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 3 Courses for $73 – Entrée, Main & Dessert


  • 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
  • Seared yellowfin tuna, baby onions, pickled daikon, yuzu gel, seaweed & tapioca cracker, avocado mousse / 22
  • Cucumber, soft goats cheese, gazpacho, mint, lavosh, spiced almonds / 19
  • Wild shot venison carpaccio, poached pear, cranberry gel, sundried tomatoes, puffed wild rice / 20
  • Prune & pistachio pork terrine, burnt apple, piccalilli, crouton, mustard mayo / 20


  • Market fish, scallops, cauliflower purée, kale, preserved lemon, tarragon & chilli dressing / 40
  • Royalburn lamb rump, spinach, mint salsa verde, parship & harissa purée, cashews / 44
  • 200g 55 day aged beef fillet, red onion relish, onion caramel, café de paris, potato dauphines / 46
  • 250g Handpicked ribeye, Jerusalem artichokes, pear & date chutney, broccolini, vintage chedder cream, hazelnuts / 44
  • Confit duck leg, sweetcorn, kumara, roast potatoes, apricot, brown butter / 40
  • Parisienne gnocchi, smoked beetroot, walnuts, shallots, stracciatella, chilli oil, baby roquette / 38


  • French fries with truffle salt
  • Braised red cabbage, walnuts
  • Sautéed baby peas, bacon, shallots, butter
  • Stir-fry broccoli, bok choy, almond, sesame dressing

– please add $9 for sides –


  • Vanilla crème brulée, almond crumb, boysenberry ice cream  / 17
  • Choux pastry, hazelnut praline diplomat cream, citrus textures, caramel, lime sorbet / 17
  • Chocolate brownie, miso caramel, pineapple, coconut & brandy chantilly, hazelnuts, dehydrated milk foam, chocolate sorbet / 17
  • Vanilla & elderflower set mousse, poached stone fruits, rooibos & ginger gel, 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

Cucumber, soft goats cheese, gazpacho, mint, lavosh, spiced almonds
Jules Taylor Sauv Blanc ’21, Marlborough

Market fish, scallops, cauliflower purée, kale, preserved lemon, tarragon & chilli dressing
Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay ’20, Kumeu

Royalburn lamb rump, spinach, mint salsa verde, parsnip & harissa purée, cashews
Maude Pinot Noir ‘20, Wanaka

Vanilla & elderflower set mousse, poached stone fruits, rooibos & ginger gel, 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  Visitors to Wanaka, Bistro Gentil had been recommended to us by our AirBnb host as somewhere top rate to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Hands down, one of our best... read more

    avatar thumb peter2780
    May 10, 2019
  • 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  Beautiful food, great service and one of the best views in Wanaka, what more could you want for a casual meal with your partner. It’s great for a special occasion... read more

    avatar thumb OllieH537
    October 11, 2020
  • star rating  Loved the ambiance. We went in winter and the restaurant is cozy and has lovely character. Service cannot be faulted. However, the food was a bit of a let-down on... read more

    avatar thumb H M
    July 16, 2021
  • star rating  We visited Bistro Gentil last night and had a wonderful experience. We outside which was nice and cozy with the fires going under the canape. We had the steak tartare... read more

    avatar thumb BoabGlen
    May 28, 2021
  • 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  Rare is it that I find a restaurant that can satisfy my tastes and feel comfortable dining in - the portions are just the right size, not too small or... read more

    avatar thumb siobhanplace8
    May 29, 2020
  • star rating  A winery for tastings in the future and French bistro by night. The best meal in NZ to date. Confit duck leg with tart plums and sweetcorn puree and the... read more

    avatar thumb Ellen T
    March 6, 2019
  • star rating  We dined here this week and not only had wonderful food but the service was exceptional as well, in fact the best on Wanaka. We choose the chefs choice menu... read more

    avatar thumb 94suey
    August 1, 2019
  • star rating  You would be a fool to miss this restaurant. It is an absolute hidden gem. The food is to die for, perfectly cooked and plated beautifully. The ambience here is... read more

    July 9, 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!