Victoria’s Dine Around & Stay In Town 2014 Edition

Last night this year’s edition of the Victoria Dine Around and Stay in Town kicked off at The Roundhouse. Media and consumers were invited to preview participating restaurant’s menus and to sample a few of the dishes on offer this year.  I tried Butter Poached Side Strip Shrimp, Saffron Gnocchi with kimchi buerre blanc from Aura’s $30 menu; Dashamaki Tamago (a Japanese-style omelet) that was made with bacon rather than the usual BBQ eel from SenZushi’s $40 menu and Grilled Octopus and Roasted Marrow Bone with Arugula and Tapenade from Bella Montagna’s $40 menu. All were inventive and delicious.


Dine Around menus include suggested wine pairing from BC wineries and there were plenty of libations to pair with the food. Of note was a good value 2012 Gewürztraminer ($18) from Meyer Family Vineyards that was loaded with intense fruit; a well balanced Mt Boucherie Syrah and a rich 2011 Stoneboat Vineyards Pinot Noir.




This year the menus are being offered at various price points: $20, $30, $40 & $50. There’s even a section with vegetarian and gluten-free menus. The event runs from February 20 to March 9 and has over 30 local restaurants participating.  If you go to the Tourism Victoria website you’ll be able to peruse the many menu choices available.

After trolling the menu pages here are few suggestions for an interesting dining out experience.


Canoe Brewpub is doing mushroom bisque; taglietelle with roasted tomato, anchovy fresh mozzarella & olives; flatbread with a pale ale fonduta, Little Qualicum blue claire, apple, hazelnut and house smoked pork belly; and for dessert there’s vanilla ice cream with berry compote or chocolate sauce.


Spinnakers offer a choice of appetizers and main course that is locavore based. Go for the Scotch egg with pickled BC cabbage and spinnaker’s Scottish ale infused grainy mustard; and the house-smoked Fraser valley pork ribs with polenta, pulled pork fries with Dragonfly farm’s hot pepper coulis. Finish with Saanich grown fruit sorbet and 3 house made, hand-rolled chocolate truffles.


Camilles is a romantic spot and chef Stephen Drolet cooks inventively. We liked the look of the olive poached BC lingcod with crushed smoked potatoes, broccolini, whey poached cippolini onion and sauce vierge (olive oil, tomato, basil and lemon juice). For dessert try the Apple Tower—olive oil cake, star anise, rum and apple foam, and pie crust granola.

Another seafood menu that caught our eye is the All Crab All The Time menu at the Blue Crab. The plates come with King crab leg, crab risotto, Dungeness crab cakes, grilled asparagus topped with King crab and Béarnaise sauce. Did I say Crabapaloosa?


For a posh dinner experience complete with silver dome service and In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida played by request on the piano go to the Empress Room at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.  On offer is green pea velouté soup with double-smoked bacon, candied orange peel and braised fennel; braised beef short ribs with whipped potatoes, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, wilted spinach and natural jus. Dessert is a classic chocolate ganache cake with caramel ice cream and raspberry coulis.






The Guild has put together a vegetarian menu that even meatcentrics would love. Start off with beet, hazelnut and frisee salad with goat cheese and a pint of Phillip’s Slipstream Cream Ale. Follow that with the Roasted vegetable tart and quinoa stuffed onion paired with Tofino Brewing Tuff Session Amber Ale. And for dessert their unparalleled sticky date pudding is paired with Parallel 49 Ugly Sweater Milk Stout.






Experience BC’s Perfect Pairings at Church & State Winery

February 22, 2014 at 6:00 pm
 Church & State Winery, Brentwood Bay

Tickets $125 (includes wine reception, wine, food & gratuity; taxes extra)
To purchase tickets please click here.

Join renowned emcee/sommelier, Kurtis Kolt and our team of celebrated local chefs and winemakers for a feast of specially created Perfect Pairings! Church & State Winery is the ideal venue for our guest chefs, including Top Chef Canada contestant Daniel Hudson (Chef/Owner of Hudson’s on First, Duncan), to combine their culinary talents to showcase BC’s best seasonal ingredients, perfectly paired with award-winning BC VQA wines.


5 Chefs + 5 Plates at The Butchart Gardens

March 7 and 14

Tickets $55

Click here for more information.


February Movie Night at Oak Bay Beach Hotel

February 4, 9, 10, 11, 18, and 25

Tickets $20

Click here for more information.






For out-of-towners many hotels are offering special pricing and room deals. Check here for all the information.




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