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“Quaint true Bistro @ end of Castro”

Bisou French Bistro
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Ranked #764 of 5,712 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $40
Cuisines: French, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: The Castro
Cross street: Castro Street
Transit: Muni Lines : F/K/L/M/S/T Bus Lines : 24/35
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Quaint true Bistro @ end of Castro”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We were visiting from Wisconsin and searched out something outside downtown with an attractive menu in an inviting space. The menu did not dissappoint. The Frisee Salad was great!. Aranci/Risotto balls were fun. The Beef Bourguignon was rich, super tender and wonderful. Wine list was adequate and the server made good recommendations.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Patrick T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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104 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
256 reviews
147 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
“lovely castro bistro”
Reviewed December 25, 2012

Went for a christmas and had a set 4 course menu.
Great location on market street - lively and friendly set. Most staff seems french so we had high hopes for the food.
This dinner did not come with wine pairing so we chose a lovely french bourgogne from the list. This was however sold out the friendly waiter informed us after having gone to fetch it.
Well these things happen, so we chose an oregon pinot noir that looked nice - from 2008.
A 2009 bottle arrived. When asking about this the waiter said this was all they had - the price would be same as for the 2008 bottle - and would I like to substitute with something more powerful - like a syrah? So we went from a 74$ bottle (sold out) to a 54$ bottle (wrong vintage) and ended up with a 28$ syrah (they knocked 8$ off for the trouble).
Anyway this just to mention that the wine experience was far from what Id expect at a place like this.
Now for the food: The amuse bouche was decidedly strange : some lovely cured ham that came with a sort of sugar coated alcohol bubble shaped like an apple next to it. With powerful stuff inside. It actually complimented the ham nicely but was perhaps too strong.
The appetizers were however lovely: A great lobster bisque and my dining companion had some equally lovely fresh crab.
The main event was indeed the best: wonderful filet mignon accompagnied by tender braised beef. delicious simple and well prepared.
The veal tenderloin also turned out to be scrumptious and a true light to eat.
After this however cam the strangest palate cleanser I ever had. Some cold concoction of very strong apple based spirit. Absolutely undrinkable and totally destroying the wine experience (or what was left of it ).
The desserts were good however: Lovely gingercake with merengue topping and a good run-of-the-mill chocolate mousse .
So all in all a slightly mixed experience this evening.
Great atmosphere - friendly service, and excellent main courses. The wine list clearly needs to be updated according to what they actually have in stock and this could be done much much better for a french establishment such as this. If these things get cleared up and the slightly less successfull experiments into avant gard cooking such as the amuse and palate cleanser - then this could end up being a really good brasserie/bistro.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank nikolai69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Level 6 Contributor
683 reviews
279 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
“Zaza Paris in SF”
Reviewed November 30, 2012

We love coming to this place. It's like some clever boite in some fun city. The cuisine is local produce prepared in a French manner and presented in a clever, delicious style. Owner/chef Nick is a charming man, an excellent host. Each and every dish we have enjoyed over the years has been superb, and some are very original. Excellent wine list, lots of offerings from across the world.
Great service, attentive and engaging.


  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank William M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eureka, CA
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Very good food”
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Went here recently for brunch, very good food & affordable. The staff was very friendly, the restaraunt looked good. Highly reccomend!

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank YellowSnowMonster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 9, 2012

the meal was wonderful, the chef a delightful host. First time at the Bissou, didnt realize what we were missing, busy on Weekends so make reservations or get there early

Visited October 2012
1 Thank kevin d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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