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“Perfect for a Date Night”
Review of Bistro Cacao

Bistro Cacao
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Ranked #69 of 3,215 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$25 - US$50
Cuisines: French, European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Transit: Union Station red line three blocks away
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
145 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Perfect for a Date Night”
Reviewed 18 April 2012

Overall I would have given this place almost 5 however for their major goof ups I am forced to give them a 4 ( especially because it spoilt our celebrations else it would not have mattered much).

Reservations: We had reserved our seat in advance. However when we reached there we were told there was no reservation by our name. Luckily we were there on a weekday so we managed to get a seat else it would have spoilt our plan. Since we were celebrating our anniversary I had requested for their in house special cake with candle as a surprise for my husband. Unfortunately because of their goof up we lost out on that and landed up not cutting a cake for our anniversary. That quiet initially dampened our spirit. So maybe a word of caution to confirm your reservation before going. Again while making reservation if you are planning on a romantic night out do ask for red room and if possible chef's table. This is the best seat however if you are planning your dinner early this place tends to be warm since it is right next to a window.

Ambience: The ambience of the place is perfect for a date night. We were celebrating our anniversary so were glad we chose this place. I have been to many restaurants in past which claim to have romantic ambience but they fail short. This one is not one of those.

Food: After all the initial dampening of mood, it was the food that set the mood right. Everything we ordered right from salad ( shrimp and endives), soup ( French onion) , wines ( Port and muscato) , lamb ( rack of lamb) , duck ( pan seared duck) and dessert ( creme brulee) were simply superb. The fries were slightly oily however they were so fresh and well cut. I would go back to this place just for food again. The food is priced very well too.

Service: The service was amazing when we started our dinner. Being a weekday and early dinner there were not too many people initially however as soon as they were few more people the service slipped downhill. We had requested for wine with the food. We got that after we had finished the lamb. We has ordered a side of French fries again with food however that was brought after our entrees were done. My husband initially ordered for port wine however with his entree he ordered for muscato and he was served port wine. We were celebrating a special occasion so did not want to create a mess.

Location: The place is right next to union station and capitol Hill. That was another thing good about the place since before the dinner we had some time and had a good walk.

Dressing: Dress up well to this place. For men I would suggest a light blazer and for women a nice dress or skirt. We were not aware and my husband and I both going from work were in formals but not very classy and felt out of place.

Again if the other things are not important to you this place deserves a 5. I wish they would pay heed to the small details making this place a 5/5

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MSIndia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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276 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Can't wait to go back!”
Reviewed 11 April 2012

Extremely charming decor + Edith Piaf playing in the background = very romantic and cozy! The entrees we considered hovered just below $30, and I was skeptical that they were charging $10 more just because they could....until the food came out. Oh my, the flavors and the quality were amazing. Worth every penny!

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank PollitoChiquito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington Dc
Level Contributor
110 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Great French food in a wonderful atmosphere in Capitol Hill-treat yourself”
Reviewed 8 April 2012

Wow-What a lucky girl I am! It takes a lot to impress me with food and I am a picky eater. I picked this restaurant for dinner with a friend on a whim and I am so happy I did. On a Wednesday, we were seated without reservations. You walk in and are surrounded by bottles of wine everywhere! The entrance is a small room with a cozy fire place with a bar off to the side and a few tall bar tables.

The gentleman behind the desk takes your coat and shows you to your table. The inside looks much larger than is perceived from outside and there are really 3 small sections inside. My friend and I sat in a booth that was not separates by faux furnishings, but by deep red curtains and sat in high back wing chairs. The service was great. I began with a great cup of tea and the waiter brought us warm rolls. We each ordered escargot and they arrives sizzling in butter and garlic (wish I had saved some bread).

We only each ordered the Chilean Sea Bass (yes, I know it's not a sustainable fish, but I allow myself to have no more than once a year), with perfectly cooked asparagus and some sort of potato pancake on a plate with a mango champagne sauce. I ate the entire plate with barely a morsel left to scrap off!!!!

My friend did not order dessert, but had a glass of Muscat by Michel Chiarlo and she was then forced to ask the waiter for the menu so she could write down the wine and then he brought the bottle so she could take a picture of the label. She loved it.

I was so tickled by the charm of the ambiance so if you go, it is best to ask for a booth. The food was rich and yummy and I was ready to go back before my meal was done.

Bistro Cacao is off on Massachusetts ave around the corner from Union Station, so parking may be a bit rough. I went in February, but when the weather is warm, there is outside seating available. Once I go somewhere, I like to check it off my list and be done with it so I can move onto a new experience, but I will be going here again and may consider trying brunch next time. Enjoy!

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank HuBison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
72 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Valentine's Day”
Reviewed 3 April 2012


They had a set menu for the night; it was quite good, although not inspired. Service was good, we didn't feel rushed, even though they had asked us earlier not to stay longer than two hours since they were fully booked.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank diane28970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Farmington, Connecticut
Level Contributor
372 reviews
140 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 222 helpful votes
“LIke a lovely cocoon”
Reviewed 27 March 2012

We visited Bistro Cacao for brunch with another couple and were so pleased with the entire affair. We were led through a series of rooms til we got to our table in a cozy room with comfortable furniture. Along the walls, there were little curtained off "cubicles" where tables for two were set up. The guests at those tables were provided with lovely "ladies chairs", upholstered and comfy. We were in a group of four and were seated in the middle of the room, and we also had nice upholstered chairs, although not quite a cushy as those in the cubicles.
We were immediately brought water and coffee, and after ordering, we received our basket of breakfast pastries, including croissants, pain au chocolat, raisin bread and small hard rolls. These were accompanied by a trio of spreads (butter, jam and nutella).
I had the egg white omelet with goat cheese and ham, along with a fruit salad and roasted fingerling potatoes. Everything was delicious. My husband had the blueberry pancakes. Served with real maple syrup, he was very happy! My daughter had the eggs benedict and my son-in-law the French toast. Everyone was more than happy with his/her choices.
There was a leisurely pace to the meal, not slow, but certainly not rushed. We were offered multiple refills of coffee and water. I can't speak to the dessert offerings because we were way too full to even consider a sweet.
The brunch menu is more than reasonable at a prix-fixe of 16.00 pp. Dinners are quite pricey though.
This will certainly be a go-to place on our next visit to DC.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank travelfreak53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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