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“Back to Form...” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bistro Vatel

Bistro Vatel
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Ranked #426 of 4,589 Restaurants in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $23 - $80
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Uptown Broadway
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
358 reviews
242 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Back to Form...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2013

We had stayed away from Bistro Vatel for several years as a result several rather mediocre experiences but decided to go back and try them again. Tonight's meal was outstanding. Appetizers of bacon wrapped seared scallops were divine as was Lobster Thermidor (both were RICH!). The Lamb Roulade was both interesting and nicely done as were the Apple Tarts with Ice Cream (house made). The food was consistent throughout and places Vatel back near the top of the food pyramid in San Antonio. The decor has been freshened since our last visit and is more appealing. And our waiter was better than last time but he did bring us the wrong appetizers! Biggest negative is that wine prices are high. However, one does not come here for a bargain meal and the overall package is quite good. Recommended!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Jay F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    45
    9
    9
    2
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A consistent quiet elegance”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2012

The food is consistently excellent and the service attentive. The ambiance is low key but appropriate

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank robal_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Hidden gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2012

Have been going there since it opened. At dinner last night we had our regular...watercress salad and dover sole. Loyal wait staff is very attentive.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Lou F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san antonio
Level Contributor
77 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“OK if you're a regular”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2012

My husband and I went on a friday night. The place was busy. We had reservations and were immediately seated at a nice table in a quiet corner in the back. A harried-looking woman was our server, and as she was going over the menu with us, an older man came up and stood behind her, trying to get her attention. She asked him to wait while she finished with us, then greeted him effusively. Apparently, he is a regular customer, which is fine, except he kept getting visits from the staff who kept coming up, and he would stand up and talk loudly to them about a very ill relative. Finally, I had had enough, and asked very politely if there were any other available seats. We just didn't want to be privy to this man's private party that seemed to be going on. I realize the restaurant couldn't help it--it's a neighborhood place, and the clientele clearly are "regulars," and the staff want to keep them happy. It appeared to me as if there were plenty of other empty tables, but they waited until another party left, then moved us to their table--without bread and butter, without a napkin, without the menu, etc. We sat, and sat, and sat, and sat. The waitress had not even taken our drink orders, much less answered questions we had about the menu.

Our waitress was scattered, and kept going to the front door greeting people, and visiting. Finally, she came back to our table and asked if we were ready to order--we only had the menus for a couple of minutes, and then they took them away when we moved tables! We said we would like to order wine, and from then on, the service got better. In fact, she apologized, and said they were known for their "impeccable" service, and gave us a gratis dessert.

As for the food, I ordered the bouillabaisse, and it was delicious. I also ordered the mussels, and they were fishy and bland. My husband had the lobster which was boring. The creme brûlée was custardy--not creamy, and the sugar was too burned.

Overall, not worth the money.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank macfamilysanantonio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
119 reviews
87 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Great as always”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2012

I have to admit to being surprised by some of the reviews. We've never had anything but a good meal at BV and last Saturday was no exception. I ordered off the specials menu and my husband ordered off the regular and everything was really great. Service was wonderful as always and the chocolate torte was a amazing ending to the meal. We love the fact that we can walk to BV and have been going there for years. Hadn't been in awhile because we needed to watch our pennies, but this visit was a reminder why we continue to eat there year after year.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank San Antonio member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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