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2-3 nights at The Empress in Victoria

OliverB | Aug 24, 201511:00 PM     9

Mid-30's couple from SF and I would very much welcome your advice and suggestions for all meals. We both favor local institutions and places of strong historic/cultural resonance over the latest flavors of the month.

The Legislative Room in the Parliament is definitely on the list, either dinner or lunch - recommendation/preference?

I assume that Red Fish Blue Fish would receive the highest CH endorsements for a casual lunch option, correct? Anything else worth noting around the Wharf? Barb's?

I'd like to do afternoon tea service in the Empress Room one day and we'll surely find ourselves in the Bengal Lounge for a nightcap or three. Otherwise, can anyone offer feedback on the food/kitchen at either of the hotel restaurants?

I have John's Place in my crosshairs for breakfast but only based on what I've read on the forum; is this still recommended?

We'll be swinging by the Six Mile Pub one afternoon or evening to soak up some drafts and atmosphere. I take it we should avoid the food menu?

Other places that I've read about but haven't formed an opinion on one way or the other: Olo, Rebar, Brasserie L'Ecole, Fish Hook (redundant with RFBF?), The Fish Store, Ferris, Padella, Stage, Catalano and Blue Fox (for breakfast). Any opinions on these; any alternate or preferable suggestions? Are there any old Victoria staples or venerable long-standing dining/drinking establishments that I've missed?

I'm guessing that we should probably focus on seafood (coming from SF) as we surprisingly don't have that many exceptional offerings in the Bay Area. Are there any local/regional dishes that we should try? What about local or artisanal food shops, confectioneries, etc. that we should visit? Good cocktail bars?

I'd really appreciate any help in guiding and refining our eating & drinking plans. Thanks so much!

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