Fine Dining for BDay in KW area
I'm looking for a nice restaurant for my SO's birthday in Kitchener / Waterloo (or Cambridge, Guelph, St. Jacob's...just something close).
Not too concerned about price and we will eat anything so all cuisine suggestions are welcome.
Thanks in advance!
I always like the Charcoal Steak House in Kitchener, but not for the steak - which are good, but the pigstails. It's been a few years, however.
You should serious consider the Aberfoyle Mill, on the old Hwy 6. It's a lovely old, rustic atmosphere and the food is quite good.
My family went to the Aberfoyle Mill in late Oct. of 2009 and were impressed with the menu and every item we ate, from appetizers to dessert. Their pistachio crusted spiced salmon was especially delicious, even if slightly overcooked, and the white chocolate and pistachio cheesecake was a big hit too. The atmosphere is charming, and overall we would say the food was inventive and just plain delicious.
Langdon Hall if price is not an option. Especially if it is on a nice weekend and you can walk the grounds a bit.
Downtown, Janet Lynns is reliable with good service.
Can't recommend anything in St. Jacobs. I used to live there and it is pretty much Mennonite-style comfort food playing to the tourist crowd. A lot of turkey sandwiches, meatloaf and schnitzel.
In a nutshell: Janet Lynn's menu has remained unchanged since 1952 (if you do go try the chicken boiled in a bag)
Bhima's Warung: You will go wrong at $150 for two and leave hungry
Versus is quite good especially if you jump for Kangaroo (no kidding!)
Peter King's is possibly the worst meal we had in 40 years of dining out
Ali Baba/Encore is consistently horrifying (boiled sole comes to mind and hollowed out pork with candy carmel inside)
Charbries is in dier need of fumigation as it hasn't been aired out since 1971 -- the food tastes just as old and stale
Sole -- not bad if you like 15+ ingredients in your main dish
If you want a decent meal in KW try: Classico's for fresh seafood/fish or Wildcraft for Bistro style food. No matter what anyone else says on this post, you will not find a fine dining meal in KW unless you enjoy Kangaroo (I can't comment on Langdon Hall or other venues outside of KW at this point)
Good Luck and please post your review
Agree that Janet Lynns hasn't evolved, but they are still consistently better than most options and offer one of very few upscale options in the area - which is why it's the go-to choice for most business lunches/dinners. And why you frequently see visiting politicians there. I can understand that going there more than once or twice a year would become tedious, however, I think that if it's a one-time thing and people want to stay in the downtown Waterloo core, it's a reliable bet.
Wildcraft is on par with a Milestones or Earls, but it is also on the outskirts of town, amongst the industrial parks and strip malls. It would be a good birthday destination to take a university student to, IMHO.
Agree with the rest of your post. I'm surprised that with all the tech money, academia and visiting VC's, that someone hasn't put up a nice, current, high-end restaurant. There's enough money in the area now to expand the tiny countryside airport into an international terminal, there should be enough to float a 30 seat fine dining establishment.
If I was a promising Toronto chef wanting to open my own place - and was tired of the high rents, fickleness and competition in this city - KW is just *waiting* to be plucked. Would have the place all to themselves. Plus, there's an endless supply of great organic produce right at your door because it's the heart of farm country...