Friday, March 25, 2011

Review: Bistro de Paris

James having a pre-dinner beverage.
By the looks of his face, it's not Beverly.
This is the final table service dining review of my January trip!  For the foodies out there, not to worry, I still have a ton of quick service reviews (some even from August!), but I'm glad I'm finally finishing up the table service ones.  Don't mind the fact that it's taken me almost three months...

Bistro de Paris was James' birthday gift from me because he loves French food.  We were on the dining plan, but it isn't accepted here.  So I was paying cash.  In fact, when we checked in for our ADR, the first thing the hostess said to me was, "Are you on the dining plan?"  When I mindlessly replied yes, she immediately retorted, "We don't accept it here."  I realized my mistake and awkwardly replied, "I know" before she agreed to check us in.  It seemed a little rude, but as Colette says in Ratatouille, they are French.  (No offense to all the lovely French people out there.  For all I know, this hostess was having a terrible day.)

Bistro de Paris is located directly above Les Chefs de France, and you have to essentially go to the back of the building to enter the Bistro waiting area.  You wait downstairs, and someone comes down to get you when they are ready for your party.  There were quite a few stairs, which my knee wasn't fond of, but I'm sure there's an elevator for those who can't make it up there easily.  Once upstairs, the restaurant is pretty small, and it's very cute.  It definitely looks upscale, but I didn't feel like I needed to be wearing a gown or anything.  I mean, we were a little dressed up, but the table next to us had regular park clothes on.

Grilled beef tenderloin
Once we were seated, we first got bread, and soon we were ready to order.  James chose the escargot appetizer, and I skipped on having one.  For our entrees, we both ordered the grilled beef tenderloin.  When James' escargot came, I tried a piece, but I am definitely not adventurous enough an eater to enjoy it.  James' opinion: not even close to the best escargot he's had, but it was fine.  As you can see in the photo, the beef tenderloin was presented quite nicely.  It was again fine.  Nothing special.  Maybe it was the cut of beef that didn't thrill us, or maybe we should have ordered something more French, but we weren't enthused with our choices.  They were good, but not spectacular.

My dessert!
Dessert did have a special place in my heart, however.  James chose not to get a dessert, but since I was paying, I decided I wanted one.  I chose the creme brulee dessert that came with the creme brulee itself (in that tiny mug), caramelized rice pudding, upside down caramel cream, and creme brulee ice cream.  The creme brulee and the ice cream were my favorite parts, and I didnt really like the pudding (but I don't really like rice pudding).  The upside down cake was good too.  This dessert was $11, so take that as you may, but I thought it tasted good!  Although James didn't order a dessert, they did bring him out a special birthday surprise.  Instead of a cupcake, it was a plate with "Happy Birthday" on it in chocolate.  And there was a candle in some berries.  How cute!

James wouldn't use the flash while taking this picture.

Overall, I would say Bistro de Paris didn't wow us, and we probably won't be back for a while.  Compared to our meals at California Grill and Le Cellier, it didn't even come close.  It certainly wasn't a bad choice, and I would encourage anyone to try it once.  I've also heard great reviews about it, so maybe it was just what we ordered.  Just keep in mind that they don't accept the dining plan, and the dinner can get quite expensive.  If I remember correctly, the bill came to almost $150 after the tip.  And we didn't even get any alcohol!  It was a nice birthday present to James, though, and I certainly don't regret the visit there.

Have you ever been to Bistro de Paris?  What did you think?  What did you order?  If you haven't been, why haven't you tried it yet?  Let me know your thoughts in a comment, on Twitter (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook!


  1. I totally agree with you. Le Bistro de Paris is fine but it is nothing to write home about. For those on the dining plan, you are much better off at Le Cellier, California Grill or Flying Fish Cafe.

    Love your reviews!

  2. Flying Fish is on my list to try! I'm not a big fish person, so it's not the next restaurant I want to try, but it's on there!

  3. We've been to the other French restaurant, down on the first floor and really enjoyed it. I want to try this one too but maybe I'll wait a few more trips after reading that review. It's a bummer that it wasn't better, for the price you paid!

  4. Lol, now I'm the opposite, I'd like to try the downstairs restaurant.