"Charming place - full of daylight - excellent selection of food - service very attentive - these are few of the many qualities of this Bistro. There are many good restaurant in McLean, however Bistro Vivant is MY Bistro"
Dined on 7/23/2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion, notable wine list
"The food was one step above awful . And the menu was limited and not very interesting. The service was only good, even though the restaurant was less than half full. My wife had mussels that were mediocre with a rather tasteless broth. The cold pea soup was also bland and lacked flavor. I remember having much better food and menu at Bob Vivant about 11/2 years ago- it has gone downhill; I will not return or recommend it to others."
"My BF and I wanted a casual but quality dinner and we found it at Bistro Vivant. The food was delicious--we shared a salad, mussels and steak frites and all were wonderful. The goat cheesecake was a surprise winner as well. Good choice of quality wines by the glass. The service was friendly --we felt our presence was valued."
Dined on 6/20/2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, notable wine list, great for outdoor dining, fit for foodies
"We love Bistro Vivant, it is such a great local spot to get amazing food. It pleases my Mom and my 7 year old - that's special. We had the steak and pomme frittes, the roasted beet & burrata, the country pate maison and the vivant steak tartare. Each dish was made to perfection; everything was fresh, presentation oh so pretty. We highly recommend BV!"
Dined on 5/09/2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, special occasion, notable wine list, great for outdoor dining, fit for foodies, kid-friendly
"From the fantastic bread through delicious appetizers,excellent entrees, and fine desserts worth the calories, this place is wonderful. Memorable wines at good prices. The French ambiance is real but relaxed. Service is perfect. Nothing here you won't like. Go once and you'll happily become a regular."
Dined on 4/18/2015
Special Features: romantic, neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion, notable wine list, great for outdoor dining, fit for foodies
"Let's start in reverse. Desserts were excellent and the cappuccino hit the mark (no small feat). Both the shrimp starter and the salmon main course tasted, well, a tad fishy. Most seafood is flash frozen and thawed by the fish monger but my guess is that the seafood is frozen (a la Trader Joe's) and that stuff always has that taste. The food here seemed perpetually under seasoned and the truth is that salt and pepper added after the dish is cooked (pepper being the exception in soup and salad) does not replace the seasoning process in cooking. The frites could be better. It's not that the food is bad as much as the fact that the place could and should be much. much better for the price. It is my understanding that the owner is French. So he/she has to know that this Bistro would go out of business in the smallest town in France, but it's good enough for the hamlet of Mclean. Maybe it's a calculated choice of getting the most money for the least effort by making the dishes look better than they are. But at these prices, drive into DC and eat at Le Diplomate. The latter is not a perfect bistro either but it is noticeably better. Visit Montreal if France is too far and you'll understand just how great French bistro can be. I'll bet the owner of this establishment knows that already, so why not pack the place out by hiring a better chef, turning out better food (Frisee Lardon salad should be a staple in a bistro) and pack the place out every night?"
"The food, service, and atmosphere of Bistro Vivant was great. We were shown to our table quickly upon arrival, and brought bread (delicious!) and water. For appetizers, my dad had the escargot, which was drenched in a delicious parsley sauce, and I had the octopus with creamy polenta underneath. For the main course, I had the mussels and fries and my dad had the duck confit. Both were done perfectly! I'm a sucker for a good chocolate dessert, and the chocolate lava cake, despite it taking a while to get to the table, was worth it! An overall great experience at Bistro Vivant! We will be back!"
Dined on 3/17/2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, notable wine list, great for outdoor dining, fit for foodies
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Review 33 for Bistro Vivant
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/20/2015
Dined on 3/20/2015
"Our first time at Bistro Vivant will certainly not be our last. When we first arrived, the hostess immediately greeted us courteously and showed us to our table with a smile. Once we sat down a busboy brought us our water quickly and was surprisingly knowledgable about the menu. When I asked him what a lardon was, he replied easily, "It's a thick-cut, French bacon." The wine list was amazing and comprehensive, with many options to choose from and moderately priced. For appetizers, my husband and I ordered the Roasted Beet and Burrata Salad and the Steak Tartare, respectively. My husband really enjoyed the tartare, even though usually he is not a big fan of it. The restaurant also treated my vegetarian needs very well. Our waitress was very polite and quick to offer many options for me, all of which sounded delicious. In the end I decided on a risotto which the chef prepared especially for me, containing mushrooms, butternut squash, and mascarpone cheese. It was one of the best risottos I have ever had. My husband had the Pot-au-Feu. He said the broth was to die for. Finally, for desert I had the Chocolate Lava Cake while my husband had the cheesecake. I loved my lava cake, however my husband thought that cheesecake was flavorful but too dense, expecting it to be more fluffy and light. Besides that, the restaurant itself was very cozy and inviting, and overall a very nice experience. I think we found a new local restaurant and we are definitely going to recommend it to out friends!"
"My husband and I had dinner at Bistro Vivant on a Saturday evening just after 8:00pm. It was moderately busy (as opposed to bustling/packed), which we didn't mind and made for a really pleasurable experience. Love that it's in the neighborhood in "downtown" McLean and privately owned. The food was delicious, the service just right, and the ambiance lovely. The owner makes a point to walk through and stop at tables to chat and make sure everything is to your satisfaction; it's not affected or just going through the motions, but rather sincere and genuine. I like those little touches and it lets me know they care.
We had the French Onion soup and Steak Tartare for starters. I'm not a big raw meat eater so I had the soup, which was quite good, but I had a taste of the beautifully prepared tartare - it was fabulous and I've already decided what I'll order on our next visit! For dinner, I had the cassoulet special, which was very good and heartier than I initially thought, so I was quite full by the time we left. My husband had the Atlantic Salmon and he also enjoyed his meal. Overall, we had a lovely time and are looking forward to going back!"
Dined on 3/07/2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, fit for foodies, kid-friendly
"They consistently deliver with delicious food and professional service. The staff is always attentive, yet unobtrusive, a balance that many other places seem to struggle to find. My only complaint is that they're stingy with the butter. Their crusty rustic bread cries out for more!!!"
Dined on 3/13/2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for lunch, fit for foodies
"First time there, and it will be our last time. We are so disappointed because we had hoped this would a local, easy to get to, good restaurant. We both ordered the steak frites special and 2 glasses of wines. The steak were both rare to blue -- we ordered medium and medium rare. There was also a fair amount of gristle in both of our steaks. It was not possible to cook the steaks more because they were already sliced and covered in a rather odd spicy sauce. After a few bites, we both knew we didn't want more even if they had been cooked per our order. The fries were not salted at all. We requested salt (there was none on any of the tables) and after several minutes, we were given a container of large rock salt (fleur de sal). This cannot be used to salt prepared food. After several more minutes of looking for our waiter (the restaurant is small --where was he?), I started to go to the bar to request granulated salt. The waiter then came rushing toward me. I requested the granulated salt, and he replied that he would see if they had any. Really? After another wait, he brought some. Of course, the fries were long cold by then, and the salt didn't help. The wine ($14/glass) was warm. I also must have gotten the bottom of bottle because they was a large amount of sediment. The waiter never asked about our meals, even when he took away nearly full plates of food. Of course, we declined his offer of doggy bags. We had hoped for a good neighborhood place to eat. We got bad food, bad wine, bad service."
"Bistro Vivant is my favorite restaurant in McLean hands down. It is option #1 when taking the special lady friend out for date night. Yeah, there are a couple restaurants in the area that may be more trendy and hip, but they overcharge for small portions of merely decent food. Do you want authentic French food without the trendy scene surcharge? Go to Bistro Vivant. Actually, don't all go at once because the ability to get a table on short notice is one of the major pluses."
Dined on 2/28/2015
Special Features: romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion, fit for foodies
"We have eaten here before and this place never disappoints! They serve quality food and it's delicious and plentiful. The servers are extremely friendly and quick to refill anything you ask for. This is a must try restaurant and we go there every time we are in the area! We will definitely return in the future."
Dined on 2/27/2015
Special Features: special occasion, notable wine list, great for outdoor dining, fit for foodies
"We went for Valentine's Day dinner when they had a prix fixe menu. It had lovely choices starting with an oyster in champagne and caviar, then a choice of appetizers. My date had the porcini mushroom soup and I had the Atlantic char tartare. While my dish was excellent with bright and acidic notes in a very well balanced presentation, the soup stole the whole show of the day. It came out fragrant and, at first, alarmingly dark brown, but one bite into the thick, rich concoction and neither one of us could get enough. Truly one of the more amazing things we've eaten in a long time. Our main dish consisted of Spanish turbot fish in a lovely lemongrass broth with tiny clams and lovely garnish. The taste combination was lovely. One gets used to having lemongrass primarily in Asian foods so the juxtaposition of it to the meaty fish was a nice surprise in every bite. I had a very nicely cooked tenderloin with a wonderful wine sauce and a leek/potato cake on the side. Both elements were flavorful in their own right and worked even better together. We ended with the chocolate lovers dessert which had a bite sized chocolate cheese cake, a chocolate gelato and a mousse. I wasn't fond of the cheesecake as I found it to be too dry and not very flavorful but the other tasted were great, All in all, a very good experience, Romantic enough with the snow blowing around and the candle lit tables. I would have expected staff to dress a little more formally given it was Valentine's day, but they were attentive. I want to come again to see what else is offered on their dinner menu. I expect and equally lovely evening,."
Dined on 2/14/2015
Special Features: romantic, special occasion, fit for foodies
"The food is first-rate, the service not so much. It's not bad service, just inattentive to the desire for refills, a dessert menu, the check. The room is light filled and contemporary feeling, but lacks overall ambiance. The service and "feel" need to rise a click to fully justify the price of a daily special such as Lobster Bouilliabaise. Food quality alone cannot carry a special restaurant. Great potential."
Dined on 2/13/2015
Special Features: great for lunch, fit for foodies
"Food was horrible! Salad had NO dressing so wilted on plate before my eyes! Onion soup WAY too SWEET--perhaps a canned base? , Escargot glopped with PESTO -discusting! What happened to this lovely dining experience? Shall not return! A total waste of a $50 . for a lunch!"
"Since every other restaurant in McLean is Italian, Greek, or Turkish, it's great to have a good French alternative. We each enjoyed a small green salad with a unique horseradish-based dressing. And excellent French bread and butter. She had the Coq au Vin and I had salmon. The former was terrific, but the salmon, served on a head of lentils, while well-prepared, was uninteresting. Portions are modest. Prices are rather high for a restaurant without table cloths and adornments. With just one glass of wine, a bottle of Perrier, two salads, two entrees and no desert, we spent $85 before tip. It didn't feel like a $100 dinner."
Dined on 2/07/2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, fit for foodies
"First off, food was amazing. Bread alone is worth 5 stars. Crusty on the outside, yet light and "airy" on the inside, like great bread should be. Can tell a lot about a restaurant's quality by this simple touch, and Bistro Vivant's bread choice is fantastic. Entrees and salads were great; adequate sized portions, artfully presented, yet substantial and very delicious, decent prices. Had a great restaurant fixed price full course meal for only $35. Service was prompt and very friendly, not the stuffy, uptight, formal service that we hate. Our server was very lovely and friendly (and very curvaceous, much to hubby's delight:) Very quiet and romantic spot. Highly recommend.
If you are looking for a hip, hot spot to be seen, this would not be the place for you. If, however, you are looking for that quaint, Parisian bistro feel with great food and service, then this restaurant is for you."
Dined on 1/31/2015
Special Features: romantic, neighborhood gem, good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list, fit for foodies
"The food was unlike anything I have ever tasted. It was the first time I ate escargot and it was quite an experience for me. The best thing about the three courses was the dessert: Madagascar vanilla creme brulee. It was delicious. The insides were like melted custard and the top was like a roasted marshmallow."
Dined on 1/25/2015
Special Features: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list, fit for foodies