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


  • Chicken liver parfait cigar, quince paste, ash /8
  • Rosemary ciabatta and Bistro’s compound butter/9
  • Manuka smoked olives /8
  • Wild mushroom croquette, cauliflower purée /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
  • Roasted kumara and squash, vadouvan goats cheese, lemon, coconut, baby spinach /23
  • Seared swordfish, smoked buttermilk, fig leaf oil, squid ink tapioca, fennel, grapes, puffed rice /25

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


  • Market fish, prawns, citrus salt, red cabbage, celeriac, crustacean butter, hazelnut /46
  • 200g 55 day aged beef fillet, olive oil mashed potato, beef jus, béarnaise sauce, parsley oil /55
  • Lumina lamb rump, red onion relish, onion caramel, charred onion, tapioca, shallot bahji /47
  • Charred broccolini, whipped tofu, mushroom ketchup, miso vinaigrette, toasted sesame /38
  • Red Tussocks venison, baby carrots, goats cheese, tamari mixed seeds, carrot purée, crispy kale/47


  • Signature French fries with truffle salt /14
  • Vegetable medley, cashew, autumn purée and choice of: Café de Paris butter, blue cheese butter or plain butter /15
  • Roasted Brussel sprouts, apple dressing, hot sauce mayonnaise /14


  • Vanilla crème brûlée, peanut crumb, boysenberry sorbet /20
  • Coconut pana cotta, coconut crumble, poached peach, fig leaf oil /19
  • Éclair, crème pâtissière, sesame praline, chocolate soil, salted caramel ice cream /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 !


3-course $59 / 4-course $75 / 5-course $89

  • star rating  Recommended by both the waitress in the pub and our accommodation host!! Stunningly good. Casual atmosphere yet slightly poshy. The food was the winner. Monk fish was sensational and the... read more

    avatar thumb Joanne P
    May 10, 2019
  • star rating  Really great place. We loved the location very much. Friday night and lots of locals there. Very friendly staff. Food tastet exquisit. Wonderful wines. It is a small place so... read more

    avatar thumb Christine8046
    February 20, 2024
  • star rating  We had an enjoyable birthday dinner at the cozy and romantic Bistro Gentil. The Chef and his team put much love into their dishes. They are beautifully plated. The menu... read more

    avatar thumb jdwhitemaui
    October 12, 2018
  • star rating  The best food in Wanaka by far.
    Great location, great view and great menu.
    Clean and just yummy, i recommend it to anyone wishing to have a decent diner away... read more

    avatar thumb Navigator66874518586
    November 1, 2023
  • star rating  Great service and New Zealand produce with a french flair
    large selection of Maude wine .
    a proper Creme burlee , done they way it is meant to be

    avatar thumb iainm75
    August 22, 2019
  • star rating  Before we went here we had only reviews to go on. The website suggests going up in the afternoon, enjoying the stunning views of the lake over a wine-tasting and... read more

    avatar thumb drstu61
    September 28, 2020
  • star rating  So nice to have a restaurant that is not so big and noisy.
    We never got a chance to admire he views due to the bad weather however the food... read more

    avatar thumb kruuza
    August 16, 2021
  • star rating  What a dinner! Drinks, food, service and atmosphere were unbelievable, and very good looking chefs. Excatly what you are looking for on a girls night out.Good size portions; they don't... read more

    avatar thumb pavyy
    June 23, 2020
  • star rating  We went on a Friday night and there weren’t many people perhaps because it’s not in the downtown area. There’s inside and outside seating in an attractive setting. We had... read more

    avatar thumb redroverma
    December 26, 2019
  • star rating  I went here with a group of people for dinner. I had heard great things about the place so was looking forward to trying it for myself. I had the... read more

    June 18, 2019


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