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 $77 – Entrée, Main & Dessert


  • Soup du jour / 17
  • French onion soup, gruyère crouton / 19
  • 55 day aged fillet tartare, radish, free-range egg yolk, smoked miso mayo, crispy shallots, crouton / 21
  • Free-range pork belly, burnt apple puree, celeriac remoulade, compressed apple, crispy sage /22
  • Butternut squash, smoked halloumi, tamarillo chutney, black rice cracker /21
  • Black tiger prawns, calamari, bok choy, olive oil, garlic, butter, white wine, peri-peri sauce, milk bun /23


  • Market fish, scallops, yams, spinach, harissa, garlic, rocket, almonds /42
  • Half deboned roast duck, red cabbage relish, chorizo, Brussel sprouts, parsnip puree, walnut /44
  • 200g 55 day aged beef fillet, sweet potato, sautéed broccolini, bacon, potato galette, truffle jus /48
  • 2Free-range pork ribeye, confit garlic mash, portobello mushroom, mustard cream, chips /42
  • Royalburn lamb fillet, merquez sausage, Jerusalem artichoke, goats cheese, pear and date chutney, hazelnuts, brown butter /45
  • Vegetarian cassoulet, tomato, cannellini beans, parmesan and thyme crumb /38


  • French fries with truffle salt
  • Steamed broccoli, silverbeet, kale, blue cheese dressing
  • Sautéed baby peas, bacon, shallots, butter
  • Confit garlic mash potatoes, chives

– please add $10.50 for sides –

Trust the chef 2course $60 or 3course $74


  • Vanilla crème brulée, almond crumb, boysenberry ice cream  / 19
  • Choux pastry, hazelnut praline diplomat cream, citrus textures, caramel, lime sorbet / 19
  • Almond friand, berry curd & coulis, rhubarb, rooibos gel, strawberry caramel, vanilla ice cream/ 19
  • Chocolate pastry flan, maple Chantilly, pop corn, walnuts, coffee crème anglaise / 19
  • Selection of house made ice cream and sorbets / 16

One 80g portion of cheese, served with accompaniments / 23

Selection of three 40g portions of cheeses, served with accompaniments / 35

Vanilla ice cream, espresso coffee, liqueur / 20


with wine matching

Soup of the Day
Maude Methode Traditionelle Brut NV, Marlborough

Butternut squash, smoked halloumi, tamarillo chutney, black rice cracker
Maude Pinot Noir ‘20, Wanaka

Market fish, scallops, yams, spinach, harissa, garlic, rocket, almonds
Jules Tayles Sauv Blanc ’21, Marlborough

Free-range pork belly, burnt apple puree, celeriac remoulade, compressed apple, crispy sage
Maude Pinot Gris ‘21, Wanaka

Almond friand, berry curd & coulis, rhubarb, rooibos gel, strawberry caramel, vanilla ice cream
Pegasus Bay Finale Noble ’19, Canterbury

5 Course menu / 120
Wine matching / 170

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

  • 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  Nooo? What else do you desire besides lake views, fab art and delish froggie cuisine. Its was memorable for us sitting alfresco and being water-only, sils vous plaise, we didn’t... read more

    avatar thumb Eli B
    January 7, 2020
  • star rating  Bistro Gentil is described in a major tourist brochure for Wanaka as '...our award winning restaurant ' and came up as #1 on Trip Advisor reviews. The online menu looked... read more

    avatar thumb Goodandsimple
    May 22, 2021
  • 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  The best view anywhere in the world! We soaked up the view and clean air whilst we waited for our table. The food was yummy and presented beautifully. It is... read more

    avatar thumb Mcfetties
    February 8, 2020
  • star rating  While on holiday in NZ we visited Wanaka and celebrated my wife's birthday in this restaurant. Excellent food, good service and a nice and special way to choose your wines... read more

    avatar thumb leonp217
    March 23, 2019
  • star rating  Tasty food, presented well. I felt the sauce on the aged steak masked the flavour of the steak a bit, but apart from that it was good. The proportions of... read more

    avatar thumb 943felixl
    October 25, 2021
  • 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  We sat outside in this lovely, relaxed restaurant and had a really delicious meal, taking the “chef’s choice”menu. All 3 courses were delicious - well balanced and a good size.... read more

    avatar thumb Anthea D
    March 5, 2019
  • star rating  We enjoyed a very special meal in a spot with great views. The staff were very friendly & looked after us very well.

    avatar thumb KerryL148
    March 5, 2020


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!