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 A La Carte menu such as French Onion Soup, Beef Tartare or Creme Brulee. 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.



  • Soup du jour / 15
  • French onion soup, gruyère crouton / 16
  • 55 day aged fillet tartare, radish, free-range egg yolk, smoked miso mayo, crispy shallots, crouton / 18
  • Smoked fish mousse, shaved fennel, lime gel, salsa verde mayonnaise, pickled cucumber, lavosh /18
  • Cranky Goat curd, leek, puffed buckwheat, parsley, preserved lemon & tarragon dressing / 18
  • Wild shot venison carpaccio, poached quince, cranberry gel, cherry tomatoes, puffed wild rice / 18


  • Market fish, bok choi, lemon cream, crayfish bisque, spinach, crispy shallot / 36
  • 200g 55 day aged beef fillet, red onion relish, onion caramel, blue cheese butter, potato dauphines / 45
  • Cauliflower, carrots, panisse, peppadews, plum chutney, black garlic, crispy kale / 34
  • Te Mana Lamb backstrap, croquette, Jerusalem artichoke, brown butter, comté cheese, chips / 40
  • Confit duck leg, pumpkin purée, blueberrry chutney, orange, pineapple, panisse, sunflower seeds, crispy kale / 36
  • 55 day aged ribeye, fried Brussel sprouts, parsnip purée, pancetta, walnuts, shiitake mushroom jus / 36


  • French fries with truffle salt
  • Buttered baby peas, kale, bacon, shallots
  • Roasted carrots, spiced grains, sumac yogurt, watercress
  • Yams, honey, maple, ginger, rocket

– please add $8 for sides –


2 courses / 55  -or-  3 courses / 65


  • Vanilla creme brulée, almond crumb, boysenberry sorbet  / 16
  • Stone fruit, almond sponge cake, homemade mascarpone, sorbet, candied almonds /16
  • Banana semifreddo, tiramisu cream, coffee granita, coconut gel, almond crumb, banana ice cream / 16
  • Moka mousse, meringue, chocolate textures, sorbet / 16
  • Selection of house made ice cream and sorbets / 15

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

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

Vanilla ice cream, espresso coffee, liqueur / 18


with wine matching

Soup of the Day
Maude Methode Traditionelle NV, Wanaka

Cranky Goat curd, leek, puffed buckwheat, parsley, preserved lemon & tarragon dressing
Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc ‘19, Marlborough

Market fish, bok choi, spinach, honey & ginger yams, persimmons, almonds, herb oil
Dog Point Chardonnay ‘16, Marlborough

Te Mana Lamb backstrap, croquette, Jerusalem artichoke, brown butter, comté cheese, chips
Maude Pinot Noir ‘18, Wanaka

Moka mousse, meringue, chocolate textures, sorbet
Croft Fine Ruby Port, Douro Valley, Portugal

5 Course menu / 100
Wine matching / 150

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

  •   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

      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

      This delightful bistro is about a 10 minute drive from the lakefront; and sits up on a hill with gorgeous views of Lake Wanaka. Sit outside on the patio if... read more

    avatar thumb joyful1LasVegas
  •   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

      We really enjoyed the food last night which was exceptional. I cannot thank the staff enough for making the night extra special for our engagement and I appreciate the little... read more

    avatar thumb roryk839

      We had dinner here for 4 to celebrate our sons engagement to his lovely fiance and their last night In New Zealand before flying home to the UK. The meal... read more

    avatar thumb Fredthefiddle
  •   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

      The most inventive and delightful meal I've ever had - and I've been coming here once a year, every year, for the last four years. And each year surpasses the... read more

    avatar thumb Maz H

      Another great recommendation from our Airbnb Host, thank you!! Bookings essential as it is very popular!
    What a lovely surprise to walk into this restaurant. So warm and cosy on... read more

    avatar thumb sayithowitisnoholds
  •   The food was spectacular. We both had the duck with the maple syrup yams and it was all exceptional- easily 10/10. It was one of the best mains we have... read more

    avatar thumb bris1234

      I live in Wanaka and try and get around the restaurants. Been here before and it never fails. Really good value. Highly skilled chefs knowledgable and charming wait staff. Great... read more

    avatar thumb Chefmetcalfe

      We were recommended this restaurant and it didn’t disappoint, good food, well presented with excellent service. It did not disappoint.

    avatar thumb 1806
  •   This is hands down the best meal i had during my entire 14 days trip in the South Island. Definitely amongst the top 10 meals , I had for ... read more

    avatar thumb RickHunterW

      We spontaneously went to the bistro in the evening. Without reservation and got a place outside. It was quite cold, but okay, since we had not reserved a table. We... read more

    avatar thumb 757_Judith

      This establishment is in itself a reason to visit Wanaka. The food was excellent. I enjoyed the best steak I have eaten in recent memory. My partner commented that... read more

    avatar thumb 605regk
  •   My partner and I celebrated a birthday and a wedding anniversary at the Bistro Gentil. The Food was just superb, but it was the attention to service that really made... read more

    avatar thumb Russell W

      I’ve visited this restaurant once before and it was absolutely amazing so I had to return! Although the menu had changed slightly to my first visit, it didn’t let... read more

    avatar thumb taylarhiko

      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

  •   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

      This is a busy casual place for lunch or dinner. In the evening, the bar scene is buzzing with locals, who all know each other and the lively barmaids on... read more

    avatar thumb Ted G

      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
  •   We are visiting NZ and I wanted somewhere really good to take my wife for her 60th birthday. This place definitely did the trick! The service was friendly and first... read more

    avatar thumb Geoffrey M

      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

      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
  •   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

      Great meal and great service. The lamb dish I had for mains was perfect, just could have done with a little more really. Other than that highly recommended.

    avatar thumb NzSimon

      Totally blown away by the experience. Great food, wine and service. As locals, we tended to stick to ‘tried & tester’ but was game to try something for our Silver... read more

    avatar thumb C2MeiD613
  •   Amazing! We loved this place, great food, wines and service. Right from when you pull in the driveway and see the whole place lit up like a Christmas tree you... read more

    avatar thumb ChrisD1982

      One of our best meals during our 3-week holiday in New Zealand! Beautiful setting just outside Wanaka, friendly service, warm casual atmosphere and outstanding food! Creative, very well prepared and... read more

    avatar thumb LarchFoodie

      Sensational setting and note worthy food. We opted to do the chefs choice 3 course with wine pairings. It was wonderful! The rabbit gnocchi was very flavorful and excellent texture.... read more

    avatar thumb jessicatJ7836PM


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 for more details.

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
Wednesday–Saturday: 6:00pm–9:00pm

To Make a Reservation
Click here

For Inquiries
Ph: 03 443 2299
Email: bistrogentilwanaka@gmail.com
Or fill out the form below