by Charlottesville29


119 W. Main Street . Charlottesville, VA . (434) 977-1818

Why Bizou?

In March 1991, in a small space on a then-desolate downtown mall, two young chefs, one from France and one from West Virginia, opened a restaurant that would shape Charlottesville dining for decades. The French chef was Vincent Derquenne, the West Virginian Tim Burgess, and their restaurant was called Metropolitain. In 1995, it moved to a larger space on Water Street before closing in 2002.

But, its original location lives on in Bizou, which shares the look, spirit, and owners of the eatery the New York Times once called reason to move to Charlottesville. The ethos behind both — “what if it’s all about the food?” — has come to dominate Charlottesville dining. Meanwhile, Bizou has continued to deliver gussied-up comfort food in a diner-like setting from knowledgeable and polished servers. Lunch is a great value and has a huge daily following. Dinner is even better. And, Derquenne is a hard-core oenophile, so the wines are great, too. It’s indispensable on The Charlottesville 29.

What to Order

Daily dinner specials are the options most reminiscent of Metropolitain’s great dishes, but several regular menu staples are standouts as well. Below are our picks, those of Derquenne and Burgess, and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where a local chef or personality has named a Bizou dish as one of the best in town.

Our Picks

  • Patisserie Assortment (brunch)
  • Brioche French Toast (brunch)
  • Brownie Canele (brunch)
  • Homemade Classic Meatloaf
  • Chicken Caesar Salad
  • Dinner Specials
  • Grilled Banana Bread (Charlottesville’s signature dessert?)

Owners’ Picks

  • Chocolate Croissant (brunch) (Burgess)
  • Fried Catfish (Burgess)
  • Smoked Salmon w/ Fried Green Tomatoes (Derquenne)
  • Steak Salad (Derquenne)
  • Grilled Banana Bread (Burgess)

Five Finds on Friday Picks