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  Great food
    Great service
    Michelin star quality
    Innovative chef
    Welcoming waiters
    Great experience
    Good choice for gluten free diet
    Limited amount of tables - get your... read more

    avatar thumb navity
    October 30, 2022
  • star rating  Bistro Gentil was absolutely amazing! Price is fantastic, servings are very generous and the staff go far beyond to make your evening so special. I cannot fault one thing about... read more

    avatar thumb jkrasmussen26
    March 23, 2022
  • star rating  We came here on the recommendation of our hotel, and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. The views were stunning (although we wished we could have sat on the terrace area... read more

    avatar thumb RDLO1
    May 25, 2018
  • star rating  Delicious food, stunning view! Reasonably priced given the quality of food. Would definitely visit again.

    avatar thumb Christine R
    October 4, 2018
  • star rating  Absolutely amazing food - it's art designed to wow your eyes and taste buds.
    Definitely recommend for a date night, but also as a special occasion place to treat yourself... read more

    avatar thumb livma94
    August 15, 2023
  • star rating  We went to this place on a friends recommendation and it absolutely blew us away ! The atmosphere is classy but casual and feels really welcoming as you step in... read more

    avatar thumb damsonpie
    February 24, 2021
  • 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 Ski_Wanaka_NZ
    October 3, 2018
  • star rating  Delicious modern French cuisine served in a cute restaurant overlooking the hills in Wanaka. Service took a little too long though, but overall was a good experience.

    avatar thumb christianrD6666CP
    December 25, 2019
  • star rating  One of Wanaka's top rated restaurants with fine dining, Bistro Gentil didnt disappoint. Nestled on a road above the town - we walked two miles there - it was packed... read more

    avatar thumb shaunsouthern
    January 10, 2019
  • star rating  We dined at Bistro Gentil on Sunday 18th February, and it was an amazing culinary experience. The French Onion soup was very tasty and rich, but this was surpassed by... read more

    avatar thumb collette t
    February 25, 2024


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