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Victoria restaurants Summer '09

c
crcowden Jul 6, 2009 01:19 PM

In a couple of weeks my partner and I are coming up from Tacoma, WA, for a weekend trip. Using this site and a copy of Eat magazine I've discovered some of the principal restos in town, but haven't been to Victoria in 5 years. We'll probably have only 2 dinners in town and would like one of them to be West Coast/fish, with the other being anything. I'd be glad for people's impressions. Since it's only two nights cost is not an issue, but I believe a restaurant doesn't have to be fancy to be great. A good Canadian wine list is a plus.

Zentri's--is it worth it? Seemed to be some disagreement in customer reviews on another site. Their website is classy but so minimal there's nothing to judge it by (no menu, no wine list).

If we go French, do we do Matisse or Brasserie L'Ecole? Both seem to get good reviews.

Blue Crab seems to have a fab location, but often a fab location and fab food don't go together. Would you go there? Got a better fish restaurant?

We'll have a car so a center city location is not a requirement.

Thanks in advance for advice!

  1. 1
    123minnow Jul 6, 2009 01:51 PM

    I know you were asking about dinner spots but John's Place is the best in Victoria for breakfast going on 20 + yrs. They make their own breads & have great smoothies & generous portions of really great food. Best to get there before 10 am as we encountered a line-up. Staff are really great & helpful. I visited there last summer from Kenora Ontario. Enjoy your trip !

    1. balini Jul 6, 2009 02:29 PM

      Here's a link to a thread full of great info on Victoria

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616930

      1 Reply
      1. re: balini
        c
        crcowden Jul 12, 2009 06:07 PM

        Wow--thanks! Comprerhensive!

      2. llkerr Jul 6, 2009 06:09 PM

        For an informal lunch or dinner try Red Fish Blue Fish: http://www.redfish-bluefish.com/menu.php

        I also had a fantastic meal last year at the Sooke Harbour House (just outside Victoria): http://www.sookeharbourhouse.com/

        1. c
          cassie Jul 7, 2009 09:45 AM

          I second the recommendation for Red Fish for a lunch. It's a hopping place right now with the weather being so good. They close at 7pm right now - which means you're outta luck if you show up beyond 6:30pm - but fresh, ocean-wise fish - can't be beat.
          For fish dinner, I'd suggest Lure @ the Delta Ocean Pointe - great view & food. I haven't hit Aura yet, in the Laurel Pointe, but have heard good things - including a 3/$33 menu.
          I like Mo:Le for breakfast - line-ups start around 10am on weekends - weekdays are easier. Shine is fabulous too - line-ups even early there on the weekends. Check the link balini posted - MartinT was VERY thorough with his final map & postings of restos.
          Zentri's? Did you mean Zambri's?

          2 Replies
          1. re: cassie
            c
            crcowden Jul 27, 2009 08:12 AM

            Thanks to everyone for your suggestions! We had a fabulous weekend in Victoria. We had a great meal at Aura--top notch in every way--great food, great wine service, great waiter. The bill was also "great", but I can't really complain--I felt I got what I paid for. But definitely an anniversary restaurant.

            Lunch at the Tapa Bar--also excellent. They had Joie Rose on special, which was perfect. It's on this shady alley, which was perfect for a hot day. The portabella mushrooms were the star--came marinated, on a bed of salad.

            Dinner at Ming's. Since there's a Chinatown my partner was convinced Chinese was a good idea. Yikes! One of the worst meals we've had in ages. We agreed that McDonald's would have been better. While the shrimp were overcooked, it was mostly just Bad 1950s Chinese. I'm not actually sure I've had Good Chinese, but a cuisine with its reputation can't be oversalted, blunt, greasy, and unappetizing. Spoke to some tourists from Texas who loved it, but then my parents would have too--that's their era, and they're not foodies.

            1. re: crcowden
              c
              cassie Jul 27, 2009 11:47 AM

              So happy that Aura & Tapa Bar worked out for you. So sorry to hear about Ming's not working out. A recent newspaper review echoed the same thing. It's a restaurant we frequent a few times a year - and order, pretty much, nothing off the menu. This is of no help to tourists and other locals who have to order off the menu. The restaurant is capable of putting out original, excellent Chinese food - it's so unfortunate that that food gets lost between the kitchen and the menu.

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