Victoria - Best Restaurants
By the way, thanks to all you Western Canada hounds for your comments. I was in Victoria for a night on Thurday, May 11th, and did find a table for 1 at Brasserie L'Ecole at 8:00PM. I sat facing a wall decorated with round Camembert boxes of various sizes, a sure way to stimulate my appetite. Service was smooth and friendly, and the food...
* Good bread and butter.
* The 650ml Fisher recommended by my waitress was amazingly versatile.
* The foie gras appetizer, a very plump cut, was served very lightly seared, with a nice fruity sauce (rhubarb?) that helped smooth over the flavor (I sometimes forget that I don't like my liver to actually taste like liver).
* The special, a grilled wild salmon, was plated with sauteed mushrooms, and spinach. I don't know anything about Belgian cooking, but I was surprised that the spinach was underseasoned, and both the salmon and mushrooms were strongly salted. I suppose there's a balance there, but it's not the way we do it in California.
* Excellent chocolate truffles.
Considering that most of the restaurants I found surfing this board during the hour before dinner sounded as though they would not appreciate a single diner, I feel very lucky to have eaten there.
Lots of seafood options...not sure about the steak as being from Alberta that is just about the last thing I am looking for when out on the "wet coast" but expect you will find the "landlubber" option on most menus.
That having been said one place we have not tried but which would appear to "fit the bill" is Fire & Water which calls itself a "Fish and Chop House". It is in the Marriott Hotel [www.marriottvictoria.com
If you are looking for views while you are enjoying your food. Both the Ocean Pointe Hotel's LURE and the Coast Hotel's Blue Crab provide outstanding views from opposite sides of the inner harbour. Both will have fish and meat on their menus.
Of the two, if left to me, I would go to LURE.
For seafood you might try Pescatores [www.pescatores.com].
Another right on Wharf Street adjacent to the inner harbour which has been around for ages is Nautical Nellies which again advertises to be a "Steak and Seafood House - Oyster Bar [www.NauticalNelliesRestaurant.com
For steak there is Barkley's in the Executive Hotel. Again same proviso vis-a-vis beef. The last time I was there is over ten years ago when I think it was still part of the Hy's chain...you know the "drill"...Beefeater [vodka in my case]Martini to start, shrimp cocktail or French onion soup followed by a "honking" big cut of beef and some Chateau de la Gardine Chateauneuf-de-Pape...boy it has been a long time, I can feel my arteries hardening just thinking about it [grin].
Another option might be the The Gatsby Mansion if you are looking for steak and lobtster. Have only been there the one time and that was for lunch.
My two favourite restaurants in Victoria are Brasserie L'Ecole and Cafe Brio.
The former [www.lecole.ca]being French bistro-styled always has steak frites on the chalk board and at least one, likely two fish options. Outstanding and affordable wine program.
However, it may still be closed for renovations so make sure you check before you venture down Government into the fringes of Chinatown.
Cafe Brio is a real fun, busy, pleasantly noisey trattoria a short distance up Fort St. from downtown.
Another restaurant which we have not tried but which was getting a lot of "buzz" is out in Esquimalt, The Rosemeade which again although not a "chop house" nor "surf 'n turf" place must have steak and fish on their menu [www.englishinnresort.com
Hope this assists. Please post after your visit.
We are heading out that way next month.