So last time I was in Victoria my girlfriend and I tried to get into Brasserie L'ecole with no success so it was definitely on the radar for this visit. She picked me up at the train station and we headed right over. They no longer take reservations but it was a Tuesday night and just after 6:00 so we were optimistic. Well! The place was packed. It is obviously a very popular spot. We took a seat at the bar but the hostess assured us that it wouldn’t be long – about 45 minutes – for a table.
After a bit of a wait we ordered our drinks – Caesars. The bartender was very busy – as I said the place was packed. The Caesar’s were very, very good. Amazingly yummy olives instead of celery which was a new experience but very good. We were seated at our table and ordered the Seared Scallop, grilled bacon, celery root remoulade appetizer ($13) and the Moules & Frites ($21) entrée to share with a Cremini Mushrooms, parsley, garlic. The waiter recommended a very nice wine that we both enjoyed. The scallop – one - arrived on a bed of cabbage. We carefully cut it in half and did notice that it was very simply seared. And I really mean barely seared. Anyhow, it seemed a bit light for sharing. The waitress cleared our plates and forks and then brought us the mussel appetizer with a shell bowl and the mushrooms. We asked about the fries and she went to check. We never did get our plates or forks back. We just used our dessert forks and dug into the mussels.
The waiter, who had taken our order, walked by and said “Where are the fries” We told him that they had forgotten them but the waitress was checking. He went to consult with her and we heard her say “Just order them a half order of fries.” Hello! We were sharing this – why wouldn’t we get a full order? Anyhow, they arrived and they were lovely and flavoured with truffle oil and garlic but they were small. I mean the order was small but the fries were very small as well. It was a bunch of tiny crispy leftover bits of fries. There weren’t hardly any actual fries. The mushrooms were lovely though and very flavourful. The best part of the meal really.
While at the bar the lady next to us had highly recommended the chocolate pot for dessert. We asked our waiter about dessert and he looked worried. Apparently they had run out of a few things. On a Tuesday! Anyhow, they did have two chocolate pots left. My friend decided she wanted the cheesecake but they were out so agreed to the chocolate pot. The waiter returned to the table and informed us that by the time he went to order the chocolate they were out. We decided to have Crème Brulee. It arrived and was so runny that when we cracked the shell the crème splattered up over our heads. I gave mine to the waiter and pointed out that it hadn’t set. He took it away and ran back to the kitchen. When he returned he said the chef agreed it was a bit runny and did we want any more coffee. And that was the end of my Crème Brulee and our dinner.
The Caesars were good, the mussels were fine, and the mushrooms were yummy. Weird service. Weird place. The food was ok but certainly not what we expected and certainly nothing that will make us run back. Maybe we caught them on a bad night because it is obviously a very popular spot. People were still arriving when we left at 8:30. I am not sure if the regular chef was off last night or what but our experience was a bit off.
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