Had a fine trip through BC last week, including a number of memorable meals. The best, too our surprise, were in Victoria.
In Vancouver, we hit Savoury Coast the first night. Appy was big and surprisingly tender hunks of grilled calamari. I had a servicable but not "wow" seafood fettucini, companions both made a wiser choice of risottos--an earthy mushroom-and-duck version and a rich, very satisfying Dungeness crab one.
Due to a reservation screwup at Cru, the next night was an impromptu visit to Raincity Grill, which was a little too precious for our tastes. Companion 1 had the tomato-themed tasting menu, five dishes with a batting average around .500. But maybe our heads just weren't in the right place to enjoy tomato sorbet. Companion 2's seared halibut was...fine. My roasted sablefish was better, thanks in part to a satisfying bite from the accompanying chorizo.
We were more impressed with the offering at Granville Island Market, including a humungous fried oyster sandwich and coconut cream pie with a meringue that almost made me weep.
Victoria started off with a band at Brasserie L'Eccole, where everyine liked everything. Highlights included the endive salad with apple, hazlenut and lardons, my perfectly sauced mussels frites (go for truffled fites) and roasted Sooke trout full of big flavors. Humdinger of a cheese plate made this the culinary high point of the trip.
Next night was Camille's, where both comapnions enjoyed pork tenderloin with a wonderfully savory bread pudding and I was even happier with my mushroom-laden beef tenderloin.
Rounded out Victoria with a jaunt to Oak Bay to check out Paprika Bistro. We were all too chicken to try the boar goulash, but companions were happy with two cuts of lamb (alouth the loin was quite chewy) and I was happier with a half-duck doused with a marvelously complentary cherry-ginger sauce.
Companions reduced to one for the wrap-up in Tofino, where we tried to make up for past indulgence but sticking to salad and appies at Shelter. The warm chevre salad and pan-fried oysters were just the ticket.
Wrapped up with sunset dinner at the Wickannish Inne's Pointe, which is as much about the view and presentation as the food. But the "chocolate symphony" that ended the meal was astounding--five wonderful and generously portioned chocolate whims, including an amazing bitter choclate and rasperry ice cream torte. First time wife and I ever shared a dessert without feeling the least bit virtuous about it--just an amazing amount of good chocolate.
Thank to all the Chowzies for pointing me towards these.
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