Nautical Nellie’s

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”  — Virginia Woolf

Wandering along the Inner Harbour on the David Foster walkway with a good friend, our stomachs let us know it was lunchtime.  We came up onto Wharf Street and the flowers on the restaurant’s patio attracted us to Nautical Nellie’s.

The window signage made us agree that we’d find something on the menu that we like, so we found seats on the patio.

While awaiting our food, we checked out the wine menu for future reference.   http://nauticalnelliesrestaurant.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Wine-List-2017.pdf
We were impressed by the organized listing of quality wines and earmarked this as a dinner destination.

My friend had the Cajun fish tacos with black bean salsa and a side of coleslaw and a house garden salad.
He loved it!

I chose the lobster & shrimp quesadillas with sour cream and a wild jalapeno chutney dip, and a garden salad.  We agreed that the garden vegetable salad was nicely complemented with the passion fruit dressing.
Every last morsel disappeared!  That’s a testament to the flavourful food — and perhaps a bit to our appetites!

As we left Nautical Nellie’s to resume our Inner Harbour walk, we noted the “Heated Sundeck” sign, so we also know this will be a perfect spot even in winter!
A perfect walk & lunch/dinner year-round!

 

Nautical Nellie’s Steak & Seafood House
1001 Wharf Street, Victoria
250-380-2260
www.nauticalnelliesrestaurant.com

Sun – Thur  11:30 – 9 pm,  Fri & Sat 11:30 – 10 pm

Finest At Sea

“All men are equal before fish.”  — Herbert Hoover

But……….all fish are not equal before man!

Having heard about this must-see shop for fresh seafood, we headed to the James Bay area of Victoria. Within easy walking distance from Fisherman’s Wharf we found the seafood boutique shop, Finest At Sea.  And we were rewarded by our find!

Operating since 1977, Finest At Sea prides itself as being “the leading provider of the finest quality seafood on the West Coast.”

All their products are 100% wild and are caught by their own fishermen through sustainable fishing practices.
   
   

Finest At Sea employee, Flo, was separating lobsters into different tanks and Lili got a quick tutorial in handling live lobsters without getting a finger caught in a pincer!

The parking lot perimeter is decorated with murals by Steve Milroy’s Wonderworks Studio.

  

Finest At Sea’s food truck caters public events and is also available to cater private functions. 

Not only seafood is offered here, but some of their favourite seafood-prep items and seafood go-withs are offered for sale.
   

In addition to selling live and on-ice fresh seafood, Finest At Sea also offers a number of prepared food items containing their own seafood………..

………….plus food for our four-legged friends — really, many things seafood-related.

Lili bought a number of items to be prepared by the chef at home (husband!).
  

The twice-baked smoked salmon potato was about as good as a potato can get, according to my taste buds.
A fresh gem in this sea-surrounded city, for sure!
    

 

Finest At Sea
27 Erie Street, Victoria
250- 383-7760

www.finestatsea.com

Mon – Sun 9 am – 7 pm

10 Acres Bistro

My idea of heaven is a baked potato and someone to share it with.  –  Oprah Winfrey

Aaahh…….comfort food in comfortable surroundings — that’s what we discovered at 10 Acres Bistro.

 

This was during our coldest January since time began — oops! I meant, since temperatures have been recorded here!
We walked through the patio…………..

…………………….with its informative wallboard………………………………

…………………and into the bistro with its inviting fireplace………………………

………………………….past the cellar…………………..

………………………….through to the room with a tidy, cozy bar, aptly labelled, “Bar”……………………..

………………….and another wallboard proudly naming some of our fine local breweries whose brews are available here.

My guest, a friend from another province, likes to try the various seafood chowders available in restaurants in the Victoria area whenever he’s visiting, so that’s what we both ordered.  This one has wild salmon and halibut, with a farm garlic bread.

The seafood at 10 Acres is Oceanwise and sustainable, fresh seafood.  In fact, besides carefully procuring its seafood, 10 Acres has its very own farm north of downtown Victoria in North Saanich near my own home.
The farm provides ethically produced meat, cheese and free range eggs, plus seasonal organic produce and even honey.
As proudly stated here, “Free range happy animals taste better,” so 10 Acres offers fare from pasture raised ducks, turkeys, pigs and rabbits.

But wait!  There’s more!  And in this case, there really IS more!
On the same city block, but around the corner from the Bistro is 10 Acres Commons and Kitchen.

        

The Commons is an “uncommon” room with a large patio facing south, directly across from the landmark Empress Hotel.

The locally-based menu is also offered here along with local brews, buck-a-shuck and live music.  It’s a lovely spot to hang out.

And then there’s the Kitchen, which is a somewhat more formal dining room in the same building.  The colourful artwork highlights the tall ceiling here, making the room feel homey, yet spacious and airy.

While I was taking the various photos, I struck up a conversation with two delightful women who had moved to Victoria from Calgary, but never knew each other in Calgary.  Bernadette and Nadine (L – R) met when they both joined the Newcomers of Greater Victoria.

This was a heart-warming detail for me, as the Peninsula Newcomers Club is how Linda and I met when we moved here.
Bernadette and Nadine were casing 10 Acres Bistro for their “Dining Out” group, and we agreed:  10 Acres is a real gem!

10 Acres Bistro
611 Courtenay St, Victoria
250-220-8008
www.10acresbistro.ca
Sun – Thur 11 am – midnight, Fri & Sat 11 am – 1 am

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Breakwaters

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
Ruth Reichl

Located just south of Courtenay, The Breakwaters is the restaurant that is adjacent to the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa.

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I have had several meals at the restaurant and they have all been excellent. My mother, a great fan of oysters since  emigrating to the west coast over 60 years ago, claims that The Breakwaters serves the BEST oysters, ever!! She states that she can recall the taste of them a year later.

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The menu is laden with treasure dishes from the sea and the Wild Pacific Salmon dish I had was delicious. Served on a bed of preserved lemon and crab risotto, sea asparagus and pickled vegetable salad, it was a lovely meal after a day of hiking.

IMG_7133A friend ordered Local Halibut with English Pea Puree, carrots, pickled vegetable and pea tip salad and enjoyed that dish!

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But what had all of us in lip smacking raptures was the Tuscan Flat Bread…. prosciutto, Natural Pastures bocconcini, oven dried tomatoes, and fresh basil. Incredibly tasty!

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The finale was ending the night with house made raspberry sorbet!!!

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What a meal! What a delightful evening!

The Breakwaters

4330 Island Hwy S

Courtenay BC

1-800-663-7929

Carnivore Meats & More

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  ~  Hippocrates

Stopping at Carnivore Meats & More has likely effected more changes in my lifestyle than any other “shopping” stop has ever done!
Carnivore Mar 24I had not previously been too aware of the acute differences between “clean”, truly fresh and healthy meats versus mass-produced and mass-packaged meat products which we’re all used to seeing and buying in even the “good” grocery stores.

Carnivore’s owner, Ian, is uncompromising in his dedication to sourcing healthy, clean, local meat.
For example, the animals he buys for his beef supply are not only grass-fed, but also grass-finished so that the protein remains lean and healthy.

Ian can take you through his cooler cases displaying beef, lamb and pork and knows the specific farm from which the animals are sourced.  The poultry comes from about twelve farms.  The sources for the meats are local to the Island and Ian visits them regularly, so he can personally attest to the “clean” aspect of the products.

Meat case 2

The sausage made in-house is free from gluten, nitrates, MSG and sulphates.  The sausage casings are true animal gut collagen.

Frozen meats such as Cornish hen, quail and rabbit are available, as are eggs (white and brown).

Joshua, Ian’s Assistant Manager, uses Carnivore’s meats to prepare baked offerings such as their tourtiere and spinach & feta pie which is the best definition of “deep-dish” I’ve ever seen!

Tourtiere

Ian’s striving, through Carnivore, to create and maintain a vertically integrated food chain is abundantly clear.  I am impressed;   I’ve learned a few things!
And I’m a now a loyal returning customer!

Carnivore Meats & More
7103 W Saanich Rd, Brentwood Bay
778-351-4733
www.carnivoreandmore.com

Mon – Sat 9:30 am–6:30 pm, Sun noon – 5 pm

 

 

Brasserie L’Ecole

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” -Virginia Woolf

I assured my sister in law that if we were at the door of the restaurant 15 minutes early in order to line up we would be guaranteed a place. Luckily our stroll through Chinatown was short because there was a lineup of 22 people by the time we walked back to the restaurant. (And we still had a waiting period of 25 minutes before the bistro opened.)

Brasserie L’Ecole is a classic French Bistro establishment with a seating capacity of 50 (which includes the bar). It has a no reservation policy. The L’Ecole portion of the name pays homage to the building being a former Chinese schoolhouse. Though one has to line up outside before the restaurant opens once inside one is treated to extraordinary food. We ordered the Endive salad, with bacon, apple and walnut and the Brasserie Burger with bacon, Gruyere cheese and grain mustard aioli accompanied with Frites- sprinkled with Parmesan, garlic, parsley and truffle oil: all tasty and sublime. We had dined well!

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IMG_3909Brasserie L’Ecole
1715 Government Street
Victoria, BC
250-475-6260

www.lecole.ca

Locals Restaurant

Locals Restaurant

 

What I’ve enjoyed most, though, is meeting people who have a real interest in food and sharing ideas with them. Good food is a global thing and I find that there is always something new and amazing to learn – I love it!

Jamie Oliver
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Since patronizing Locals in mid June I have continued to praise this incredibly palate pleasing establishment.

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My mother and I shared all our orders from appetizer to dessert so I was able to sample twice as many dishes. Yum, yum!

Grilled prawns (succulent and superb), seafood pasta, and strawberry rhubarb cobbler to list a few.

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There are nooks and crannys and rooms in the house so that your dining experience can be cosy and intimate or family style.

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The service was impeccable,  the food delicious and the decor so tastefully put together.

 

Locals Restaurant

1760 Riverside Ln,

Courtenay, BC

250-338-6493

 

M-Sun 11-9pm