Our first night in Victoria, BC was at CAFE BRIO (www.cafe-brio.com)
we arrived at 8pm, Will was taken aback at the loud noise and
music on top.
We were tired from the long drive, but luckily within an
hour the place
almost emptied and became quite nice.
Our server, Renee, was an aspiring
"belting" mezzo-soprano, so we
talked opera, and the owners Greg & Silvia
came by often to chat and
often dwell, making us feel at home. We liked the
idea that almost
every dish was available in 1/2 portions and we started
starters to share:
SQUARE ROOT PEA TASTING which was English
Pea Pannacotta/Sugar Snap
Salad/Sauteed Snow Peas/all in a Garlic-Ham Pea
Broth with a hint of
mint. This showed off the local vegetable to amazing
effect and was a
superb dish to boot x4 parts!
POTATO & HERB
VICHYSSOISE came with Crispy Duck Confit was another
ordered the Roasted LAMB CHOP & Torchon of SHOULDER with Potato
Carrots, Snap Peas & Fava Beans and ate all but the beans an carrot,
we allowed him another 1/2 portion of the PENNE PASTA with Green
Potato & Basil Pesto which he promptly devoured.
We ordered a bottle
of 2011 Cassini Cellars Unoaked Chardonnay "Golden
Mile Bench" which was
quite nice with our starters and the shared
excellent fish 1/2
GRILLED RARE ALBACORE TUNA came with Heirloom Tomato/Fennel in a
Wine Brown Butter Sauce and
Pan Roasted HALIBUT with Crispy Scallop
Gnocchi, Summer Vegetable
Ragout and Citrus Emulsion only needed a little
fresh pepper or maybe
a dash of more citrus flavor.
We moved on to a
CLOS du SOLEIL 2008 "Signature" from the Similkameen
Valley which Greg
recommended and it had a nice spice to it from the
52%Merlot/26%Cab/13%Cab Franc/9% Malbec.
Our 1/2portions for the meat
Roasted VENISON LOIN which came rare and tender with Roast
Turnips, Endive and more yummy Mushrooms in a Red wine-Cocoa
(which was just a hint of cocoa).
DUCK CONFIT CANNELONI came with
Creamed Spinach, Braised Greens,
Ricotta, more English Peas (yay) and a
Cinzano jus. This was a yummy
dish, but might have benefited from a bit more
flavor from the duck
than the cheese and spinach.
Will could not
resist the DATE STICKY TOFFEE Pudding with Vanilla Bean
Ice Cream and it was
up to par (from the English standard), and Samuel
loved his super fresh
STRAWBERRY SORBET. I went the cheese route as
usual and tried
semi-firm goat from Salt Spring Island just across the
strait that had a bit
of an after kick that I loved.
ERMITE BLUE from Quebec was superb, but too
blue for Will.
Sat. Damase was a washed-rind cow from Quebec that oozed
I am often not a fan of the accompaniments on a cheese plate, but
was the best TOMATO CHUTNEY ever.
We left just after 11pm and the
place was dead. Silvia said that
Victoria is a sleepy town at night, so we
went home to sleep after
another wonderful Canadian repast.