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Apr 2, 2009 02:08 PM

Rehearsal Dinner in Victoria

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?

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  1. 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

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

    1. 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

        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



        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

          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

            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

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

              1. re: bsnprf

                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

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

                1. re: sumashi

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

                  1. re: fmed

                    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

                    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.