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“Definition of French Bistro & Neighborhood Gem”

Bisou French Bistro
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Ranked #575 of 5,839 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $40
Cuisines: French, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, 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
Reviewed January 11, 2013

I cannot speak highly enough of what the owner is doing. We've been with Nick since his Chouchou, and find ourselves back time and time again regardless of having moved north. Bisou is a bit more vibrant, and, believe it or not, slightly tighter seating. But the product is excellent, the menu delicious and classic, and the service friendly and inviting. This is not just the definition of a neighborhood gem, it's the definition of a french bistro we plan to go to our entire lives. Steak Tartare, Onion Soup, Steak Frites... you name it, the classics will abound, possibly with a bit of a Kir Royale to start the night off. Can't wait to go back.

1  Thank OnlineConcierge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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67 - 71 of 110 reviews

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.

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

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Thank nikolai69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.


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1  Thank William M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

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

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1  Thank YellowSnowMonster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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