About Bistro Two Eighteen

218 20th St. North
Birmingham, AL 35203
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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:



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:
$30 and under

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: (205) 983-7999

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Bistro Two Eighteen Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.3

ambience

4.4

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (25)
Good for a Date (21)
Good for Anniversaries (17)
See All
Romantic (14)
Cozy (14)
Creative Cuisine (13)
Good for Birthdays (13)
Fit for Foodies (12)
Pre/post Theatre (12)
Quiet Conversation (12)
Neighborhood Gem (10)
Business Meals (8)
Notable Wine List (8)
Authentic (8)
Local Ingredients (8)
Worth the Drive (8)
Historic (8)
Bar Seating (7)
Handcrafted Cocktails (5)
Fun (5)
Hot Spot (4)
Modern Decor (3)
Outstanding Value (3)
People Watching (2)
Healthy (2)
Casual (2)
Great Beer (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Seasonal (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Good for Groups (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Organic (1)
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254 reviews
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 (Birmingham)·Dined 5 days ago

We had eaten at Bistro 218 before...great experience so went again. This time: Food, so-so; Service, close to surly; Attention to diners, not great at all. We will not go again.

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food2
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined 6 days ago

Worth a second visit. It's a new restaurant and they're still getting their bearings. Service was abysmally slow, which was doubly disappointing for an anniversary meal. Food was very good -- an excellent filet mignon and top notch Old Fashioned. Notable was the number of repeat clientele whom the chef/owner and other staff seemed to know well. That says a lot.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience1
service1
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 16, 2017

The food was great, and the ambiance even better. It's not cheap, but it is well worth it!

Tags: Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 16, 2017

Horrible service -- it was impossible to get a drink from our waiter

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food3
ambience5
service1
value1

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on February 15, 2017

The atmosphere was great the food was very good, but I thought it was expensive. $90 each for a 4 course meal was high. I would go back when there was a full menu.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Birmingham)·Dined on February 15, 2017

Valentine's Dinner for three couples. We had a preset menu with choice of appetizer, salad or soup, entree and dessert for a set price. All choices were excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. My only complaint would be the slow bar service. They should have anticipated more clientele for Valentine's and had more bar staff working that evening. Also needed an additional parking valet for the evening. There was only one and he was quite frazzled which was evident in his attitude.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on February 15, 2017

Me and my wife went here for Valentine's Day and the fixed menu was $90 per person. With a price tag such as that you would expect to be overwhelmed with and amazing feast. We had four courses and the food was good however for the price it was very underwhelming. Too many other places to go for cheaper and better.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food3
ambience4
service5
value2

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on February 15, 2017

We went for Valentines dinner. Initially, the service was very slow and I had to ask for a waiter but apparently there was an issue in the kitchen that caused some delays so we were told. Our waitress was charming and very attentive. The food was some of the best I have had at any Birmingham restaurant and I would highly recommend this establishment to anyone.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on February 14, 2017

The entire staff was very attentive to the diners needs. They were busy due to Valentine's Day but made sure everyone enjoyed the special day.

Tags: Historic, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Once again Bistro 218 was phenomenal. From the staff to the amazing chef Tom, the food was fresh and superb. We will be back soon! Thanks so much for a great evening. The snapper with fettuccine was prepared perfectly. The filet was cooked just right and it was so tender. The West Indies salad is a must.

Tags: Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Great food! Our favorite restaurant. Never had a bad meal there.

Tags: Bar Seating, Romantic, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Casual
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Food and atmosphere were special for our Valentine's Day date. Service was timely and efficient. Our server made good recommendations and was friendly. Chef Saab even made the rounds which made it even more personal. Top-notch restaurant in Birmingham!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on February 5, 2017

I consider Bistro 218 to be one of the better restaurants in Birmingham but was very disappointed with the service. Took over 20 minutes to get our first drink. Food was good with the exception of an overcooked steak.

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food3
ambience5
service1
value1

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Bistro 218 never disappoints! Now that they have added additional space, it is easier to get a reservation and allows you to sit in the bar area for a more casual feeling. Nice to have a place to go for drinks also - or sit and have a drink while waiting on dinner guests. Food and service delicious as always.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Pre/post Theatre, Quick Bite, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Food was lukewarm and overpriced.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value5

 
 (Louisville)·Dined on January 29, 2017

Good drinks, welcoming and smiling servers, nice ambiance. Disappointed by the very long wait time (35 minutes) to just place the order and not being served bread as the restaurant ran out of bread on a Saturday evening by 8pm!

However, good food and excellent creme brulee and appreciate the free dessert for our special occasion.

Tags: Historic, Comfort Food, Business Meals
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on January 29, 2017

They never disappoint! The food was delicious and the atmosphere is cozy but excellent in every way!

Tags: Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 29, 2017

Service significantly diminished since renovation. Food still excellent. Ambiance diminished as well. Cold feel. Ceiling fans in January not a good idea.

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food5
ambience2
service2
value3

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on January 28, 2017

Went to Bistro 218 twice this week, once with friends from out of town and once with locals. In both cases neither of the other couples had been there before and in both cases they were so impressed. Food, service and atmosphere were excellent. Will be back soon

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Authentic, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on January 28, 2017

This is the second time I have taken three other people who have never been to Bistro Two Eighteen before and they all left raving about the food, the ambience and the service. It has become a new favorite! The West Indies salad is just incredible, my filet was perfect, the veal chop huge and reportedly delicious, scallops were incredible...I could go on, but you get the picture. New wines to try, and handcrafted cocktails add to this experience. Also, got to LOVE the fact that they have valet parking. It is downtown and parking can be a challenge. This is a restaurant where the food is awesome and you leave happy to have been there.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Business Meals, Local Ingredients, Disabled Access, Good for Birthdays, Historic, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on January 15, 2017

Bistro Two Eighteen is a great dining experience. The hardest part of the experience was deciding which entree to order (fantastic menu). Great service. Great food. Fantastic experience.

Tags: Cozy, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Gluten Free Options, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Organic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Historic, Romantic, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on January 1, 2017

There are not enough words to say how much we enjoyed our New Year's Eve dinner!!! This restaurant is always amazing, but they really outdid themselves for this gourmet delight!!!!! This was the first time my husband had been there and he is already talking about going back. Thank you for such a wonderful end to our New Year's Eve experience!!!!!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Savannah)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Great space and friendly staff. Our food - trout with grits and shrimp and risotto- was very good. We happened to be there on a night with a very loud party. Otherwise, it is a really nice date atmosphere.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Wonderful ambience without being stuffy. The food That we received was not exactly as described on the menu, so be sure to ask for details about the entree if you are a 'precise' eater. Wine list excellent for this area.

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food3
ambience5
service4

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on December 29, 2016

We were seated right away, but after that the service got a little slow. Our waitress was very sweet, but had too many tables spread way apart. I had a lovely salad that was very fresh and a bowl of gumbo. The gumbo was good, but was not hot enough. My husband had a West Indies salad which was great! He also had a veal chop that was huge. It came with potatoes and asparagus. Overall, it was a very good dinner, though pricey. They do have a bar menu with smaller plates and better prices.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Historic
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on December 24, 2016

An excellent new restaurant in downtown, Bistro 218 captures what has been missing since the demise of Restaurant G, The Veranda and Bombay. Creative, well-prepared food without the pretension of Hot & Hot , Ovenbird or Highlands. The gumbo rivals most I've had in NOLA and the red snapper on grits was awesome. The West Indies salad was a meal in itself and tasted incredible. A bit on the upper scale as far as pricing goes, but worth it with the impeccable service and fabulous food you get for the price of admission. Highly recommended!

Tags: Seasonal, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Historic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on December 24, 2016

We were pleased with the entire experience, from the soundtrack playing overhead to the dessert. Menu selections were ample as well as the wine list. Our meat dishes arrived the moment we expected them, plated attractively and cooked perfectly. Portions were sized appropriately, not huge. Chef visited everyone. Service was attentive and friendly. Will definitely return.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on December 24, 2016

My favorite restaurant in Birmingham! I had the scallops which were the best I have ever had. My Granddaughter lived the hamburger and my daughter had the fish! Can't go wrong!

Great bar too!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on December 23, 2016

Great as usual. Lamb chops spectacular.

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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on December 17, 2016

The atmosphere was great and the food was fantastic. I highly recommend Bistro Two Eighteen.

Tags: Modern Decor, Outstanding Value, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on December 17, 2016

I was a little disappointed that they didn't offer more vegan options. I had a vegggie plate and the portions were very small for 28 dollars. I got like 4 tiny new potatoes each about size of quarter. 4 asparagus some spinach very small portion. I wouldn't go back cause I left hungry. The 2 friends I was with orders New York strip. Their portions seemed very large.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on December 15, 2016

Food was not great. Service was terrible.

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food3
ambience3
service2

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on December 9, 2016

All was excellent! However; we were a little disappointed that the menu online & the actual menu were not the same.

Tags: Cozy, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on December 3, 2016

Friendly service, excellent food, great for quiet dining.

Tags: Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Authentic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Business Meals, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on December 3, 2016

This was our first time back since the remodel, and it remains one of my favorite places in Birmingham. The food remains well-prepared and adequately portioned, with excellent waitstaff. The Bistro is always on our list for weekend date night options.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Birmingham)·Dined on December 2, 2016

Oh dear. Such a lovely venue. Six of us in such a festive Holiday mood but what a mess at this "restaurant ". Cocktails were good but skimpy and slooow coming out. Menu items took a lifetime to be served and were not even close to as presented on the menu. We did complain but nada. We then advised we needed our checks in order to get to our venue, but, alas took a full 20 minutes to get those checks. Never so disappointed and never to return...how sad in bustling downtown Birmingham.

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food3
ambience4
service1
value2

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on November 30, 2016

The service was very professional and competent. 218 was having a soft opening of their new bistro adjoining and was very active. The older restaurant was larger and lightly attended. The atmosphere was very comforting and relaxing. A very pleasant evening. The food was exceptional. The gumbo and West Indies salad has been my fave for awhile and it continues to be exceptional. I had the veal chop which was done to to a turn. Best veal chop I've had in many years. It was a special dinner, and we have been in all of the finest in Birmingham. Special.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on November 24, 2016

excellent staff, excellent food, and a great location. This is dining. Would go again.

Tags: Cozy, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Excellent meal, attentive and professional bartender and wait staff.

Tags: Business Meals, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Always a great experience Chef Saab and his team make everyone welcome and serve fantastic food.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on November 13, 2016

Love this place ! Don't be put off by the dumpster in front. Indicates progress... they are buying the space next door and putting in a bar. Blackened amberjack was delicious. Very personalable service... the owner, Tom Saab came by our table. Incredible attention to detail.

Tags: Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Birmingham)·Dined on October 28, 2016

We found everything delicious from the Frito Misto appetizer to the seared scallops I had and the chicken palliard my wife had, to the desserts. Service was attentive without being intrusive. Overall a great meal and experience.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on October 21, 2016

Wonderful food and wonderful, friendly service. We will be back.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Birmingham)·Dined on October 19, 2016

Always a favorite. Great food great staff. Tom and his crew always make your feel welcome. Looking forward to the new chapter.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on October 14, 2016

Outstanding in every way. Stayed downtown at The Redmont and walked to Bistro 218.

Crab cakes are a must for starter.

Tags: Romantic, Hot Spot, Worth the Drive, Historic, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on October 1, 2016

Fantastic service, service and atmosphere! Can't wait to go back!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on September 16, 2016

Excellent restaurant. Very good service. Highly recommend.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on September 10, 2016

Great place. Impeccable service, oh and complimentary valet parking

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on September 9, 2016

My favorite restaurant in Birmingham! The food is always fresh, creative and delicious!

The atmosphere is very nice but not stuffy at all...a touch of New Orleans fun is in the air! I always relax the minute I walk in. The drinks are great, the service fantastic and the food even better! A true gem in Downtown Birmingham.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food, Tasting Menu, Good for Anniversaries, People Watching, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Modern Decor, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Groups, Fun, Romantic, Business Meals, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on September 9, 2016

Chef Tom Saab has done a great job with Bistro 218. The food is excellent, and in my opinion gives Highlands and Hot and Hot a run for their money. Service was top-notch. It is a hidden gem in downtown Birmingham, but I suggest anyone who has not given Bistro 218 a try should do so.

Tags: Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Historic, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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