Royal Victoria Marathon Weekend
I just came back from the BEST weekend in Victoria! I was supposed to run the half marathon but pulled out due to a bad case of shin splints. I still decided to go to Victoria to cheer on my husband and friends, though. And while I wasn't able to participate in running the half marathon, I was fully able to participate in an eating marathon!
We arrived Friday night and had a great dinner at Brasserie L'Ecole - parmasean and truffle fries, Quadra Island mussels, steak frites (my steak was perfectly done!), and veal medallions with a celery root, leek and potato gratin. It was the best steak frites I've had in ages.
We were in the mood for an after-dinner cocktail and the owner of Brasserie L'Ecole recommended a place across the street, called Solomon's (http://solomons.ca/). Solomon (the owner and bartender) opened his restaurant/bar about two months ago. The have a fantastic cocktail menu and also have sampler menus for scotch and vodka. All the juices that go into the cocktails are freshly squeezed, and their carbonated drinks aren't served from a soda gun. Instead, Solomon serves drinks like G&Ts deconstructed - gin over ice in a glass, accompanied by an unbelievably cute baby bottle of Fentiman's tonic. (http://www.fentimans.com/range.php). The drinks I had a Solomon's were on par with the ones I've had at Cascade, Boneta and George and were a friendlier price!
Had brunch at Willie's the next morning. My husband's omelette was perfectly done. I ordered eggs Blackstone (poached eggs over tomato, bacon and cheddar, served on a brioche toast with home fries). I think the ingredients were really good quality, but all prepared in advance, and unfortunately when they put my order together, the brioche was cold, as was the bacon, and the eggs and potatoes were lukewarm at best. I sent the order back and the second order was only marginally warmer. It was super busy and I think the kitchen was just overwhelmed. Our waiter was super nice and totally apologetic and comp'd us our (freshly squeezed and very excellent) orange juice.
Saturday's dinner was at Zambri's. We had mussels (very tasty, but not as good as Brasserie L'Ecole's), penne with duck ragu (really good), gnocchi with gorgonzola cream and peas, and a terrific crispy roasted pork shoulder. The pork shoulder was crispy outside, but melt in your mouth tender inside. Delicious!
Today's lunch was at Red Fish Blue Fish - Victoria's version of Go Fish, but with more tacones! I had the Qualicum Beach scallop tacone, and a tempura cod tacone. The scallop tacone was the highlight of my day today!
It was one of the most delicious weekends I've had in recent memory, and I just had to share!
I should not read posts like yours when I have not had lunch...I am ravenous.
We'll be out in Victoria at the end of the month and will make it to Brasserie and Zambri's. You are so right about the duck ragu at the latter spot and that pork shoulder sounded wonderful.
Solomon's is in what used to be the Herald Street Cafe I think.
It sounds like it was an amazing weekend. I have to check out Solomon next time I'm there (very rarely these days).