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, and of course some decent Gallic wines too.

“We revisit typical flavour combinations using fresh seasonal ingredients from our kitchen garden and the best of our region. Cardrona Merino lamb, Aoraki salmon, 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. If you simply can’t choose let our chefs spoil you with our 5 Course Tasting Menu with matching wines or for those feeling adventurous you can Trust the Chef”

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


Get the Bistro Classics for $74
French Onion Soup, Beef Fillet & Crème Brulée

Choose 3 Courses from the A La Carte Menu for $69
Beef Fillet Supplement $7


  • Soup du jour / 15
  • French onion soup, gruyère crouton / 17
  • 55 day aged fillet tartare, radish, free-range egg yolk, smoked miso mayo, crispy shallots, crouton / 19
  • Ora King Salmon 3 ways, avocado, soy gel, grapefruit gel, pickled radish, fennel / 22
  • Soft cows cheese, smoked halloumi, butternut, persimmon, rice cracker, pomegranate dressing / 19
  • Wild shot venison carpaccio, poached pear, cranberry gel, sundried tomatoes, puffed wild rice / 20
  • Angus beef belly croquette, torched gin washed cows cheese, pickled cucumber, crispy parsley, quince jelly / 20


  • Market fish, scallops, celeriac, horseradish, perla potatoes, saffron & leek velouté, broccolini , chorizo / 39
  • 200g 55 day aged beef fillet, red onion relish, onion caramel, café de paris, potato dauphines / 46
  • Confit swede, kumara, créme fraiche, kale, sesame, shiitake mushroom, peppadews, parmesan & thyme crumb / 38
  • Lamb ribeye, neck croquette, mint salsa verde, preserved lemon, parsnip & harissa purée, hazelnut / 43
  • Confit duck leg, potato gratin, bok choy, silverbeet, cherry & orange brandy jus / 39
  • Angus hanger steak, beef shin croquette, cauliflower, beetroot relish, roast potatoes. walnuts, brown butter / 40


  • French fries with truffle salt
  • Sautéed baby peas, bacon, shallots, butter
  • Garden salad, apple vinaigrette
  • Winter carrots, cranberry, buckwheat, goats feta

– please add $9 for sides –


  • 2 courses / 55 p.p  -or-  3 courses / 65 p.p


  • Vanilla crème brulée, almond crumb, boysenberry ice cream  / 17
  • Unbaked fig cheesecake, strawberry & fig textures, candied walnuts, cocoa crumbs, ice cream / 17
  • Chocolate Brownie, miso caramel,pineapple, coconut & brandy chantilly, hazelnuts, dehydrated milk foam, chocolate sorbet / 17
  • Salted caramel set mousse, poached apples, earl grey gel, sesame praline crumbs, ice cream / 17
  • Selection of house made ice cream and sorbets / 15

One 80g portion of cheese, served with accompaniments / 21

Selection of three 40g portions of cheeses, served with accompaniments / 32

Vanilla ice cream, espresso coffee, liqueur / 19


with wine matching

Soup of the Day
Maude Methode Traditionelle Brut NV, Marlborough

Soft cows cheese, smoked halloumi, butternut, persimmon, rice craker, pomegranate dressing
Jules Taylor Sauv Blanc ’21, Marlborough

Market fish, scallops, celeriac, horseradish, perla potatoes, saffron & leek velouté, broccolini , chorizo
Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay ’20, Kumeu

Lamb ribeye, neck croquette, mint salsa verde, preserved lemon, parsnip & harissa purée, hazelnut
Maude Pinot Noir ‘19, Wanaka

Salted caramel set mousse, poached apples, earl grey gel, sesame praline, crumbs, ice cream
Framingham Noble Riesling ’19, Marlborough

5 Course menu / 100
Wine matching / 150

When the season allows, we enhance our dishes using fresh produce from the kitchen garden.

  • star rating  Magnifique - what a delight it was to sit at a table and dine at Bistro Gentil. The food & wine was amazing and enjoyed by all.
    The service... read more

    avatar thumb RobynD1060
    March 15, 2021
  • star rating  Situated near the Golf Club,a bit out of town,this establishment is a wine tasting room by day & a beaut restaurant by night specialising in local produce...We particularly enjoyed the... read more

    avatar thumb john241Caloundra
    May 15, 2018
  • star rating  My family and I came here for dinner a couple days ago and were amazed by the delicious food, incredibly kind and generous staff, and pleasant atmosphere. We were seated... read more

    avatar thumb nms04
    December 29, 2019
  • star rating  Every thing is not perfect but AWESOME!!!!! Thanks chefs for delicious meals and quality of products & thanks waitress for the perfect service !
    Keep this way we'll be... read more

    avatar thumb rulittapinpin
    August 1, 2019
  • star rating  Stumbled upon this gem on our last night and was very impressed with everything on offer. From the cosy setting to the genuine service! I did the Chef's Choice and... read more

    avatar thumb kellydZ8895PN
    January 13, 2020
  • star rating  In a tourist town its not always a good sign when you see a bus at your dining destination. Some things feel best kept off the package-tour radar. ... read more

    avatar thumb Jo R
    May 3, 2019
  • star rating  TA and our lodge host recommended this restaurant and booked for us. It was full and we can see why. Whilst it is not cheap ($100 a head... read more

    avatar thumb Myclare
    January 31, 2019
  • star rating  Fantastic location. Panoramic views of Lake Wanaka & Southern Alps. Excellent choice of beverages (including local wine) at reasonable prices. Great menu selection. Food and Service were excellent. Highly recommended

    avatar thumb Coralea56
    December 2, 2020
  • star rating  We had excellent food our entire wonderful Backroads trip but Bistro Gentil was my favorite.
    Beautiful setting, comfortable seating, elegant casual decor. Servers were excellent, even serving our group of... read more

    avatar thumb RandiFayeC
    March 24, 2020
  • star rating  We had high expectations and it delivered. First off the wine experience is top notch. The ability to taste all types wines before you get a bottle is... read more

    avatar thumb Pete P
    March 24, 2019


To make a reservation, simply complete the form below.

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

For parties larger than 8 people, we offer a 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 have still availability.

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!