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“Classy pretentions need work!”
Review of Bistro Vivant - CLOSED

Bistro Vivant
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Rt 123 Dolley Madison Blvd
Transit: Metro Bus stop one block away, on corner of Old Dominion Dr and Chain Bridge Rd.
Description: A contemporary French Bistro in the heart of McLean. We are open ALL DAY, EVERY DAY... so join us for a late Lunch, early Dinner or any Holiday.
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Classy pretentions need work!”
Reviewed October 23, 2012

Going for a "special treat" birthday dinner, my husband and I thought it odd that the tables were bare wood and that there was a very large chalkboard written with the same items that were on the laminated menu we were presented with at the table. The decor was dark and woody with almost too-subdued lighting. Despite there being few customers, we were shown to a very small table for two. We shared a frisse salad (delicious) and he had hanger steak, which had a nice sauce, and frites which were great but covered more than half his plate. I had scallops, 4 to be precise, for $22, with a side of spinach for $6...which I though very good but expensive, and found the scallops with the muscle attached and somewhat sandy, which I thought inexcusable. The wine was good and the service OK although not very personable. If you add up a salad, and entree and vegetable sides, it's pretty expensive...I wasn't impressed.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Karen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

77 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    23
    27
    18
    4
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
McLean, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Lovely ladies lunch place”
Reviewed October 6, 2012

I've been there twice for lunch with a friend. I've had the nicoise with tuna and the chicken cobb salads. Both were excellent. The frites are fantastic and if you ask served with mayonnaise. The house bread and butter is how french bread should be. The tuna with the nicoise was seared to perfection and raw inside. The beans were fantastic and the white anchovies to die for. The chicken cobb was great but the roquefort dressing could have had a bit more cheese oomph. The chicken wasn't bad. The service was okay. The first time I was given the dinner menu and we didn't realize until we were talking about the food and my friend was talking about things that weren't on my menu. They quickly changed it when I asked.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank aussiechickinmclean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level 6 Contributor
182 reviews
112 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Finally a decent french restaurant in McLean”
Reviewed October 5, 2012

It is still a mystery why there are so few restaurants in McLean. Bistro Vivant is a welcome addition. Located in a strip mall with generous parking,it is a simple rather pretty room that is comfortable. The food is basic french with a daily set of specials. We began with chilled tomato soup (excellent) and a pretty salad. Entrees,we ordered, were grilled salmon and veal stew. I ordered a "side" of spinach. Dessert was a wonderful cake with ice cream. The house wine was crisp and dry at $8.00 per glass. (wine and red same price). The service was informed cheerful and prompt. The food was excellent and cooked just as requeuested. It was very hot (temperature) which suggested that it is made to order. My wife and I had no complaints. The entrees are from 20 to 25 and worth it. We will be back!!!

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank EuropeLover_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
186 reviews
170 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Charming French cafe”
Reviewed September 29, 2012

Charming little French café with a delicious house white wine. Hamburger was succulent and came with crispy frites. Next time I will be more adventurous and try something truly French, though the burger had nice touches such as olive tapenade. Their bread basket came with a ramekin of soft salted butter, which tasted great on the crusty slices of bread. Service could have been more attentive, but it was fine. The staff is low key and friendly. There is outdoor seating, but it is right by the parking lot. Inside is prettier. The rest room is gorgeous.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mary G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
263 reviews
217 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“good but not great”
Reviewed September 22, 2012

Service was very good. The food needs some work before I consider raising my rating. the apps were vert good but the entrees were not so great. The duck confit was overdone and the pheasant was good but needed something, perhaps some acidity, to make it great. French fries were excellent.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelNow61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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