Weekly Planner February 10th – 16th

left: Image courtesy of Aura Restaurant (at the Inn at Laurel Point). right: Pan-fried oysters image courtesy of Deerholme Farms.

This week, it’s all about Valentine’s Day celebrations – take your special someone out for a lusty meal. Save some room though – Dine Around Victoria starts next Friday (check out Sneak Peek event, information following).

A Sweet Dinner for Your Sweetie – Big Leaf Maple Leaf Syrup Dinner at Deerholme Farm www.deerholme.com  Saturday February 11th 5 – 9 PM

In tribute to the Maple Leaf Syrup Festival, Deerholme Farm is presenting a special dinner featuring this unique island treat. Although based on a sweet sap, the menu will explore the blending of sweet, sour, spicy, salty and umami flavours.  Here’s a sampling:  maple-caramelized onion tarte with peppered local goat cheese, pan-fried oysters with a maple-lemon reduction served with winter greens and fresh garlic noodles, braised lamb osso bucco (shanks) in a maple, red wine and spice sauce served with truffle mashed potatoes and celeriac, and finally Big Leaf Maple crème caramel, with maple ginger snaps, rosehip sauce. Yum.  Cost $90/person (plus HST) for reservations, call 250 748-7450 or email bill@deerholme.com

Valentine’s Day Delights

Many of your favourite restaurants are offering fabulous Valentine’s Day menus, the Aura Restaurant (at the Inn at Laurel Point) www.aurarestaurant.ca is offering two selections – a four course and a three course option, here are the highlights:

4-courses $70 per person

Start with Sloping Hill Pork and local hazelnut pate, followed by Qualicum Bay scallop and sake sunomono salad.  After a refreshing palate cleanser move onto a wild mushroom & polenta Napoleon with edamame perogies and Cambozola cream.

3-courses, $55 per person

Start with the Kildonan Farms free range egg Lyonnaise with local double smoked bacon and Venturi Schultze balsamic reduction. After your palate cleanser you will tuck into the braised veal cheek, pearl barley cassoulet and smoked bone marrow.

Both options include dessert – Chocolate Pistachio Pizza served with Spiced Hot Chocolate sip topped with an Inn-Made Marshmallow. Say no more.

There are lots more restaurant options out there with something for every taste and budget-here are a few ideas:

Paprika Bistro www.paprika-bistro.com  offers a 4- course dinner at $60 per person with selections that include Qualicum Beach scallops and AAA beef tenderloin

Stage Wine Bar www.stagewinebar.com  is offering a 4- course dinner at $55 per person; menu includes roasted lamb sirloin and foraged mushroom risotto

Spinnakers Gastro Brew Pub www.spinnakers.com has a 3-course dinner for $55 per person; menu includes sablefish puttenesca and Yarrow Lake duck breast

Heron Rock Bistro www.heronrockbistro.ca    offers a 5-course menu for $50 per person

Bella Montagna at Bear Mountain Resort has 3-course dinner including the chocolate dessert buffet for $39 per person http://bearmountain.ca/WhatsHappening/EventsCalendar/vw/3/itemid/153/d/20120214.aspx

Or skip dinner and go straight to dessert. The Bengal Lounge at the Empress is offering their amazing “Death by Chocolate” buffet – regular price is $25 per person, with a special Valentine’s Day price of half-price for ladies.   http://www.fairmont.com/empress/vanity/epicureanjourneys

Sneak Peak of Dine Around Victoria Thursday February 16th

Once again Victoria’s foodies will be able to preview what Victoria chefs will be offering this year at the Dine Around Menu Launch.

Fabulous food samples from twenty different menus paired with VQA wine tastings will take place at Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites on Thursday, February 16, 2012 from 5:00pm – 8:00pm.

Tickets are available for $35 at the Tourism Victoria Visitor Centre and VQA wine stores.







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