendly atmosphere and Chef Dave frequently takes time to personally speak with his guests. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a fine dining experience and excellent Italian fare! Well done Bistro 54!

Thank Judy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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