Bistro de Leon

Bistro de Leon’s french cuisine fits right in with St. Augustine’s multicultural dining scene.  Every dish is freshly prepared & attractively plated… satisfying to all the senses.  While the food would shine at a white tablecloth restaurant, Chef Jean-Stephane Poinard’s vision was to make his bistro a place to gather with friends & the ones we love.  Bravo, Chef Poinard!

Chris and I enjoyed our first dinner at Bistro de Leon over a year ago. I still remember the beef tenderloin with candied shallots & red wine sauce Chris ordered- tender, flavorful, comforting.   And the mashed potatoes were amazing… for this Southern girl to say someone’s mashed potatoes are good is truly a compliment!

Lunch last Thursday with the children was delicious as we now expect from Bistro de Leon.  The restaurant has enough room to easily accomodate 7 of us, and our server, Maureen, smiled broadly when we ordered dessert first!  (The fruit tarts were topped with such fresh berries & citrus, it surely counted as a salad, we laughingly reasoned.)

My favorite for lunch is the smoked salmon sandwich- tomatoes and dill creme fraiche spread on a house-made baguette ($8.50).  We also had a brie and walnut on baguette (tasty but caramelized or spiced nuts would make it amazing!), sandwich provencal with goat cheese & pistou and a linguine.  Yes, linguine.  My 4 yo begged for kids’ pasta at the french place- there’s one in every crowd!  (That kids’ meals come with house made ice cream certainly sweetened the deal.)

Maureen insisted the breakfast (Saturdays & Sundays)  is worth a special trip, so Saturday we finally made it in.  If this is a French breakfast, I don’t know why I was born in Florida.  Incredible!  The chocolate & toasted almond croissant was certainly the best I’ve ever had… that title previously belonged to Croissants de France in Key West.  {sorry}  We also tried the brioche toasted and spread with homemade apricot jam, and a pear bordalou.

Bistro de Leon carries illy coffee, which was better than the Mocha. We pulled our treats out of our to-go bag as we rode the Old Town Trolley around town and were the envy of the car!  Dining in for breakfast is still on our to-do list- but I’d wager any amount that it is memorable.  {Did I mention what an amazing chocolate croissant I had?}

Bistro de Leon on Urbanspoon

GPS Address: 12 Cathedral Place, St Augustine, 32084
Hours: Open 10 – 10 weekdays (closed Wed) and by 9 on weekends for breakfast.  Call to confirm.  810-2100


  1. Seth Rosen says:

    I have had many defining culinary experiences in my life. From my first slice of NY Sicilian pizza to my first bite of Thai green curry. Traveling the world I have tried many things, but few land on the “defining” list. This last Tuesday, on the advice of Allie at Simply St Augustine, my wife and I visited Bistro de Leon . We had a quaint table in the front window and began with some lovely Grenache. And then it happened – that moment that hits the senses and memory and joins the database of unforgettable experiences – the Onion Soup! This soup is out of bounds! A large croc of broth, handmade French bread and so much cheese that we thought we had closed our eyes and woke up in Wisconsin. There is not much more I can say besides, get the soup! At all costs get the soup! No, I am serious, get the soup!

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