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Bistro 45

My friend chose this for the 2006 Dine Out benefit. What's the chowpinion?? Worth the efforts or should we opt for another place in the Pasadena area??? It's his B.D. And, restaurant must be accessible as my friend is a wheelchair user.

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  1. I was unhappy with my one experience at Bistro 45. The food was good, but not great (not as good as other similarly-priced restaurants on the Westside), and the service we got was absolutely terrible. We don't plan on going there again.

    1. I was happy with both the food and service when I was there. I believe the restaurant can handle wheelchairs, but you should contact them.

      1 Reply
      1. re: raytamsgv

        To elaborate, I don't think they have consistently bad service, but I personally received bad service there--maybe because my husband and I look young (and hence he thought we wouldn't tip well?). Our waiter was very rude to us and did not even tell us the specials, while he was very nice to the table of four older patrons next to us (that's how we found out there were indeed specials--we heard him tell them after we'd already ordered!). Maybe I would excuse the poor behavior of this one server and return again if the food were excellent. But it just wasn't. It was pretty average food for above-average prices.

      2. I've been for lunch and was pretty happy with my meal (sorry, I can't remember what it was). The best part, though, is the chocolate soup for dessert!

        1. Last I heard, owner Robert Simon is planning a move to Napa Valley. Your dining experience depends somewhat on where his heart is.

          1. I've hosted a holiday party for my husband's office there for five years and always found them to be accommodating and gracious. I personally haven't had a bad dish there and I think the rooms are romantic.

            1. My husband and I went recently and were not impressed. Our waiter neglected to give us the daily specials, and then we had so many different waiters all night because there was a larger party that demanded so much attention. Poor inattentive service and high prices for slightly above average dishes with heavy sauces -- we'll never go back.

              1. robert is not moving, but is opening another restaurant in calistoga.

                i think the food is okay, but has lacked inspiration lately. i understand the snob factor experienced above as well.

                we had a large christmas office party and had a dispute with them about how many bottles of wine they opened for us. they didn't keep the bottles.

                the reason it still survives in pasadena, i believe, is because there are limited quality dining experiences in the sgv. we prefer to go to parkway grill if we can get a table in the window.

                1. Overpriced and overrated food-wise.

                  Given the recent explosion in fin(er) dining in the Pasadena area (viz., Bistro K, Bistro de la Gare, and even Derek's, etc.), there are much better options and one shouldn't settle for Bistro 45.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    My one experience at Bistro K was good enough, yet hardly any better than Bistro 45, and the service at the K was atrocious. Never had less than very good food at the 45, even though prices are a bit higher.
                    Robert already has a restaurant that has been open for a while in Calistoga, yet he lives here. Tim, the manager, takes care of the 45 when he is up north so check with him if you have any questions.

                  2. i had a decent lunch there food wise a couple of months ago, although my duck entree emerged without the vegetable component listed on the menu (which had been a major draw for me). when i asked the waiter he said he'd check with the kitchen, and then it was never spoken of again; maybe if our waiter had paid any attention to our table... anyhow, the food was okay but not great, and the service was awful--our server (beyond the missing veggie) was rude and made all of us in our party feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. i'd say try another pasadena option as suggested by others.

                    1. I had a good service experience there recently- the waiter knew about a few of the more obscure wines on the list, which I always appreciate. It's not my favorite restaurant, but I'll go back.

                      1. I had my wedding reception here. We rented out the entire restaurant. The service and food were excellent and the handling of the party was very good. The pastry chef did our cake and the waiters/waitresses were attentive - we even had a few fussy kids. For special occasions I will say they did a great job. My husband and I go back almost every year for our anniversary. We have not been back for over a year now but I'm glad to see that the chocolate soup is still on the dessert menu - it is fantastic if you like chocolate! The service will depend on who you get - just like any restaurant and going back there for dinner was not consistant in terms of service however I never received rude service. The ambiance of the interior is warm and nice and I felt that the price is not outrageous at all especially if you been to other "fine dining" establishments with a similar type of menu and style. I personally never had a bad entree. The presentation is good and any sauces were just right to compliment the meat dishes. I normally have the lamb and is always very good. Vegetarians should look elsewhere!

                        1. The dine out menu piqued my interest, I probably will go (it's really a toss up between this and firefly, though)