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Mar 13, 2012 11:18 AM

K/W area dining suggestion needed

I am looking to buy a nice gift certificate as part of a gift. Are there any places in the area that do small plates or have fine European dining? The couple tried molecular gastronomy once, so anything whimsical like that would even be great. They are getting some Stratford tickets too, so they can go in that direction too.

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  1. I would suggest Wildcraft on King Street in Waterloo.

    I went back in October. My dining partner and I both had the tasting menu- which was priced extremely reasonably at $35. The service was outstanding- and the food, while it didn't blow me away, was very good. A bit innovative for waterloo and offered more than the standard fare of steak and potatoes or chicken and veggies- we both had rack of lamb. I remember the dessert being overly sweet. But overall- I would definitely rate it as one of the better restaurants in the K/W area.

    6 Replies
    1. re: jinxie

      Good to know. I was looking at Bonacini's (sp?) originally, but felt I didn't want them to dine "in a mall".

      I was also looking at Verses and Langdon Hall. Thoughts on those?

      1. re: itryalot

        Skip Langdon Hall. If they are doing Stratford, then go with Rundles.

        1. re: TorontoJo

          I agree Rundles is a good idea if they are going to Stratford. The Chef, Neil Baxter, is very talented, and the food is usually very good, and sometimes sublime, in my experience. Rundles also serves excellent bread and interesting desserts. Neil Baxter's bread is also sold at the Stratford Farmer's Market, and Kiss the Cook in London on occasion. While the servers are always friendly, courteous and professional, the Owner can be somewhat non-courteous at times.

          Bijou is also a good option in Stratford, at a slightly lower pricepoint than Rundles. Rundles won't open until late May, when the Stratford Festival opens. The Prune (formerly The Old Prune) is another upscale option in Stratford, which changed hands last year.

          In KW, I like Bhima's Warung and Nick & Nat's Uptown 21 the best. I'm not aware of any molecular gastronomy in KW.

          Verses is quite nice, with good service, and a more formal atmosphere than Nick & Nat's, but I've found the food at Nick & Nat's to be tastier. Verses is housed inside an old church, hence the name.

          Janet Lynn's Bistro is another relatively upscale option in KW, but it's fairly conservative bistro food. The food is good and the service is professional and friendly.

          I've been to Wildcraft around 5 or 6 times, and I think it's ok. Bauer Kitchen is another restaurant owned by the same group as Wildcraft, and uses a lot of locally sourced ingredients. I ate at Bauer Kitchen last night, and it was fine, but I still prefer Nick & Nat's or Bhima's.

          Old Prune
          151 Albert St, Stratford, ON N5A3K5, CA

          425 King Street North, Waterloo, ON n2j 2z5, CA

          Bhima's Warung
          262 King St N, Waterloo, ON N2J2Y9, CA

          Janet Lynn's
          92 King St S, Waterloo, ON N2J1P5, CA

          105 Erie St, Stratford, ON N5A2M5, CA

          182 Victoria St N, Kitchener, ON N2H5C6, CA

          Rundles Restaurant
          9 Cobourg St, Stratford, ON N5A3E4, CA

          Nick & Nat's Uptown 21
          21 King St N, Waterloo, ON N2J2W6, CA

          The Bauer Kitchen
          187 King St., Waterloo, ON N2J 1R0, CA

          1. re: prima

            Gave them one to Rundles a few years ago. They enjoyed it. Looked up the other places and now am down to Nick and Nat's and Verses.

            1. re: itryalot

              Go with Verses! Food and service is outstanding. It is a lot more formal than Nick and Nat's.

              I used to like Rundles but after reading the ignorant and condescending responses from Rundles manager on trip advisor i will never ever visit that restaurant again!

              1. re: Jab05

                I'll second Verses as well. Been there twice, and liked it both times.

    2. I went to Nic & Nat's Uptown 21. The food and service were terrible when I came on Nov. 8 2012. My friend and I both ordered the lobster and shrimp and when it came out, the lobster tail had no taste and there were tons of potatoes floating in a red spicy broth. And the shrimps were not fresh. The waiter was horrific, he disappeared during our entire meal and never checked on us, we couldn't even find him. He wore glasses, dark hair and a bit weird - he started the evening by asking us . My friend is a prof at Laurier U and was shocked. I replied with a smart answer since he seemed to look down upon us.

      When the waiter finally came around to take our plates away, I told him how bad the food was. He didn't apologize but had the nerve to say: I guess you want your bill then. No offer of a complimentary dessert or a I am sorry. I was horrified. He then proceeded to tell the or who stuck out his head from the cooking area to look at my friend and I. What horrible manners. He was too shy to come out and talk to us.

      Don't come here. Being a Montrealer, I can tell you that this place isn't anything impressive. Because of the waiter's attitude and service, I am never setting foot in here again.

      1 Reply
      1. re: orlenalee

        Being a Montealer? What does that have to do with anything?

      2. Bhima's Warung in Waterloo. IMO, the best restaurant in KW.

        3 Replies
        1. re: RYP

          I'd totally forgotten about Bhima's, it's been a long time since I've eaten there, but I do remember it was very good.

          1. re: WileECoyote

            Bhima's for sure. Thanks for reminding me of that place. Another option is The Bauer Kitchen. People love the bone marrow.

            1. re: superangela

              They went to Verses and loved the food and decor. Thanks for the rec!

          1. re: prima

            I have eaten at the Flying Dog on a number of occasions and found the food to be good. That being said, my experiences tend to be quite a while ago. I used to "work" there one night a week (not in the restaurant, per se) and one of my perks was half price food. I seem to recall some very tasty meatloaf, salads etc. My more recent experience with The Flying Dog involves their group menus, as we have had our company Christmas Party there for the last 2 years. Group menus were fine, though in my experience they are never as good as a la carte dining (for obvious reasons)