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Bistro 501 | Lafayette Online
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Lafayette Restaurants |

Bistro 501

Bistro 501


501 Main Street, Lafayette, Indiana 47901
Phone: 765-423-4501

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this Restaurant
Rating: 2.9/5 (51 votes cast)
Cuisine: French
Address: 501 Main Street, Lafayette, Indiana 47901
Phone: 765-423-4501
Reservations: Recommended on Friday and Saturday nights

Bistro 501 is a wonderful addition to the great dining in the downtown Lafayette area. From the provincial decor and extensive wine list to the fabulous French cuisine and decadent desserts, this is definitely a place you’ll want to take a date. Located on the southeast corner of the Courthouse Square, Bistro 501 is walking distance from both of the major downtown Lafayette and West Lafayette hotels, and the municipal parking garage. Some street parking is available, and it’s walkable from Wabash Landing via the pedestrian bridge.

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24 Responses to “Bistro 501”

  1. Gretchen says:

    Very rude, bad service. Good food, not great. I can make better at home. Don’t take your kids even though they say it is okay because they treat you even worse. Two bad times in a row. Will not be going back.

    • Bill says:

      Maybe you were treated badly because your kids behaved badly. My wife an I have had nothing but good service and great food. Especially the deserts.

  2. russell royston says:

    I love this place. Each time I come from Maryland, I make sure to have a dinner here.

  3. Bob and Linda says:

    My wife and I have eaten here twice. I wish it were closer. Outstanding food and outstanding knowledgeable servers. Well worth the price!!! I will be back many more times

  4. Maddy says:

    Love this restaurant! Love the service, love the food. Duck can be amazing sometimes….love their martini’s nights too.

  5. Kim says:

    My husband and I went to Bistro 501 last night. I was worried because of some of the bad reviews here but I must say things went well. The waitress was very good and didn’t treat us any differently for being the last table of the night. The food was good and at the right temperatures. So we will go back. We did have one bad experience but that was at least 6 months ago where a waitress added gratuity for our group of 7 without warning us when the menu says it will be added to groups of 8 or more. We brought it up with the management the next day and eventually they took care of it. Was a little bit of a hassle though.

  6. Jan says:

    My favorite restaurant bar none. We don’t eat here often ..maybe 6 to 10 times per year as it’s a little pricey but the food is excellent and worth the money. I eat lunch her more often and love the bread, the salads, the quiche. I’ve never had a bad meal here.

  7. John says:

    I don’t go here often, two or three times a year. It is priced at the high end for Lafayette – and worth every cent! The duck is my preference, but neither I nor my guests have ever had a bad meal. The wait staff is excellent – knowledgeable, friendly, and a very good sense of timing. It makes me wonder how the ones who complain about the service treated them – because I’ve never had that experience.

  8. Sara says:

    I would like to add a few notes to the people who search out the reviews before dining at restaurants. Firstly, I have found that people are more likely to post reviews as a way to vent after a poor experience. Poor experiences do tend to happen. The people who do post great comments usually do so only when something extraordinary has occurred. I would just like to thank the people who do take the time to post the comments of positive experiences on here.

    I frequent the Bistro 501 and sometimes the constructive criticism seems a little obscure. For example the soup being charged isn’t probable, since soup or salad are complimentary, and the cobblers are never ‘covered’ in chocolate, there may be chocolate chips in the cobbler, the steaks are wonderful, if you don’t order them well done (which will always lead you to dry or tough meat), and the managers there are always ready to respond to patrons upon request. Sometimes the quality of service can depend on who you receive as your server. Some servers like to be more friendly with you, some are more focused on making sure your food and everyone else’s food gets to you promptly. Also it isn’t fair to assume something, such as the server knew the soup may have smelled foul to you… and post it for public scrutiny. The Bistro tries very hard to make sure everyone leaves happy, if you are every unhappy they will do more than they can to make sure you are satisfied before you leave.

  9. Denny says:

    As a regular customer of Bistro 501, I recently attended their Ninth Annual Beaujolais Festival at which a special seven course dinner was served coupled with a ceremonial French traditional opening of the Beaujolais Nouveau wine. The evening started with the Beaujolais wine cask opening presented by an 18th century drum and fife corps. The sophisticated ambience of Bistro 501 and the stylish manner in which the new Beaujolais wine was introduced set a tone of romance and eager anticipation of a wonderful dining experience for the many patrons.

    The service throughout the dinner was excellent and each course elicited compliments regarding presentation and taste. The menu ranged from Roasted Heirloon pumpkin soup to a mouth-watering potato martini topped with king crabmeat. Other courses included charcoal seared sockeye salmon, roasted pheasant, venison medialliions and a delicious dessert of panna cotta. All courses were prepared impeccably and served professionally throughout our culinary adventure.

    The entire evening was representative of the consitently fine dining and service that I have always experienced at the Bistro! I highly recommend Bistro 501 to anyone interested in fine dining!

  10. Abbey says:

    I am very surprised that anyone could give this restaurant high marks when the service has been subpar every time I have visited. Several people here have commented on the rude wait staff and the long waits for mediocre food even when the restaurant did not seem to be busy. I too have experienced this consistently. My business entertains clients there (favorite restaurant of my boss) and you would think that as many times a month as I am there that they would do a better job, but this is not the case. In one dinner that I had recently, I never knew who my waitress was because three different people attended to us and when there was a problem, each one referred us to another one.

    As much as I despise the service, I will happily go to this restaurant for lunch, but ONLY if they are serving chicken. I think that’s the one thing they do well and it is in my opinion, worth the wait and the bad service. Dinner service and food are shameful. Soup was served cold on several occasions and when I asked them to bring back a warm bowl of soup they told me that they didn’t have any more. On our last visit, my guest had another soup and found it smelled foul. As if the waitress expected this complaint, she quickly whisked the soup away, but still charged us for both soups. The manager would not come out, though I requested to see him/her and no apology was given.

    I believe that the quality of the dessert menu varies nightly too. On a particular occasion recently, I took a client out for drinks and a dessert. Everything on the dessert menu was covered in chocolate, something that the waitress explained was the preference of the chef that night. I had ordered the mixed fruit cobbler to avoid the chocolate and believe it or not, it was covered in chocolate.

    The absolutely only thing they seem to do right consistently is the check’s total.

    In summary, the food’s quality varies, service is consistently bad, and poor customer service. Even if others give this place high marks because they haven’t had the same experience I have had, would you really want to go to a place that often neglects its customers, especially repeat customers?

    Avoid this restaurant for dinner. Try Maize or Sarge Oak or La Scala or don’t eat in Lafayette at all.

    • Dotty says:

      to ABBEY
      I am very curious to know how the soup was charged when its complimentary?
      Your opinion on the service and food is your to make, but please don’t add fiction to your bad experience. For example, the dessert menu that was supposedly all chocolate is a blatant disregard for the menu. If you had read the menu than you would have known about the creme brule which is not chocolate, the sticky toffee pudding which is not chocolate. the only things on the menu that are chocolate or have chocolate in them are the bread pudding or the pot au chocolate. The menu items that you may have heard were the specials that the Bistro offers, which are the icecream, cheesecake, and cobbler. All of these dessert items change on a daily to weekly basis.

  11. abba says:

    Mediocre food, lousy service, and high prices. Not recommended.

  12. Marie says:

    We can only say very good things about Bistro 501. We tried to celebrate our anniversary at another restaurant last night, since the Bistro was closed. However, we should have waited, since everything was perfect tonight including the salad, filets, sides, a wonderful dessert, and the service.

  13. David says:

    My wife and I have frequented Bistro 501 for years. It is our favorite restaurant….anywhere. The wait staff is professional, competent, helpful, and very friendly. The food is always outstanding. Excellent wine list with many good choices available by the glass. The restaurant has a terrific ambiance. Known for their martinis. You will love the place!

  14. Rachel says:

    Best restaurant in Lafayette, hands down. The atmosphere, service and food is all great. I love the martinis and the intimate atmosphere most of all.

  15. billieb says:

    We had a family outing tonight and the food was AGAIN, outstanding. I had the Chicken Fromage and it was tender and had a subtle sauce with tender asparagus. Others had filet with various sauces and they were well pleased. Also had the cheese board and the presentation was delightful and the contents were a perfect blend. Dessert was the Sticky Toffee–heavenly with the warm sauce!! Keep up with the fresh ingredients and simple menu and it will continue to be an outstanding place for diners in Lafayette, Indiana.

  16. Dave says:

    Service was a litte sub par. It took about 15 minutes to get our drinks and the food didn’t live up to the hype. On the plus side, my wife and I ordered desert which we rarely do and it was great.

  17. Tim says:

    We had reservations for seven and we were approached for orders about 8. The salad came before our drinks. (after sitting for another hour). Our waiter Bryan, knew it was our daughter’s 21st birthday yet we were ignored throughout the whole evening. Dinner took about two hours to get to our table. My wife had to be restrained from speaking to the manager as did I. I have never paid such a large sum for food and not tipped for service. It was not busy- there were only four of us, it was a 21st birthday, and it was the worst dinner we have ever had as a family outing. No manager apologized, the waiter did not explain any problem, it was a disaster!!

  18. WL Foodie says:

    First off, I’ll state that I’m not a well-respected Chef from Chicago or anywhere for that matter. Nor do I have training at the culinary institute of america. I’m a foodie who likes food! I used to say that Maize was the best, overall top end restaurant in Greater Lafayette. I would now have to shift that to Bistro 501. Recently I revisited this place and ordered the duck breasts. They were phenomenal! Two good sized breasts with two veggie sides (a sweet potato mix and asparagus) and a cup of soup. The portions were great and I definitely didn’t feel hungry after I finsihed. I was still dreaming of that duck for many days after. Dan was working the bar and provided great service while still making drinks for all the other patrons.

    As for lunch, I love the roasted chicken. In fact, if they don’t have it I’ll leave. There are other good options, but the chicken is tasty and filling.

    Does Bistro make its menu choices for chefs? No, it makes them for you and I, regular folks who like good food. You have to evaluate the food for what it is, not what it should be. If you don’t like it, fine. Just don’t review based on what it should have been, just what it was.

  19. Meg Baker says:

    This was a wonderful experience. Good service, perfect wine and cheese board, nice specials, and great creme brulee.

  20. Brian says:

    In anticipation of our anniversary, my wife I did our best to seek out the best restaurant that Lafayette has to offer. We were told that the most romantic setting could be found at Bistro 501, but I had read a few disparaging remarks and decided we would go elsewhere.

    Upon discovering that our intended destination, Kokoro, (a downtown Japanese restaurant) was closed, we opted for the restaurant across the street, which happened to be Bistro 501.

    Service was impeccable, despite the fact that it was a busy Saturday night. Our server, Kate, was absolutely lovely. And the filets that we both enjoyed were perfectly executed.

    Kudos to Bistro 501(!!!), and thank you for helping us celebrate our anniversary.

  21. Bill says:

    We visited on a Tuesday evening, made reservations for our “anniversary date.” We were pleasantly surprised with everything!

    I had pecan crusted fish, my wife had the smaller filet mignon…….both were awesome!

    Appetizer (we split one), entres and desserts for each; all perfect. Our server was great, helpful, good timing, very professional.

    We were also surprised at how little we paid for such a delightful experience in an intimate environment.

    I’ve let all my friends know!

  22. John says:

    On Tuesday night, we tried the Bistro 501 for dinner. I have dined with them for lunch several times, but this was our first time for dinner. We were very surprised to find two of the best filet mignons in town! On a strong recommendation from two other guests, I tried the chilled Hungarian cherry soup and it was great. Paul, the server was very good too and Granny can make a dessert for me anytime!! Her apricot raspberry cobbler was fantastic. I also included a scoop of their homemade ice cream. We will go back more in the future. It’s good to know that we can still find a very good steak, great service, and a made-to-order dessert right here in Lafayette, IN all at a reasonable price…I will admit that their menu is smaller than some, but we much prefer quality over quantity (e.g. some local restaurants try to offer 200 choices, but only have a few really good items). Trust me on this one, since we eat out every night and have tried every restaurant in town…


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