C'est La Vie

4.5
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83 Reviews
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$30 and under
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European
Casual Fine Dining…with Character
Life is made of the places you go and the people with whom you go there. C’est La Vie is a bistro that invites you to enjoy the small things in life, in the company of good friends. Our inviting, playful atmosphere along with our delicate yet satisfying cuisine makes for a place truly like no other. We invite you to experience everything C’est La Vie has to offer — and watch the world go by with us.
Artisanal, yet casual, and above all deeply enjoyable — that is the philosophy at the heart of our food. At C’est La Vie we craft both large and small plates meant to excite the senses and appeal to a wide range of tastes. As another way to pay tribute to life in Lancaster, we source our ingredients from the rich community of local farmers, butchers, and more. Discover our frequently changing menu.
What 83 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PB
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We've eaten several times at C'est La Vie recently and each time was delightful. Special shout out to Brianna for delightful service.

CW
Baltimore
29 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Our dinner during restaurant week was wonderful. Our waitress was fantastic. Our only disappointment was the dessert was extremely dry and inedible.

J
Miami
12 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Everything was great except the noise level. Our server, Casi, was terrific.

L
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first time here since C'est La Vie opened. We were originally drawn to the Lancaster Restaurant Week menu, but there were so many good choices, we ended up ordering off of the regular menu. Everything was very good!

S
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

First time there. The place was very busy, but service was excellent. Interesting menu. Everyone in our group enjoyed what they ordered - from brick oven pizzas to braised short ribs - it was all very good.

s
Philadelphia
18 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

There wine list for bottles was better than most places in Lancaster.the mussel appetizer was excellent, the seafood charcuterie was good but not special.

J
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience3

A french restaurant is all about the sauces. This they excelled at. Good value, great entrees and come spring/summer a nice outdoor seating vibe.

D
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

First time here and it will not be the last!!! Great addition to Lancaster food scene. Nice ambiance and great food. The wait staff were attentive but not annoying. Two thumbs up from myself and my wife. Best of four restaurants we visited for Lancaster Restaurant Week.

OT
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent meal! Excellent server!

WP
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful meal for Lancaster Restaurant Week

K
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband's hamburger was perfect! I loved my crab cake. Our waitress, Casi, was the best. She was very attentive and friendly and gave great suggestions.

H
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience3

We loved sitting by the window looking at Central Market . Our server was very efficient and personable. Unfortunately, the food was disappointing. We had the crab stuffed eggs and it turned out to be 4 eggs with a piece of lump crab on the top. My wife had mussels and they were overcooked, many of the shells were broken, and there wasn’t any flavor to the broth. I had the Coquille St Jacques. It looked very unappealing. It resembled a mushroom soup with 3 scallops. The scallops were extremely salty. It needed some color. Nothing came with it so I asked for some rolls.
My wife is scheduled to back with a group of women in March. I certainly hope the food improves by then.

NV
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went in with high expectations and they were exceeded. We eat steak at high end restaurants all the time and the fillets here were on par if not better than any we have ever had. Charcuterie board was a perfect blend of safe cheeses and meats which I prefer over too many obscure cheeses. Escargot was flavorful. I also made a comment to my wife that there was finally a place who knew how to cook asparagus. Usually it is too soft or too hard. Here it was the perfect texture with great flavor.Ambiance was perfect for our date night. Highly recommend.

AG
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Decor is gorgeous. Ambience is lovely. Meals were amazing. Loved our table by the window that allowed the view of Central Market and the foot traffic.

FI
Baltimore
11 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We enjoyed great service and the food was mostly wonderful. We had one issue with an order of mussels where a majority came out unopened. The server quickly acknowledged the issue and the manager sent out a new order and checked in to make sure everything else was great. Overall the food was delicious and the ambience and service was exceptional. I would recommend and I’ll definitely be returning soon.

CS
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Had a great time. We had the BEST waitress - Brianna (sp??). She did a fabulous job and she alone would inspire us to return. All in all a great birthday celebration evening. If I had any complaint it would be that I would like to see some more mid-range (in both size and price) menu options. We will definitely be back soon. BTW - the pistachio ice cream was to die for.

BK
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food was good. Some tables are a little too small.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great, server was fantastic, the manager Eric was amazing

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Poutine fries were excellent!

AC
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic dinner! We will be back very soon!

BF
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have enjoyed C'est La Vie several times since its opening. It's our newest favorite restaurant! We especially enjoyed dining at the bar. Highly recommend!

KG
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience4

The food was good, but the server wasn’t very attentive. One example: After our food was served and she came by, we asked for pepper, but she continued poring water at various tables instead of getting the pepper while the food was still warm. We had to flag down the manager and ask for pepper. Overall not impressed with the service.

PF
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have been several times for lunch. The food has been excellent. The burger is my absolute favorite. The brioche buns are fabulously fresh. The French fries are wonderful. The cocktails are great. I love the choices and they actually taste like they have alcohol in them. We will definitely go back.

k
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

wonderful food and Casey was an excellent server!

W
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food was very good. Service was good. Value was OK

JW
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience5

The drinks, soups, and service were excellent. I ordered the filet with a medium cook and it came to the table raw and the asparagus on the side was very cold. I sent it back and the manager brought me a new piece of steak and it was also raw. The third time the steak came back to the table, the cook was medium rare. The servers and manager were kind and respectful and we did get a discount for the mistakes but the steak was disappointing.

CJ
Philadelphia
21 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Arrived an hour before our reservation time and enjoyed great handcrafted cocktails at the bar. Staff at the bar and dinner were very attentive. All of us (4 people) enjoyed dinner. The shrimp nicoise was delicious. Others in our party enjoyed the blu burger, pizza and crab cake sandwich. Great ambience. We will definitely return.

D
Philadelphia
46 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

May give a second try but food was average. Service was average. Nose level was high.

o
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our second visit. It was better then our first visit! The cocktails are excellent! The food presentation is a work of art. Service is exceptional.

W
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience4

Very disappointed....the French Onion soup had almost no onions and a weak broth; Limited green salads except for Caesar; Brick oven pizza was more dough than anything else, little sauce in Middle with cheese....Wow, not a great place to go before the theater! But beautiful setting!

F
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time visit after also trying Josephine's, which is also a 5-star. C'est la Vie actually has some truly French options on the menu, but for those who aren't francophiles, there are many other possibilities, too. I can't say enough about how much I and my party enjoyed our evening of fantastic martinis, delicious and nicely presented appetizers, dinner menu, and wine. Owners and chef have accomplished a fantastic place, which is saying a lot given how many great choices there are in Lancaster for drinks, food, and ambiance.

B
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Nice variety of food & drinks on menu. Entrees were served nice & hot. Halibut special was superb. Kitchen had run out of pizza which was disappointing. Desserts are underwhelming & overpriced. Great atmosphere. Casey was an excellent server. Experienced and well informed about menu.

BP
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waitress was fabulous and the food was outstanding. Great atmosphere for a get together with friends.

B
Philadelphia
48 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our 2nd visit to this new restaurant prior to a show at the Fulton! Fantastic addition to the Lancaster restaurant scene!

M
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

I enjoy dining and I don’t mind paying if the experience is appropriate. Upon review of the restaurant and the menu I assumed that the place was more intimate than it actually is. It was busy and noisy. I do like the open kitchen concept. Our waitress did not read us any specials or provide a wine list. This is either out of laziness or out of judging the customer.Either way it was disappointing watch another table ordered a Seabass special, one of my wife’s favorite.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Very small portions. The entrees are a la carte so overall, it is of extremely poor value. The desserts are not made on site, only the crepes. The desserts are also tiny. The service was wonderful and the ambiance was nice. Unfortunately, we will not be back.

f
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food great service lovely place
My 3rd time there like it very much

G
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely great food and cocktails at C'est La Vie. My wife and I had dinner there. We travel a lot and we are exceptionally spoiled. The cocktails were great. My wife said the best she had. I had more, but they are definitely terrific. The beer selection is eclectic as well. We didn't taste the wines. The food is exceptionally well cooked and presented. Service was fast and attentive. In all honesty, the place was not even half-full because it was snowing that day. Our server, Breanna was great! I think the prices are reasonable for the quality; probably a bit more expensive for Lancaster, but we wouldn't know.

F
8 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Happy to see the refurbished look, especially the softer lighting. The entree menu is limited, but other selections quite adequate. Maybe add some pasta and SMALL salad ?

This will always be my restaurant of choice before and after the theater.

OT
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

First time there. Excellent for lunch.