Four weeks ago, I wrote about Dine Around and Stay in Town Victoria, an event that concluded March 16. The promotion saw a number of Victoria's top restaurants offer specially priced three-course menus.
I asked readers to send in short reviews of their Dine Around meals. Below are some of your responses, edited for style and length. Those who responded were entered into a draw for one of my cookbooks, which was won by Wendy Darbey.
My Ask Eric column will return next week, when I'll answer a query about what "salt and pepper to taste" means. I will also fulfil another reader's request for a glazed baked-ham recipe.
FLYING OTTER GRILL, 950 WHARF ST.
Four of us went to the Flying Otter and tried their $20 menu. Three of us had the blackened chicken linguini and one had the salmon wellington. Everything was delicious. Our waitress was quite knowledgeable and had a delightful personality. We will definitely return.
BIN 4 BURGER LOUNGE, 180-911 Yates St.
We went to Bin 4 Burger Lounge. We didn't have a reservation, but they accommodated five of us in a reasonable amount of time. The service was attentive and the $20 Dine Around menu was fabulous. We were in a hurry, as we were going to the Royals game, so they very nicely gave us our dessert to go. We all had different items from the menu and were pleased with our meals. I would definitely go back.
BON ROUGE, 611 Courtney St.
We had walked by here numerous times and always thought it looked like a nice place for dinner (especially the patio, though maybe not in March). The Dine Around promotion finally convinced us to give it a try. Overall, it was very nice.
It's a very large bistro and it was busy. Lots of hustle and bustle and the servers could hardly manoeuvre between tables.
All things considered, they did quite a good job, though the extra pat of butter we requested to go with our bread took two reminders and finally appeared halfway through the main course. And, they were out of the wine we ordered. But the food was good. Perhaps not exceptional, but still noteworthy, seeing as how many meals they were churning out. Portions were a decent size, and value not bad on this promotion.
My dinner companion and I had the roasted beet salad with chèvre and toasted hazelnuts on fresh greens, followed by tasty and tender short ribs. For dessert, we had a lovely light and citrusy cheesecake. We'd like to try them again some time for lunch on a less busy day, and out on the patio.
LURE RESTAURANT (in the Delta Hotel), 45 Songhees Rd.
We were the guests of friends for a wonderful Dine Around experience on a Saturday evening. We had the $30 menu with wine parings at Lure and it was superb. All three courses were excellent. My wife said the blackened salmon with leeks was the best she had ever enjoyed. Service was discreet and precise and, of course, the restaurant has a delightful view. I would most strongly recommend Lure.
PESCATORES SEAFOOD AND GRILL, 614 Humboldt St.
A companion and I enjoyed the $30 menu. The appetizers were delicious crab stuffed calamari, and shrimp and avocado with tomato, cucumber and lemon garlic dressing. The latter was yummy and enough for a whole meal.
We both had pan-seared snapper for our maincourse and loved it. It came with arugula, lemon garlic aioli, roasted seaweed salad, green beans with toasted almonds and infused tomato compote. Desserts were also a hit. They included caramel almond bread pudding and ganache brÃ»lÃ©e, which was to die for.
Pescatores was noisy, but fun. The great staff seem to watch out for each others' tables, whether it was picking up a finished plate or handling the bill. Our server, Dustin, was wonderful and very attentive.
Jennie Hopkins Black
Eric Akis is the author of the bestselling Everyone Can Cook series of cookbooks. His columns appear in Life on Wednesday and Sunday.