It’s the relaunch of a popular Vietnamese establishment off of Airway Road, run by the same Nguyen family and with the same purpose: serve good lunch food. Linh’s Bistro is a little down the street from its predecessor, but it seems to attract a similarly large mix of people for lunch during the week.
A new coat of paint and some new equipment made for the perfect combination. Linh’s Bistro is everything I had hoped it would be. The food is even better than what was found at the previous place, and I think the new location and resulting change-up of business has given the opportunity to really refine the cuisine.
- Bun Cha Gio: The Bun is delicious, the rice vermicelli is accentuated with fresh vegetables, and I tried the variety topped with egg rolls to go along with a fish sauce.
- Beef and Garlic: It’s a simple dish, some sliced beef lightly seared with some sauteed green and white onions and served in a sweet sauce, alongside a little rice and crab Rangoon. The beef is flavorful, the veggies are fresh and crisp, and the sauce goes great with just about anything.
- Bún thịt lui: A lemongrass pork kebab atop the much loved Vietnamese bun. The meat is just a bit crispy, eat it fast when you dump in the fish sauce.
- Gỏi cuốn: Vietnamese summer rolls, with a bit of pork and shrimp in the roll. A little sticky, but comes with a nice dark sauce.
- Heo kho tieu: A sliced pork clay pot recipe; good because it’s heavy on the pepper. The beef should be very soft to taste, the recipe has it slow-cooked for hours. Heavy on pepper, served with a good onion-heavy mix.
- Banh cuon: A dumpling recipe with bologa-like slices and crispy onions. Originating from North Vietnam, this appetizer is a rare dish to find in the Midwest, these dumplings are meant to be enjoyed slowly.
The atmosphere has had a similar makeover, but the difference is much more dramatic. The interior is spacious and packed full with sleek, modern tables and simple aesthetic, amply illuminated by large windows pouring in natural light. The larger dining room has space for more small groups, which exactly what the place attracts for lunch. The food comes out very fast, the staff is intelligent and attentive, and the system for getting people in and out efficiently seems to be spot on; at the height of the lunch rush I was able to come in, enjoy a meal without feeling rushed, and leave in just 30 minutes. Everything is on the ball.
I always believed the food at this concept was good, and that the place had a ton of potential. I’m glad to see that with a new store and some minor changes to the atmosphere, Linh’s has really brought everything together in the best way. I’m now happy to say this unassuming dive is one of Dayton’s best restaurants.
- Lunch hour is packed, sometimes there is standing waiting, so the earlier you come in the better.
- Note the unusual schedule, which includes being closed on Mondays only.
- It’s also important to note that the old location is closed. Linh’s Restaurant no longer exists, but online sources don’t seem immediately clear about this.
3 thoughts on “Linh’s Bistro”
I guess I am considered an animated reader!
Definitely! I had hoped to visit the new place, but that review has received a lot of attention lately so it was some extra motivation.
My family and I used to go to the old location. Granted, it was a “hole in the wall” dive, but in my experience, that is usually the best food. To give you an idea; we went to Lihn’s for lunch on Saturdays or Sundays for almost a year straight before they moved. After they moved we have been ONCE. And no one in my family is begging to go back.
I don’t mean that as an indictment on Lihn’s Bistro, but in all honesty, it just wasn’t as good. I ordered the same dish I had gotten every single time at the old location and it wasn’t very good. The quality of ingredients didn’t seem as good as before, and the overall the dish (a Bun salad) just lacked flavor.
This very same dish was one of the best things I had ever eaten, hence the reason I ordered it every time I went to Lihn’s. At the new location it just didn’t measure up. Maybe it was an off-day? Maybe they were breaking in a new cook? Couldn’t tell you. All I can say is that I was extremely let down by it.
For those that love Lihn’s that’s great. I won’t bad-mouth it or try to talk anyone out of trying it. Even on Lihn’s worst day, it’s still pretty good food. Having said that however, it’s just not the same as it was at the old location. At least in my opinion.