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“Back to its best!”
Review of Bistro Gentil

Bistro Gentil
Ranked #5 of 87 Restaurants in Wanaka
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: European, French, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, After-hours, Lunch, Reservations
Description: Located in a beautiful garden setting infused with artwork from world renowned artists, overlooking the lake and mountains of Wanaka, Bistro Gentil serves wonderful modern French cuisine using only the best seasonal produce from Central Otago and it's kitchen garden. Being the first South Island restaurant to house an Enomatic wine-dispenser system, diners can enjoy a range of fine wines by either the glass, half glass or taster. With indoor and outdoor seating, we are open for à la carte dining Tuesday to Saturday evenings. A seven course degustation menu is also available on Friday and Saturday. You are welcome to try our complimentary samples of olive oils and pure fruit balsamic vinegars. Bistro Gentil was recommended in the 2014 Cuisine Good Food Guide.
Reviewed 26 August 2014 via mobile


Back again with with the family after a slightly disappointing last visit. This time no worries about 5 stars. The food we had was fantastic, the staff excellent.
Bistro Gentil stands head and shoulders above most other restaurants. Love it! Thanks.

2  Thank DJB98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julia L, Guest Relations Manager at Bistro Gentil, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2014

Dear DJB98, We are thrilled to be back in your good books. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this lovely review. We look forward to welcoming you and your family again soon.

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303 - 307 of 419 reviews

Reviewed 21 August 2014

Had been told of this venue as being 'the best food in Wanaka' - but our experience was that the dining experience was greatly surpassed by 'The Landing' in Ardmore Street.

Whilst the Bistro Gentil was friendly the service on a recent Friday evening was very slow (the restaurant was not crowded) However the dining area was essentially on an outside verandah with heaters at ceiling level, a vergola roof above and clear pull-down plastic blinds on the sides - which is just not sufficient in winter in Wanaka. I was in a corner with clears on two sides and a draft coming underneath the blinds - and I was frozen cold.

The duck was ok but expensive and the side dishes of vegetables were in small ramekins good standard and priced at $14 each - which seemed excessive in price to me.

The wines were another thing altogether. It was a smart cafeteria dispenser at top prices starting at around $15 per glass. It was not that the wines were aged or particularly special. No sommelier to discuss or advise - just this cafeteria machine with a card and expensive wines. The wine list started at around $50 per bottle and BYO incurred a $20 per bottle corkage which given the alternatives was possibly the best alternative.

Needless to say, I was very disappointed and felt that our table of eight had been not received real value at this venue.

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5  Thank VisitorRC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julia L, Guest Relations Manager at Bistro Gentil, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2014

Dear VisitorRC, complaining about everything makes you sound almost French. The 'cafeteria' dispensers you mention are Enomatic wine machines which keep the organoleptic qualities of wine intact once a bottle is open - a little more engineering than meets the eye. They give diners the option of trying 24 wines by the glass, half glass and taster. In addition, we work with a regional winemaker to compose our wine list and suggest food & wine pairings - we tasted nearly 300 bottles in the past year and happily give guests the option of a traditional wine service. Our wines by the glass start at $11.60, not $15. Our sides are $7, not $14. Guests usually love the atmosphere on our terrace with its cozy sheepskin seat covers, but we have most certainly taken your comments on board. No one should feel cold. As for our food, we are proud to be recommended as offering the finest, most creative cuisine because we are absolutely passionate about what we do. Sorry you didn't like it. Merci!

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Reviewed 20 August 2014

We read an old local newspaper clipping about Bistro Gentil and it got us curious. A bit out of town overlooking the golf course, wanaka, the lake the mountains - how could it be better?

A simple menu but plenty of selection. Excellent genuinely friendly service, food quality presentation and quantity, creating a great value for money experience.
Now the point of difference… their wines. Fantastic selection with a local emphasis, and great innovation with the hi tech self serve and measure selection process (tasters to full glasses) and in-house tab specific charge cards which allow you to keep aware of your evenings consumption. Especially if you have to drive later.

2  Thank SINZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julia L, Guest Relations Manager at Bistro Gentil, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2014

Dear SINZ, thank you so much for you review. We are glad you had fun with our Enomatic wine machines and look forward to welcoming you again soon.

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Reviewed 14 August 2014

I had dinner here twice within one week. On a Sunday a few weeks ago I went to meet a friend for a drink and we decided to treat ourselves to dinner, and it was a treat. I had the fish, my friend had the lamb and then we shared the chocolate dessert! Amazing. It was the best dessert I had in recent times, if not ever. A few nights later I went with my partner for dinner. They were really busy but we were well looked after. This time I had the duck and my partner had the fish. We couldn't fit in dessert. I'm so glad to have Bistro Gentil in my town. It beats the pants off anything I been to in Wellington, Auckland or anywhere else in NZ.

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3  Thank Tobatown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julia L, Guest Relations Manager at Bistro Gentil, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2014

Dear Tobatown, we are so delighted you had your best dessert ever... Nothing makes us happier than hearing a comment like this. Thank you.

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Reviewed 14 August 2014 via mobile

Had dinner here during a weeks visit to wanaka. The food was lovely but not amazing. I personally didn't like the self dispense wine thing. Just bring me what I want I don't want to fetch. Staff were great.
The place was cold on a winters evening the fire wasn't on. It seemed to come on after about 1/2 hour. I did notice other diners getting their coats of the rack. !! Wasn't just me . Put the hesting on before the gusts arrive. Fantastic views.

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3  Thank Majella M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julia L, Guest Relations Manager at Bistro Gentil, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2014

Dear Majella M, We are glad you had a lovely experience and have taken your comments on board. Thank you.

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