Top-drawer Vancouver or Victoria area [moved from Canada board]
I'm looking for a best-of-the-best dinner experience in Vancouver or the Victoria area. Leading contenders so far are West in Vancouver and Sooke Harbour House. Do I need to look any further? If so, where?
We ate a wonderful meal in the Empress dining room in Victoria this past spring. The atmosphere was surprisingly relaxed and very comfortable, the wait staff were brilliant and the food was divine. It was actually one of the rare times we have had a meal out and were pleased with spending the money. The meal was fresh, well presented, gorgeous. Not what I expected given my preconception/expectation of a "stuffy" ambiance, a nice surprise.
I'll leave Vancouver to others but from my limited recent experience WEST is very good.
I have heard good and bad about the Sooke Harbour House but to date we have not actually dined there. Perhaps bad is a tad overstated. Maybe, disappointing given price and expectations.
The Rosemeade [http://www.englishinnresort.com/] in Victoria was excellent when we tried it during our last visit to the Island. Probably the "classiest" dining room we have seen in that area. Modern but comfortable. All the nice little touches from lighting to stemware to flatware. Excellent service, food and wine.
Our tastes tend to lean toward the more casual so we enjoy the bistro stylings of Brasserie L'Ecole and Cafe Brio or Italian from Zambri's or Il Terrazzo.
Seafood? Maybe Pescatores or the The Marina.
The Aerie up the Malahat is a closer drive than going out to Sooke. Mind you it can get mighty dark when one has to wind ones way back into the city if you are not staying on site.