Warning: Do not read the following blog post if you are hungry.
If you are hungry, however, you should immediately get yourself to Victoria, B.C., because now through March 6, over 65 of Victoria's best restaurants will be offering specially-priced tasting menus during Dine Around & Stay in Town - Victoria's favourite dining extravaganza.
It is important to note that every participating restaurant has crafted absolutely stellar menus filled with delicious and creative options for adventurous foodies and classic food lovers alike. To help you get started, we've pulled a few options from each menu price point to get your taste buds tingling. That being said, we recommend that you take a few minutes to go through all of the online menus and see what speaks to you!
From the $20 Menus
For a 3-course meal, $20 is damn cheap. However, just because it's easy on your wallet does not mean you'll be sacrificing service, taste or atmosphere. Try Pagliacci's for dinner. It's a Victoria staple, and for good reason. Sit down in this eatery and you'll feel like you've been transported to turn-of-the-century Europe, with tables set up quite close to one another and charming decorations adorning the high, ornate ceilings. Try the Tortellini Stuffed with Beef, Parmesan, Cottage & Mozzarella Cheeses in a Bacon Cream Sauce, Topped with Green Onions and More Parmesan. Pair it with a glass of Grey Monk Riesling.
If Japanese food is more your style, try Koto Sushi. Start with a classic Nigiri appetizer then move on to a Dynamite Roll and Crispy Roll as your main course. Finish off with Matcha Cheesecake or Tempura Banana with Ice Cream.
Check out the full list of restaurants offering $20 menus.
From the $30 MenusHead to North 48 and you may be surprised to see Chicken & Waffles on the menu. Don't be fooled - this isn't your standard soul food. The waffle is made with cheddar, corn and green onion and is served with chili maple honey. For vegetarians, a substitute of chicken fried tofu is also available.
Looking for a perfect date night spot? Head to Vis a Vis, a quaint bistro located in the heart of Oak Bay Village. Here, you'll enjoy a quiet atmosphere and delicious, west coast-inspired dishes paired with fine BC wines. Start with the Dungeness Crab Bisque and a glass of Unsworth Charme de L'ile Sparkling Wine from Vancouver Island, then move on to the Lobster Carbonara. Read: butter poached lobster, egg yolk, roasted garlic and parmesan. Pair your main with a glass of Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Gris from B.C.'s Okanagan Valley.
Check out the full list of restaurants offering $30 menus.
From the $40 Menus
At 10 Acres Bistro, you can indulge on Braised Cobble Hill Lamb Shank served with parsnip potato puree and red wine jus or the Salt Spring Island Mussels with garlic and white wine, served with frites and garlic aioli. Both are gluten free options. You may want to consider visiting 10 Acres more than once during Dine Around so that you can try everything on their menu.
Cocktail lovers, take note. Little Jumbo is home to one of Victoria's most innovative cocktail menus and a team of dedicated mixologists who will impress you with their cocktail knowledge and creative, delicious libations. Start with a cocktail and then dive into dinner with a starter of Prawns & Pancetta, followed by a main of house-made Gnocchi, Ratatouille and Freshly Shaved Padano Cheese. Choose a flight of three red or white wines to pair for $13.
Keep it classy at The Marina Restaurant, where you'll go all-out west coast with your three-course dinner. There's really no reason not to when your table is perched directly above the Oak Bay Marina with unobstructed views of the picturesque harbour. Start your meal with the Black Bean Steamed Oysters and a glass of Naramata Bella Rose, then move on to enjoy the Pan Roasted Ling Cod with Cauliflower Puree, Grilled Broccolini, ‘Habitant' Pierogis and Caper & Parsley Beurre Noisette. Pair your main with an Okanagan Upperbench Chardonnay.
Check out the full list of restaurants offering $40 menus.
From the $50 Menus
The Blue Crab Seafood House has earned a reputation for excellence in seafood and west coast cuisine, taking advantage of its proximity to the ocean and serving fresh fish that is caught daily. They are offering $30, $40, and $50 menu options during Dine Around, however, if you're going all out and spring for the $50 option, go for the Fillet Mignon with Lobster Tail. This classic surf ‘n turf is served with a 40 AAA tenderloin, béarnaise sauce, broiled root vegetables, and roasted baby potatoes.
For a fine dining experience at a reasonable price point, head to Confit Food & Wine. Chef Dwane MacIsaac has put together an impressive $50 Dine Around menu which features an appetizer of Veal Sweetbreads served with crème fraiche and demi glace and a main course option of BC Honey Mussels and Whole Beast Sausage served with Tomato, Parsley, Duck Fat Frites, House Aioli and Fry's Sourdough. One of three dessert options is a classic Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee.
Check out the full list of restaurants offering $50 menus.
How to Make Reservations
Once you've decided on a restaurant, call them ahead of time to make a reservation the old school way. If you'd rather make reservations online, check out the online listings to see which restaurants offer online reservations through OpenTable.
Stay in Town
After a delicious meal and a relaxing three-course dining experience, you'll probably want to kick back and relax in a hotel room rather than rush to catch a ferry. For that reason, many of Victoria's hotels are offering Dine Around accomodation deals just for you. Check out rooms for $79, $99 or $129 - special rates that are only available during Dine Around!