• Janet Lynn's Bistro

  • 4.0 stars
    (20 reviews, average rating: 4.2/5)
  • Cuisines: Bistro
  • (519) 725-3440
  • 92 King St. S. Waterloo, ON N2J 1P5
  • Neighbourhoods: Kitchener Central, Kitchener West
Recommend Restaurant?
23 people have voted
74% of voters recommend
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Restaurant Details
Price range
$$$ ($26-$60)
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chevyshovel
14 Reviews
11 months ago
  • one word!
  • Overall
    5.0 stars
    • Food
      5.0 stars
    • Services
      5.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      5.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $61-$100
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 4
  • One word--stellar! Or if I had to choose another single word..perfection! All food was delicious, hot, served promptly...wine suggestion was perfect and a good time was had by all! Service was above par. Thanks for making my mom's birthday a very special occasion!

  • Order: short ribs, rack of lamb, red thai curry shrimp, dessert, wine, espresso, gazpacho shrimp, calamari, spring rolls
 
KitchenerFoodie433
1 Review
2013/03/07
  • tHANKS
  • Overall
    4.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      5.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $26-$60
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 9 or more
  • Thank you for the great service our group of 17 received on Monday March 4th. The food was excellent, as was the service. The new restaurant is so welcoming and clearly urban, suits Belmont Village.Looking forward to the next visit.

  • Order: Short Ribs, BV red, flourless cake
 
twofoodlovers
4 Reviews 1 Helpful
2009/03/14
  • What an amazing restaurant! My boyfriend and I...
  • Overall
    5.0 stars
    • Food
      5.0 stars
    • Services
      5.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $26-$60
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 2
  • What an amazing restaurant!

    My boyfriend and I had been here before and loved it. We came back, and were certainly not disappointed.

    This is the best food in the city, hands down. The chef has done an immaculate job with presentation, consistency, and creativity.

    We had the most outstanding server. She was helpful, knowledgeable, and pleasant. Even though it was busy, she was prompt and able to chat. Service with a smile!

    The atmosphere is nice, but the decor is slightly outdated. My only other suggestion for the restaurant is to get a website so that others can experience this gem!

  • Order: caesar salad, antipasto for two; rack of lamb, pasta
 
HarryAlbright
3 Reviews 2 Helpful
2008/11/30
  • Keeping it real In the late 1980s, I...
  • Overall
    4.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      4.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $61-$100
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 2
  • Keeping it real

    In the late 1980s, I introduced my parents to a little bistro in the Market Village area of Kitchener. It was a fun, eclectic place, with breadbaskets hanging from the ceiling on pulleys (if you wanted bread, you unhooked the cord and lowered the basket) and a big room upstairs for parties. But the main draw was the food. The late Janet Lynn Leslie was without a doubt the finest chef in Kitchener-Waterloo. She used the best and freshest ingredients, and had a light touch with them. No heavy sauces or over-complicated concoctions here; just imaginative and interesting dishes prepared with style, flair, and above all love. Her partner, Kevin Wong, handled the front of house.

    In 1991, the bistro moved to uptown Waterloo. The surroundings were now Tuscan columns, wine paraphernalia and paintings of countryside and gardens. Wood and plush banquettes, combined with low lighting, give the dining room a warm, refined ambiance.

    Both venues were where we held family parties: Birthdays, my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, my mother-in-law’s wedding reception when she remarried. Not that we needed an excuse.

    Janet Lynn passed away in 2004, aged only 47, and the kitchen was taken over by her apprentice Nelson Zepada. He has kept the standards high. Cooking simply, allowing the ingredients to take centre stage, takes real skill.

    The menu is short, with a couple of daily specials. My dining companion usually chooses the maple-cured smoked salmon, but this time opted for a Caesar salad. It was a generous serving, and good. I went for the tiger shrimp with capers, Jerusalem artichoke hearts and tomatoes. It was a superb dish. The shrimp were cooked to perfection, which is to say barely; warm, but tender and juicy, and the different flavours in the accompaniment complemented them well.

    All the main courses are tantalizing, including corn-fed chicken “sous-vide” (cooked in a vacuum) but we both opted for steaks, my companion the 3 oz tenderloin with wild mushrooms and me the 12 oz. sirloin with peppercorn sauce. My steak was served on the rare side of blue, as requested, and simply melted in my mouth. It was accompanied by a small selection of vegetables, and rosti topped with fried onions. Quite simply, this is the best rosti I have eaten outside Switzerland, and while the latkes that come with some other dishes are good, ask if you can substitute the rosti.

    The servings are generous, and after all that, the most we could manage for dessert was the homemade ice with cookies, that night Concord grape. Delicious, and the perfect way to end the meal.

    Kevin has an excellent knowledge of wine, and I called him over has I was struggling with my choice. He steered me to the house Cabernet Sauvignon, which was excellent, and a bargain at $30.

    In total, the bill came to just under $150 for two, including tip and taxes.

    Dining at Janet Lynn’s is like visiting old friends who happen to be able to cook divinely. As we chatted with Kevin in the bar, I knew that I had come home.

  • Order: Shrimp with capers and artichoke, sirloin, ice, BV Cabernet Sauvignon
 
foodlovers
1 Review 1 Helpful
2008/10/19
  • What a find!
  • Overall
    5.0 stars
    • Food
      5.0 stars
    • Services
      5.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $26-$60
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 4
  • Friends suggested this restaurant for years, and we finally decided to go. What a treat!
    When we arrived we were promptly greeted by the owner and seated in a nice table. The server was at our every beck and call -- with a smile, a great attitude, and professionalism. She was incredibly helpful and efficient.
    The food was absolutely fantastic! My meal was exceptional and my fellow diners felt the same way. We were suprise by the prices as well (they are not overly expensive for the quality).
    The only thing that I would reccommend is to get a website for those interested but don't know about Janet Lynn's Bistro.
    We will definately be coming back and looking forward to it!

  • Order: thai soup, pasta with lobster, cheesecake, drinks
 
JuliaRosien
28 Reviews 40 Helpful
2008/07/16
  • Color me unimpressed
  • Overall
    2.0 stars
    • Food
      2.0 stars
    • Services
      3.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      2.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $26-$60
    • Visit Again?: No
    • Party Size: 3
  • I've heard good things about Janet Lynn's, but there are too many amazing restaurants in KW to give this one another try. For fine dining, I expect at least one vegetarian option (that isn't pasta) and if not, a chef that's willing to make me something (not pasta).

    I eventually settled on fish, which I didn't finish.

    The bread at the beginning of the meal was quite beautiful though - and our server brought a second basket. It was arranged artfully and contained a nice selection of traditional and artisan breads.

    Service was sporadic at best, which surprised me considering how empty the restaurant was. They must have a strong following of regulars to be still in business this long.

    If you go, be aware that parking in uptown Waterloo is horrific. Unless you're able to snag a spot outside the restaurant, you'll have to park across the street at Waterloo Town Square or in the parkade further down King St.

  • Order: Fish, bread, wine....
 
2009/03/25

Recent Comment by: dicknowakowski

Parking is horrific because you have to park across the street or half a block away? Perhaps you would be more comfortable in a Kelseys which is in the middle of a parking lot.

see all comments
AA_31
44 Reviews 2 Helpful
2008/05/23
  • good experience. the food was right up tehre with...
  • Overall
    4.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      4.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 3
  • good experience. the food was right up tehre with the leading restaurants. the service was great with a smile. my steak was jsut a little bit over done i mean it wasnt quite perfect but it was still amazing.

  • Order: pasta, steak and drink
 
mike hanley
2008/05/22
  • Janet Lynn's virgins
  • Overall
    5.0 stars
    • Food
      5.0 stars
    • Services
      5.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      5.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $61-$100
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 2
  • Heard so many wonderful reviews about this fine dining bistro that we had to see for ourselves.Staff was excellent,not needing to ask for a single item.Goat cheese appetizer was wonderful. Our whole expereance was wonderful and will keep us coming back for more.

  • Order: goat cheese salad,vegatable beet soup,pasta seafood,pork tenderloin with rissoto and two pieces of chocolate sin cake.
 
shanja
55 Reviews 4 Helpful
2008/05/22
  • Lunch was very good and the service was very good...
  • Overall
    4.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      4.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $26-$60
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 2
  • Lunch was very good and the service was very good as well. However, I have been to this restaurant before a couple of times for lunch and both of those times would have scored higher. Still, this is a lovely place to dine.

  • Order: Beet and Vegetable Soup with Duck Sandwich, Thai Soup and Pork with Pasta, Pecan Tart with Ice Cream, Cappucinos
 
Jerry
67 Reviews 22 Helpful
2008/05/12
  • Can't remember much but thanks to our agent for...
  • Overall
    4.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      4.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $26-$60
    • Visit Again?: No
    • Party Size: 4
  • Can't remember much but thanks to our agent for the complimentary dinner

    I have heard so much about Janet Lynn, rated the best in tri-city, and probably why I was a bit disappointed after the dinner. The food was good no doubt, but not THAT good for that price. Service was excellent

    Atmosphere was fine dining alright.

  • Order: soup, steak, fish
 
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