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Good chow from Nanaimo to Q Beach: where is it?

We are looking for a place for a "nice" dinner for mum-in-law's birthday. She is a great cook and likes to dine out so it should be a celebratory setting but doesn't have to be terribly "fancy." We hit the Wesley Street Cafe last year which hit the right notes but would like to find something different. Any thoughts, Island hounds? TIA.

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  1. The Basque in Nanaimo is pretty good actually. I hear that La Maison Francais is good too (My bro&sis in-laws live in Nanaimo).

    10 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      You are a veritable font of food knowledge, fmed, and connected too :-). I was able to find a number of sites referencing Basque which looks promising, but I came up empty on La Maison. Can you provide any further info?

      Also saw a place called Drift, which is hard to search :-). Anyone know anything about it?

      1. re: grayelf

        I've only been to Basque. I'll send an email to my inlaws tonight about La Maison.

        1. re: grayelf

          My brother in law emailed me back. The place is actually called "Cafe Francaise" - 153 Commercial Street in Nanaimo. The chef comes from Normandy.

          1. re: fmed

            Looks promising, thanks. I'll post a list of places I've come up with OC (that's off-Chowhound) to try to elicit further feedback :-).

            1. re: grayelf

              Okay, here's the list I've come up with for possibly Chow-worthy restos between Qualicum and Nanaimo:

              Basque
              Mahle House
              Crow and Gate
              Dinghy Dock and Pub (summer only)
              Drift
              Tania’s
              Bistro Taiyo
              Longwood Brew Pub
              Modern Café
              Wesley Street
              Gina’s Café
              Red Radish
              Cedar Room (Tigh na Mara)

              I've only eaten at Wesley Street (last June) and found it quite pleasant but not a home run. Any comments on these places would be welcome, particularly as regards their suitability for a festive but not formal occasion.

              TIA!

              1. re: grayelf

                Well..all I can say is "report back!"...we almost never go out to eat there even though we have relatives in both Parksville and Nanaimo.

                1. re: grayelf

                  My mom ate tapas at the Tigh na Mara resort when she went there for a spa day and she hasn't stopped talking about them since.

                  1. re: grayelf

                    I ate at the Longwood Brew Pub almost two years ago and it was bad. I remember they had an option on their dinner menu "add some seared tuna to your salad for $." That's they only place tuna was on their menu, which struck me as odd. Hwo can they keep the fish fresh when it's only an add-on?

                    1. re: miss_bennet

                      I saw a thumbs down for this pub on another board as well. Probably not quite the ticket for this occasion but I suspect this won't be the last time we're looking for dining options in the area, so good to know.