About Bistro Two Eighteen

218 20th St. North
Birmingham, AL 35203
View Larger Map

Bienvenue! Bistro 218 combines the traditions of a French bistro with modern American cuisine. Located at 218 20th Street North, Birmingham native and professionally trained chef owner Tom Saab joins the revival of businesses in downtown Birmingham.

Bistro 218 features the elegant minimalist interior design of traditional of French bistros, while preserving the historical roots of the building, creating a comfortable, romantic atmosphere.

Bistro 218 brings French cuisine to every palette. Enjoy your bistro favorites-from quiche to duck confit! We strive to provide quality affordable food and impeccable service to all of our neighborhood friends. Come join us for a high quality dining experience in a relaxed atmosphere!

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
French, Contemporary American

Hours of Operation:


Lunch:

Tuesday - Friday: 11:00am - 2:00pm


Dinner:

Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm

Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm


Closed Sundays & Mondays

Cross Street:
2nd Ave. N.

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(205) 983-7999

Website:
http://bistro218.com/

Parking Details:
Curbside Valet Parking Starting at 5pm

Executive Chef:
Tom Saab

Private Party Contact:
Tom Saab: 2059837999x

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Wheelchair Access, Wine

Bistro Two Eighteen Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.8

ambience

4.6

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Overall
Alabama
Fit for Foodies
Alabama
Romantic
Alabama
8 More
Best Overall
Birmingham
Best Food
Birmingham
Best Service
Birmingham
Best Ambiance
Birmingham
Best Value
Birmingham
Fit for Foodies
Birmingham
Romantic
Birmingham
Special Occasion
Birmingham
Best Restaurants in Birmingham ›

special occasion (47)
fit for foodies (45)
romantic (43)
See All
neighborhood gem (26)
notable wine list (22)
late-night find (9)
good for groups (9)
hot spot (7)
great for brunch (5)
great for lunch (4)
scenic view (2)
great for outdoor dining (1)
kid-friendly (1)
Sort By:
Newest
184 reviews
Loading Reviews ...
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The food and service were excellent as a ...

Dined 5 days ago

The food and service were excellent as always. Tom Saab always has something different to offer and the presentation is fantastic. We have been to Bistro 218 5 times and have never been disappointed with the food or service.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Arrived early, but table was ready and w ...

Dined 6 days ago

Arrived early, but table was ready and we were seated early. Server was knowledgeable about wine and very helpful regarding being sure we got a wine we would enjoy. He made excellent recommendations. He was friendly and attentive. Service was excellent from start to finish. Menu was very good and offered some excellent choices. Serving size was generous. Appetizers were wonderful. Entrees ware good but we were a little disappointed for the price. The ambiance was terrific.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Bistro TwoEighteen was absolutely amazin ...

Dined 6 days ago

Bistro TwoEighteen was absolutely amazing! This was my first visit and was definitely worth making a reservation. The food was delicious and the service was excellent.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Absolutely EXCELLENT! Great menu but no ...

Dined 6 days ago

Absolutely EXCELLENT! Great menu but not off the wall like many gourmet restaurants. Food is delicious.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

This was a bit of a treat for my wife an ...

Dined 6 days ago

This was a bit of a treat for my wife and I, and we had a wonderful evening out! The food, cocktails, service, and facility were all wonderful. You could tell that anything on their menu will be spectacular, however I would recommend the absenthe minded martini and the beignets for dessert, both of which were exceptional. My only complaint was that the tables are a bit too close together so you end up hearing everyone else's conversations. Thankfully, the waitress told us they are expanding so that soon shouldn't be a problem. There are several wonderful spots to drop this kind of money on dinner in Birmingham. This place ranks up there with the best of them and should be on anyone's short list of restaurants.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Bistro 218 never disappoints. The food, ...

Dined on June 23, 2016

Bistro 218 never disappoints. The food, service and ambience were all superb.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

From the appetizers to the main course, ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

From the appetizers to the main course, the food was excellent. We loved the quiet atmosphere and the service was great.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food2
ambience4
service4
value3

The steak came out luke warm. To be fai ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

The steak came out luke warm. To be fair this is the second time we have gone because the first time was fantastic.

food4
ambience4
service5
value4

We enjoyed our dinner. Service was good ...

Dined on June 16, 2016

We enjoyed our dinner. Service was good. Not a huge wine list but several Oregan wines to choose from.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our first trip to Birmingham in over 10 ...

vip
Dined on June 12, 2016

Our first trip to Birmingham in over 10 years. Downtown restoration is outstanding. Stayed at the newly renovated Redmont Hotel & service was great. Walked to Bistro Two Eighteen & hostess acknowledged us graciously. Food and presentation was outstanding. My wife's fruit tart for desert was over the top. The chef|owner acknowledged our Open Table request for quiet seating and offered us arguably the best seat in the house. We agreed that we would return to Birmingham soon with the expectation of dining again at Bistro Two Eighteen. Tuck

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fantastic food and atmosphere

Dined on June 8, 2016

Atmosphere was intimate and welcoming. Service was outstanding and friendly. Starters, entrees, desert, and wine were all excellent. Would very highly recommend and look forward to going again.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Magnificent cuisine in a loft setting

vip
Dined on June 4, 2016

Tom Saab is a masterful chef. His gumbo is unlike anything I have had anywhere else in the South, including top restaurants in NOLA. It tastes like it came from some backwoods Louisiana kitchen. The portion is quite generous but it leaves one wanting more. He created a new entree, pork loin scallopine - how does one slice pork loin like that? It was tender and tasty and served with grilled brussel sprouts. Dessert was a seasonal fresh berry tart filled with a creme anglaise rather than a custard. The cocktails are creative and delectable, the wine selection is notable, and the coffee is the perfect ending. The service is friendly, professional and attentive.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Staff was inviting and accommodating! Fo ...

Dined on June 4, 2016

Staff was inviting and accommodating! Food was amazing! What else can you ask for! CCW~

food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Great dinner!

Dined on June 4, 2016

It has been several months since I've had dinner at Bistro 218 and it was still wonderful as before. I had the gumbo for an appetizer and the Shrimp with Risotto which was delicious. Two of my dining companions had the Bistro chopped salad and the crab cakes for their entree. Again, all of the food was outstanding as was our waiter.

Tags: neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Reason Enough To Go Back Downtown

Dined on June 3, 2016

Have been wanting to try this restaurant for some time and wasn't disappointed in the least. I was taken in by the name, as some of my best dining memories are when traveling in France and this just sounded like such a restaurant that one would find there. I came away thinking that its name was the strongest French connection I got, but I was blown away with how much I enjoyed the food, which is pretty much the point. There were three of us, one a vegetarian, and all agreed we would go back in a flash. I would pick a time other than Thursday night, as they have street parties going and parking is harder and it is quite noisy, but we will without doubt go back. Food and service were first rate.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Anniversary Dinner, first time to dine here.

Dined on May 25, 2016

I had heard about Bistro Two Eighteen for over a year and kept it on my list of restaurants to try. Our second wedding anniversary was coming up and I wasn't able to get a reservation at the hour I wanted at another restaurant. B218 was available. I'm so glad we could dine here! They do have friendly valet parking, but it was a Tuesday and we parked right at the corner of this downtown location. We walked in and immediately enjoyed the contemporary look inside the old building with original brick walls and mixed tile floor. The natural light coming from outside through the tall windows is attractive. Nice atmosphere in a fairly small setting. Our waitress says they will be expanding into the next door area soon. We were seated in the corner at a table with a large card that said Happy Anniversary, along with an unexpected Irish blessing. My wife is from an Irish family history and she enjoyed that. The service was very attentive and informative from the start. It was a light crowd (Tuesday night). The air smelled of smoke (not from cigarettes, but from the kitchen) and slightly irritated my eyes, but dissipated soon enough. That was my only knock on the whole experience. The wait staff was very professional and answered everything we asked. Very friendly. Now to the food. Superb! I had the blackened amberjack over a bed of cheese grits. My wife had the jumbo gulf shrimp. We tasted each other's meals and we liked both entrees. We also had crab cakes for appetizer. And our favorite Moscato wine. And shared Crème Brûlée for dessert. The servings of food were perfect. Price was reasonable. I'm sure we would have spent more at some other restaurants. We enjoyed it and will be back. I recommend Bistro Two Eighteen!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

A classic fine restaurant in downtown Bi ...

Dined on May 24, 2016

A classic fine restaurant in downtown Birmingham. It never disappoints. The staff works together like a well oiled machine to make the experience enjoyable, memorable and relaxing. Tonight was my fifth or sixth time this year to dine. Now it's my go to restaurant in the area. Everything on the menu we've tried has been delicious. Valet parking, a warm greeting, great drinks and menu, outstanding service and food combine for what I look for when I get to choose a restaurant.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great date night spot.

Dined on May 21, 2016

We had a great time and the food was outstanding. We will make Bistro 218 a regular.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

Best place in Birmingham Chef Saab is t ...

Dined on May 14, 2016

Best place in Birmingham Chef Saab is the BEST!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great find for anniversary dinner!

Dined on May 8, 2016

Absolutely a wonderful experience from arrival to departure! My husband and I had made reservations for our anniversary dinner, and I can not tell you all just how pleased I am with the outcome. Upon arrival, we were 30 minutes early and expected to be guided to the bar while we waited which would have been completely understandable. Instead, we were escorted immediately to a table that was presented with a very cute "Happy Anniversary" card and offered two glasses of champagne on the house for celebrating. This was a fantastic personal touch that made us feel as though the Chef and his staff really wanted us to enjoy our special night. (And we most certainly did!) Our server for the evening was Grace, and I will highly suggest that anyone visiting the Bistro to ask for her services. She was absolutely fantastic throughout our meal. Our drinks were never empty, and she seemed to genuinely care whether or not we enjoyed our dishes. Attentive, but not overly so, which we appreciated. We dined in the upper level which gave us a nice view while we ate. And might I say, we both left with room for not another morsel. We began with the bone marrow and octopus. I highly, HIGHLY, recommend both though the octopus was the star! If it had been served as an entree, I would have ordered it hands down! (I had even contemplated ordering a second round after finishing our entrees!) For entrees we ordered the risotto and the rabbit. Both were fantastic! While my husband and I typically share plates so that we each get to try a good portion of a dish, I was less than enthused to share my rabbit. I wanted to hoard it all to myself! We finished our meal with the creme brûlée and fresh berry tart. Though they were both good, both my husband and I agree that the tart was the winner. Overall, we were completely impressed with Bistro 218, and we were certainly be back the next time we're in town! I can not wait to see what will be on the menu when we return.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

5 Star Restaurant in the B'ham Theatre District

Dined on May 7, 2016

This is our new favorite date night spot. The restaurant is small and has a very intimate feel. Service is excellent. Specialty cocktails and premium wine list. The grilled octopus and chorizo appetizer is amazing. The Octopus is very tender, and the chorizo is full of flavor. Nothing compares to this. The Duck Confit is fabulous. Tender slices of breast meat with a crispy skin confit leg. It melts in your mouth. The Rabbit was amazing, tender and succulent, full of flavor. Creme brûlée is perfect and the beignets taste like New Orleans. Love, Love, Love! This is an excellent diner spot before a show at the Alabama Theatre or The Lyric. It is small, so make a reservation in advance for busy nights.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Perfect!

Dined on April 26, 2016

This is our favorite spot in Birmingham to eat for a wonderful, quiet, and romantic meal. They are consistent with quality food preparation and service every time we've dined there. If you haven't checked out this spot yet, you're missing something.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service4

The food was very good. We are from the ...

vip
Dined on April 15, 2016

The food was very good. We are from the pre-show menu and really enjoyed our salad, gumbo, shrimp, and duck dishes. The dessert was very good too.

food5
ambience4
service4

Loved the snapper and fettuccine. Some o ...

vip
Dined on April 8, 2016

Loved the snapper and fettuccine. Some of the best I've eaten in a long time. Chopped salad was great too.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great dining!

Dined on April 7, 2016

We had a wonderful dinner. I was impressed that they had Spanish octopus , delicious. Don't see that in Montgomery ever. We'll be back.👍😀

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Fine

Dined on April 2, 2016

This is our third trip and found the restaurant as good as ever. We like the different items on the menu and the extensive but not overly expensive wine list. We all ordered different appetizers and entrees and the waiter was great about splitting for everyone. Overall very pleasant experience.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

One Of The Best

Dined on March 26, 2016

This was my fifth time to dine at Bistro 218. Every single experience has been delightful. The food and service is among the best in Birmingham.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food3
ambience4
service4
value1

Went for a Birthday celebration

Dined on March 25, 2016

First time at Bistro 218 and our party of four and two other diners were the only ones there. We dine out frequently but I must say we was disappointed in our experience here. Too expensive for the quality of food. Don't imagine we'll be back for I can pay $28-$32 for an entree at other places and KNOW it will be memorable. But not here. Half that price, I might be back. Maybe should try lunch?

food5
ambience5
service5

The special "treat" for the evening were ...

Dined on March 18, 2016

The special "treat" for the evening were the hand-foraged Morel mushrooms, which are found in the Warrior river basin. I did not have them but my wife did and said that they were fantastic!

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Well cared for

Dined on March 16, 2016

My wife and I enjoyed this last date night at 218. Everyone there was attentive, and genuinely cared for our experience. I was expecting good food; it was terrific! Some interesting spins on traditional dishes, and good recommendations from the server. Closed early, but we were there mid week.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Bistro 218 -- a hidden gem

vip
Dined on March 12, 2016

We've been to Bistro 218 a few times in the past, always having an excellent experience. We returned with friends recently and had a great time. Courteous valet parking is certainly appreciated at night downtown, and ambiance of the restaurant is both historic and cool. Service was friendly, informed, and helpful. A pre-dinner cocktail was both interesting and well-prepared. The wine menu, while not extensive, is well-done and eclectic. All of our food was excellent, with the pork osso buco particularly flavorful and fork tender. Desserts were nicely done, too. We plan to add this under-the-radar spot to our regular rotation of top-notch Birmingham restaurants.

Tags: fit for foodies, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Had a lovely experience here. My partner ...

Dined on March 9, 2016

Had a lovely experience here. My partner and I were celebrating our two year anniversary, and our waitress was a pleasure to be served by. I had asked while making the reservation a while back if we could have a table in a corner, and of course that was done. We were there on a Wednesday, so it was not crowded at all which was nice. The food was delicious. We had the chicken and the duck, and melted after each bite. Would highly recommend people to go here for a special occasion. It's worth every penny; from the food and drinks, to the service and ambiance. Thank you for a lovely evening!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Pre Show Dining at Bistro 218

Dined on March 5, 2016

My group of four's dining experience at Bistro 218 was absolutely wonderful. Looking forward to going back very soon. The greeting was warm and welcoming. Our waiter was excellent in his attention to our needs and the recommendations he offered. The wine and cocktails were very nice. The food was EXCELLENT. I believe the West Indies Salad may be the best I have ever eaten anywhere.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Complimentary valet and amazing service ...

Dined on March 2, 2016

Complimentary valet and amazing service! The food was amazing-- we had the escargot, pork Duroc and the duck, I highly recommend all 3. The meats fell off the bone and were full of flavor. Absolutely no complaints, enjoyed every bite! We will definitely be back, may be a new fave date spot!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

the best restaurant in Birmngham

Dined on February 28, 2016

3rd time I've been there. Justin the host is amazing and when I walked in he treated me like I owned the place. Best food and best presentation in Birmingham

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Delicious, as always!

Dined on February 27, 2016

Great spot for a quiet dinner. The Fritto Misto is so light and fresh! Service is very attentive. If you have the chance try the grilled octopus! Mmmmmmmmm. We are regulars and never regret it.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food4
ambience4
service1
value2

Good food, indifferent and slow service

Dined on February 26, 2016

We came to this place for the first time prior to a concert. We have a full two hours and were in no rush. The service was spotty, slow and indifferent. After our initial introduction and drink order, it took a very long time for her to return for our order. This pattern continued throughout the evening, up till the point that we received our main dishes 15 minutes before the concert was to begin a block away. We crammed down our food and literally had to run down the waiter to pay our tab as we ran out the door. There was nothing as much as an apology - almost like this is just the way they do things there. The food was really excellent, but the experience was not. After reading a number of other reviews with similar sentiments, I can only conclude that this is a leadership issue at this restaurant. Well, we tried it and will move on.

food5
ambience5
service5

Great atmosphere and food for birthday d ...

Dined on February 25, 2016

Great atmosphere and food for birthday dinner for the wife. Our regular special occasion place.

food5
ambience4
service2
value4

Mimi & JJ

vip
Dined on February 19, 2016

Food was EXCELLENT(apps, gumbo,entree, dessert were all superb) -Wait staff friendly but not polished at all - - extremely slow! We fine dine about 3 times per week and do not require much attention, but staff needs to be better aware of their surroundings; would hate to see restaurant fail due to lack of service because this lil place is a gem!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
food5
ambience4
service5

Always very, very good. The chargrilled ...

Dined on February 19, 2016

Always very, very good. The chargrilled Spanish octopus is amazing, a must get!

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.