Whatever reservations you may have about the French, their cuisine is what makes it all worthwhile. Bistro Gentil brings the delights of French gastronomy to the beautiful shores of Lake Wanaka.

“We revisit typical flavour combinations using fresh seasonal ingredients from our kitchen garden and the best of our region. Lumina lamb, Red Tussocks venison, Canter Valley duck…”

— Mario Rodrigues, Head Chef

The quaint bistro surrounded by lavender sits just outside of town, offering tranquil lake views and beautiful sunsets. An ideal way to spend your evening.

“Indulge in the classics from our À La Carte menu such as French Onion Soup, Beef Tartare or Crème Brûlée.

Why not spend the day sampling local award-winning wine here at the Maude Tasting Room and book in for dinner.


Bienvenue au Bistro Gentil


Indulge in a culinary journey curated by our talented chefs. Sit back, relax, and let us surprise you with a thoughtfully crafted 3-course menu highlighting seasonal ingredients and inventive flavours.


  • Chicken liver parfait cigar, quince paste, ash /8
  • Rosemary ciabatta and Bistro’s compound butter/9
  • Manuka smoked olives /8
  • Wild mushroom croquette, aioli /11
  • Taramasalata, smoked fish, radish, citrus salt, house toasted brioche/15



  • French onion soup, gruyere crouton /13/21
  • Soup of the day /11/18



  • Aged beef fillet tartare, radish, egg yolk, soy gel, miso mayo, crispy shallots, croutons /23
  • Salt baked celeriac, vadouvan goat cheese, mushroom pickle, green apple, shallot bahji/23
  • Seared swordfish, smoked buttermilk, kaffir lime oil, orange gel, pickle daikon, squid ink tapioca/25

  • Earth board, selection of 3 cheeses, house chutney, walnut, croutons, ciabatta /35


  • Market fish, calamari, cabbage, crying tiger sauce, cashews/46
  • 200g 55 day aged beef fillet, red onion relish, onion caramel, potato dauphines, café de Paris butter OR blue cheese butter /55
  • Lumina lamb rump, butternut, tamari seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, chorizo /47
  • Cranky goat cheese, roasted yams and purée, cherry relish, spiced grains, pickled beetroot, manuka honey /38
  • Red Tussocks venison, carrots, peach chutney, kale, harissa, garlic oil /47


  • Signature French fries with truffle salt /14
  • Winter vegetable medley, maple glaze /15
  • Fried brussel sprouts, apple dressing, hot sauce mayonnaise, peanuts /14
  • Jerusalem artichokes, goat cheese, sumac, hazelnuts /15


  • Vanilla crème brûlée, peanut crumb, boysenberry sorbet /20
  • Strudel, pear & cranberries, crème anglaise /19
  • Chocolate sacher torte, boysenberry gel, chocolate crumb, caramel sauce, chantilly/19
  • Selection of house made ice cream and sorbets /18
  • Dame blanche, vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate ganache, nuts/18
  • Mini bistro desert /8
  • Affogato, vanilla ice cream, espresso, liqueur of choice /23

Feel like a sweet wine?

  • Pegasus Bay Finale Noble Sauv Blanc /18
  • Campbells Rutherglen Muscat /16
    Bon appétit !

  • star rating  The setting is beautiful with views to the lake and mountains beyond. The food is spectacular, every course was delicious, so fresh and amazing combinations of flavors, was definitely one... read more

    avatar thumb 13canadiankiwi13
    October 6, 2020
  • star rating  We were very excited to be going to this restaurant as we had heard lots of good things about it. We were part of a group of six celebrating our... read more

    avatar thumb Nellteach53
    August 22, 2022
  • star rating  Went to Bistro Gentil last night with friends to celebrate my husbands birthday and had a wonderful night. The staff were absolutely lovely and nothing was too much trouble, they... read more

    July 6, 2019
  • star rating  Warm welcome on a cold and rainy night. The food was excellent, the staff friendly and helpful and the wine selection great. Well worth the drive.

    avatar thumb Barms1005
    May 17, 2018
  • star rating  I'm still digesting the delicious 3 course meal as I write this. The food was next level. If you're wanting the best of what Wanaka has to offer then this... read more

    avatar thumb BoabGlen
    May 8, 2018
  • star rating  Onion soup was wonderful. My husband had the lamb & I had the duck.. both dishes were done perfectly. Service was excellent

    avatar thumb Wanggal
    July 26, 2019
  • star rating  We are Wanaka locals and have dined at BG many times over the past 6-8 years. Some time ago, I found that while the food was amazing, it was often... read more

    avatar thumb Chris P
    October 3, 2018
  • star rating  Both indoor and covered patio areas offer casual elegance in atmosphere. Go around sunset and you will hopefully get beautiful glowing skies from the patio. The food is superb. And... read more

    avatar thumb portlandorer
    March 17, 2020
  • star rating  The food was spectacular. We both had the duck with the maple syrup yams and it was all exceptional- easily 10/10. It was one of the best mains we have... read more

    avatar thumb bris1234
    July 25, 2018
  • star rating  Bistro Gentil created the BEST of problems- we wanted to eat more than we knew we could! After some haggling for favorites we had three entrees and two mains with... read more

    avatar thumb curiousgrins
    September 30, 2018


To make a reservation, simply complete the form below, a credit card registration will be required to confirm your booking. No charge will be made to the card at this stage. In the case of ‘no show’ a $50 fee will be charged to the card. Please refer to our booking policy below. 

For private hire, large groups and special requests email bistrogentilwanaka@gmail.com.

For parties larger than 9 people, we offer a 3 course set menu so we can deliver the best service. Please email us for more details.

If you are unable to make a reservation online call us on 03 443 2299 as we may still have availability.

Please note that the cancellation must be requested 24 hours prior to the reservation time otherwise cancellation charges may apply. When booking we request credit card details via the secure Stripe payment platform in order to confirm the booking.

Bistro Gentil reserves the right to charge a cancellation fee of $50 per head when one of the following conditions has been met:
1. Booking is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.
2. Guests do not show up for the reservation (bookings will be considered no-show after 30 minutes)
3. Party size is less than the original booking by 2 or more guests without notice.
The cancellation fee will be deducted from the registered card on file and the person responsible for the booking will be notified by email.

A request from us:

If you are unable to honour your reservation or would like to make any changes, please let us know as soon as possible. It is important that we reallocate seats to our waiting list during busy times.

We are a small restaurant, so the amount of staff on in an evening is based on our bookings. We will love you for it!



Opening Hours
Tuesday to Saturday 6pm till close

To Make a Reservation
Click here

For Inquiries
Ph: 03 443 2299
Email: bistrogentilwanaka@gmail.com