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Rehearsal Dinner in Victoria

b
bsnprf Apr 2, 2009 02:08 PM

Our son is getting married this summer at Sooke Harbor. We're looking for a great place for the rehearsal dinner. Vista 18 looks like it has great ambience and a great menu. How's the food? Some of our group are vegans and the Vista 18 menu looked like it would work for them as well. Other recs?

  1. sumashi Apr 2, 2009 10:48 PM

    I thought that Temple was pretty good when I went, but it was a year and a half ago so it's not very current. It's kind of lounge-y so I'm not really sure what nights it actually becomes more like a bar/lounge rather than a restaurant... When I went, it was a fairly quiet night, but the food was good and the service was friendly and professional. Oh yah, just to note, I think the lighting was on the dim side.

    9 Replies
    1. re: sumashi
      a
      anewton Apr 3, 2009 06:29 PM

      How many in your party? That would influence my suggestion.

      Vista 18 and Temple are far from the best Victoria has to offer in my opinion. I would look at:

      Paprika Bistro (perhaps a bit small)

      Zambri's (you can reserve a table in the back)

      Brasserie L'Ecole

      Niche

      Camille's

      Matisse Restaurant

      Although these restaurants may not have many vegan items on their regular menus, they would be able to accommodate special requests. And they are the most consistent restaurants in town.

      I have also heard good things about Aura, the new restaurant in the Laurel Point Inn, and it may be better geared toward large parties.

      1. re: anewton
        sumashi Apr 3, 2009 11:08 PM

        I really loved Niche as well, but I don't know about the atmosphere. It's great, but when I went, it seemed really sort of the quiet date-type of place with small tables set far apart from each other, not somewhere to have a big gathering. On the other hand, if you have a lot of people, you could possibly get the entire front room to yourself, which would be pretty nice.

        1. re: sumashi
          victoriafoodie Apr 4, 2009 09:13 AM

          There is a private room upstairs at Niche that would be perfect for a rehearsal dinner. How big is your group?

          In shocking news, Niche is up for sale :(

          1. re: victoriafoodie
            b
            bsnprf Apr 4, 2009 11:45 PM

            The wedding party group will be quite small - just eight, including two vegans.

            1. re: bsnprf
              victoriafoodie Apr 5, 2009 01:47 PM

              In that case, I would HIGHLY recommend Niche before it closes. The chef would be more than willing, I'm sure, to accommodate the vegan diners in the group. His food is so creative, fresh and local. It's fabulous.

            2. re: victoriafoodie
              sumashi Apr 5, 2009 12:55 AM

              really?? oh no..
              what's going to happen to it? their website doesn't seem to mention anything...

              1. re: sumashi
                fmed Apr 5, 2009 04:58 AM

                Niche is part of the financially troubled restaurant group that also owned Rosemeade.

                1. re: fmed
                  a
                  anewton Apr 5, 2009 08:41 AM

                  If there's just 8 in your party, that really opens up possibilities.

                  Truthfully, among the best restaurants in Victoria you will not find much in the way of vegan items on the regular menus. However, I know that the chefs in said restaurants will be able to accommodate you if you speak to them ahead of time.

                  A few other options you might consider:

                  Stage (small plates and wine bar; great for sharing, owned by the Szasz's, the couple who started, and just sold, Paprika).

                  Zambri's, by the way, has a really intimate private dining room in the back (I have had the good fortune to eat there). Their chef loves local produce and has a way with vegetables, so I think that the vegans would be well-looked after. The food is simple, well-prepared, and not terribly expensive. This is one of Victoria's best "localvore" places. Don't be put off by the strip mall parking lot; once you get in the restaurant, the ambience is warm and intimate. Consistently warm and efficient service.

                  Cafe Brio--great wine list and wine service, if that's important to the wedding party.

                2. re: sumashi
                  victoriafoodie Apr 5, 2009 01:47 PM

                  I saw it up for sale in the real estate paper. They're asking $229,000 for the business only. Apparently the location is leased.

        2. t
          twinkienic Apr 2, 2009 05:29 PM

          How about Rosemeade? I last went 2 years ago when I was living there. The food was well executed and they have a nice patio and garden area that would be nice for drinks before dinner.

          3 Replies
          1. re: twinkienic
            fmed Apr 2, 2009 05:49 PM

            It may be closed?
            http://www.timescolonist.com/cars/Mon...

            1. re: fmed
              t
              twinkienic Apr 2, 2009 06:56 PM

              Oh.... shoot.

              1. re: twinkienic
                fmed Apr 9, 2009 10:05 PM

                Rosemeade has re-opened under new management...same chef (Richard Luttman)...I hear it is less formal that its previous incarnation.

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