We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Good food, a few misses”
Review of M Bistro and Wine Bar - CLOSED

M Bistro and Wine Bar
Price range: $30 - $30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Transit: one transit stop one mile from restaurant
Reviewed May 26, 2013

We took my brother-in-law here for his birthday on Memorial Day weekend. Overall, we were pleased with our experience.

The food was consistently well-prepared. Starters of crab bisque and a beet salad were a lovely beginning to the meal. My husband enjoyed his crab cakes, which were composed of large lumps of crab with almost no filler. They were served on a bed of turnip mash, a nice twist on the usual mashed potatoes. BIL and I both had the standout entree, though. I'm still not sure I'll get the name right: Cat Sea Pig Scallop. Inventive and delicious, the dish featured a large seared sea scallop, wrapped with a lightly battered and fried catfish fillet, and then wrapped in applewood smoked bacon. The main was served on a bed of rosemary grits, along with a lovely tomato sauce and 3 roasted Brussels sprouts. It sounded like an unlikely combination of flavors, but wow, did it work! The more I ate, the more I liked it.

For dessert, we had peach cobbler and bread pudding. You never know what you're going to get when you order cobbler - this one was a layer of peaches baked with an oat-based topping that reminded me more of a crisp than a cobbler. It was nicely seasoned with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon; a scoop of vanilla ice cream would have been an improvement, but it was a nice ending to the meal. I'll come back to the bread pudding in a moment.

Our waiter was very pleasant and attentive, but seemed unsure of himself; I think he might have been new. When we asked for advice on choosing between the two Reislings on the wine list, he excused himself to ask for recommendations at the bar. When he returned, the word was, "They both are about equally sweet." So we did a toss-up and ordered one. Soon our waiter was back with a bottle of Reisling in hand. It was neither of the varieties on the wine list, and he informed us that it was the only chilled Reisling they had available. When he assured us that it was also a somewhat sweet wine, we shrugged and said ok.

A few minutes later, a gentleman we had earlier seen helping the hostess appeared at the table with our wine bottle. He opened it and gave the first taste to me; it was not sweet at all. I hesitated, and he asked if something was wrong. I said, "We wanted a wine that was a little bit sweet - this is very dry." He said, "Well, if you want a sweet wine, we can change it out for a moscato; Reisling really isn't ever a sweet wine." I didn't see any point in voicing my disagreement, so we just took the Reisling. I am no wine snob, and honestly have fairly limited knowledge of wine, but I have had a number of Reislings that had nice sweet notes to them; at the same time, I generally associate moscato with being an extremely sweet wine, more like a dessert wine. I'm not sure who our wine server was, but it seemed odd that the person designated to bring us our wine didn't seem to know any more about wine than I do. Even more odd was the fact that a restaurant that bills itself as a wine bar had a very limited wine list of maybe 50 wines, and then was out of the two I considered ordering.

Misstep #2 was that halfway through dinner, we realized we had not gotten bread with our meal; we had read how wonderful the rosemary bread was, and then noticed it on other tables. Our waiter apologized and after a few minutes' wait, brought us a lovely, hot loaf straight from the oven. Perhaps they had run out earlier and we got the first of the next batch?

Misstep #3 was that BIL and I got our peach cobblers promptly, and then we all sat and waited for several minutes for my husband's butternut rum cake. We finally caught our waiters' eye and reminded him of the missing dessert. He apologized and went to find it. After a few more minutes' wait, he reappeared with an abashed look on his face to inform us that the kitchen was out of the rum cake. My husband chose the bread pudding, which was promptly brought by another staff member. It turned out to be very good, fortunately, and the restaurant did the right thing by removing it from the bill.

On the upside, our waiter did well keeping our coffee and water filled, and he maintained a pleasant demeanor even through the awkward moments. I feel like he was working to do a good job but perhaps had not had all the training he needed.

The restaurant's urban contemporary decor was pleasant, and the dining room was about half-full on a holiday weekend Sunday night. Our booth was spacious - a small thing that made a big difference - and we also noted outdoor tables that would be a lovely place to eat on a summer evening.

I would definitely go back for the food, but I would hope that management would offer additional training and try to minimize the miscues between the back of the house and the servers (like being out of wines or desserts). At this price point ($20-30 entrees), great food is just a starting point - I also expect the details to be right.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank mcbeth2346
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (49)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

16 - 20 of 49 reviews

Reviewed May 26, 2013

Located near the river. Parking appears ample.

Nice ambience and noise level. Our server Jonathan was helpful, attentive, and friendly.

I had the duck and my wife had 2 appetizers for dinner - the avocado lobster salad and the lamb Benedict. The duck was well prepared, crispy. My wife's two appetizers consisted of a lobster tempura, deep fried, stuffed with a cold crab-lobster salad. The lamb Benedict was two lamb chops, with a poached egg, sitting on a piece of ham, covered in Hollandaise sauce. For dessert we had the bread pudding. All were outstanding.

We'll definitely be back the next time we are in RIchmond.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

We stopped in after reading the other reviews while driving into Richmond on Route 5. Fabulous choice! Delicious mussels to start. Fabulous Cat Sea Pig and Salmon. Ended with melt in your mouth Wedding Cake (lemon cake, white chocolate icing) and Bread pudding. Super attentive staff. Very chill, yet refined ambience--would be a great place to return to later in the evening to have drinks. And, the bathroom sink is just so cool looking!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank SASC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2013

I was not aware of this new area of Richmond but my Uncle and Aunt eat here quite often when they are in town for the Forum so my cousin suggested it and I am glad she did; the food, décor and wait staff was excellent and it took us less than 15 minutes to make our way through town to the Landmark Theater - very simple to navigate.

Water with an English Cucumber! Who knew how refreshing that combo would be. That was first to impress.

We each had a salad ($5.00 - 7.00) which was brought out with rosemary bread in the shape of a soufflé/extra large cupcake. Both were beautifully presented and equally delicious. The salmon marinated in lemonciello ($21) was presented in a bowl and my husband was so impressed with the flavor and how perfect the salmon was cooked. I had the special which was shrimp speared on a sugar cane ($23) but surprise, surprise, it also had a small steak and a small chicken breast in addition to 2 large shrimp, broccoli rabi, and mashed potatoes. I used the rest of the bread to wipe the plate clean of the different flavors. We were too full for dessert but no doubt they would be a treat. The bathroom sink is way cool - and the Chef/owner made his way out to see how we liked everything.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank kthomasva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

I did not know about this bistro/wine bar/heaven on earth until I walked through the threshold. I was actually intending on eating at the Boathouse right off the river, but the bar was at full capacity. My friend that I went to eat with, knew of this bar, we skipped the Conch Restaurant for several reasons. So I was very delighted to walk in the restaurant on a Weekend-night and have immediate seating. It was dimly lit, with candles and fresh roses at every corner. Very romantical (in my Darla voice). I was very intrigued by the place.

Lets talk ambiance/atmosphere/aura: Delightful, dimly lit, deep red walls, the color of Merlot, two separate bars, the back half of the Bistro was not being used. There were about 3 couples in the restaurant and 2 tables of double dates/parties that evening, so there was no overcrowding and a good amount of space between each party. And the kitchen is open so you can see the hustle and bustle of the chefs while you are at your seat. It was a mix of chic and casual. You could very well get dressed up in your sexy datenight attire and not be overdressed in your pumps but I add casual to the description because the waitress/waitor wore jeans under their aprons. So if you came in a cute jeans and blouse with flats on you would not be under dressed. But I definitely don't see sweatpants but to each his own.

Ladies we understand how important it is to feel comfortable and dressed appropriately when we are going out.

We ordered appetizer of seared scallops that was accompanied by a corn patty which was a delicious surprise! There was a common theme amongst the plates like a corn/breadpudding type of ordeal but the cornbread patty was delicious in every meal. I ordered the smoked/roasted chicken with asparagus that was cooked to perfection. My friend ordered rack of lamb that he thoroughly enjoyed. There was an array of herbal tea to choose from. Now I did order one thing that I sent back because I knew after one sip I would not finish, that was the rosemary lavendar lemonade, I didnt like the seltzer they added to the drink, what I wanted was a flavored lemonade (think charleston, south carolina) not a lemon-spritzer, but someone else may very well enjoy a little sizzle with their lemonade. Unfortunately there was no room for dessert. But everything on the menu sounded scrumptious.

After going there I shared my experience and others have shared they have a great bar, I don't really drink alcohol that often so I'm sorry I can't give you my opinion. There was nothing basic about the menu, every item I consumed had a special twist to it, even the water was cucumber infused and may I add VERY refreshing!

But let me answer three questions: Should you go? yes, What should you order? anything you cant go wrong Price range? $$ per plate. Bread is complimentary and its cute it looks like a chef's hat! The Chef met with us after we finished our plates and spoke with us for a few minutes, that was very nice to see. Also our waiter did his best to accommodate me when I was unsatisfied with the lemonade, but I told him in the end I just didn't want the seltzer, he probably would have tried again, so I appreciate that, I only have positive comments to share about this restaurant.

Check out my pictures and I hope this helps!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank t dwan w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed M Bistro and Wine Bar also viewed

 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing