The gourmet Creole bistro is the most popular kind of white-tablecloth restaurant on the South Shore, but even with the multiplication of restaurant options on the North Shore, few bistros can be found there. The Water Street Bistro is one of the best of its kind, with a menu pulling together Creole, French, and Italian dishes in a pleasantly rustic dining room right on the Tchefuncte River.
A small, inconspicuous, but atmospheric restaurant, the Water Street Bistro's riverfront location and good cooking of basic Creole dishes make it worth remembering. It's the southernmost eatery in the Madisonville restaurants row, which keeps getting more interesting. It is capable of surprising you with its sophitication, but doesn't always do so.
Chef Tony and Constance Monroe opened the Water Street Bistro in 2004, taking over a converted cottage on the Tchefuncte riverfront that has seen a number of previous restaurants come and go. (The most recent was a Sal & Judy's copy operated by that couple's daughter.)
The look of the main room is simple and antique in a country style that fits perfectly into the little community of Madisonville. (In fact, the place could use a little more decorating.) Plank walls, an exposed-beam ceiling, and bent-wood chairs create most of the feeling, with a bar in the rear and many windows looking out into the river.
It's my experience that the specials here are almost always more interesting than most of the standing menu. Make a reservation, especially on weekends. The restaurant is small and popular.