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evansdanEast VancouverSince January 11, 20097 Reviews
Average Rating
3.5 (3.3)
  • Food3.5 (3.6)
  • Service3 (3.1)
  • Value3 (3)
  • Ambiance3.5 (3.3)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 Reviews Found
Camille's45 Bastion Square, Victoria
Best Dinner in Years
Submitted Friday, August 7, 2009 - 5:49pm [Dine in]

Hands down, Camille's is the best meal I've had in a restaurant in years, and easily the best I've had in BC.

We found Camille's online and thought the menu sounded great, so we made reservations two days before we were going to be in town. The evening before we were to eat there, we happened to pass it while walking around. It's not much to look at through the street-level windows, and the tables we could see were all empty (which is almost never a good sign at 8:30pm for a restaurant). All our worries were dispelled when we showed up the next night for our reservation at 8pm.

It turns out we could only see the front room of tables from the street. We were walked through it to the rear of the space, which was almost full. The decor suited me perfectly: it's not overwrought pretension with flowing silks, and chandeliers; it's lit at the tables, and deep-coloured walls.

Camille's puts on a different five-course tasting menu every day, which is what we had. Everything was phenomenal: well-balanced tastes and just-right portions. Our menu included an heirloom tomato and basil gazpacho, roasted fig and goat cheese salad and venison leg with blueberries, squash and fingerling potatoes. Our server did a phenomenal job pairing wines to the menu. She was also perfectly timed with checking in on our progress, refilling water and clearing empty plates.

From our experience with the tasting menu and what I remember of their fixed menu, I have no hesitation recommending Camille's to anyone who wants an excellent meal that, while definitely higher priced than other options in Victoria, is both well worth it and excellent value.

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Ferris' Oyster Bar & Grill536 Yates St., Victoria
Fantastic Oysters, Good Sandwiches
Submitted Friday, August 7, 2009 - 3:11pm [Dine in]

The descriptions of the oysters at Ferris' were so good, we ordered some as an appetizer for the first time in recent memory. The (huge!) pan-fried oysters with butter, lemon and garlic were fantastic, and you could easily make a meal out of a half dozen of those monsters with some bread or fries. They were so good, I may have to try them on the half-shell next time we're in Victoria.

Lunch entree was the falafel sandwich with yam fries. The falafel were flavourful and wonderfully chewy. The yam fries came with skin on, which I quite enjoyed.

An excellent lunch option, not too far from downtown.

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Willie's Bakery & Cafe537 Johnson St, Victoria
Don't bother
Submitted Friday, August 7, 2009 - 2:57pm [Dine in]

I was pretty upset that I passed up our hotel's complimentary (meaning I'd already paid for it) continental breakfast for our trip to Willie's. The food was fine, and I would have been much happier with it had it not been for the worse service I've received in memory.

Our server brought us coffee once, and never returned for top-ups. The food arrived in decent time, and was fine (poached egg and portobello mushroom over greens, with home fries and baguette), but it took us almost fifteen minutes of sitting at our table with empty plates (in front of an open door on a cool, windy morning) to get our bill. It's not that the server vanished, either; we saw her continuing to serve and bus tables in the interim; she just always kept her eyes on where she was going, not where she was. It wasn't just us, either: the table next to us had the same server and sat for almost ten minutes before getting coffee or menus.

I don't know if they were short-staffed, but I doubt it: there aren't that many tables inside, and it wasn't that busy with counter business, either. I think either the kitchen was off kilter or the servers just aren't very good at their jobs.

I won't be going back on my next trip to Victoria.

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Tapa Bar, The620 Trounce Alley, Victoria
Fantastic Romantic Dinner
Submitted Friday, August 7, 2009 - 2:43pm [Dine in]

Walked in off the street for a romantic, kid-free dinner. It was Wine Wednesday, so we had a bottle of Spanish Garnacha for $10 off. The service was prompt and professional.

The tapas themselves overall were fantastic. I highly recommend the almond stuffed, bacon wrapped dates with bleu cheese and balsamic reduction; the worst part about them was giving an odd number of them to an even-numbered table of people! The artichokes with lemon and cumin were light and refreshing. The chorizo queso fundido was decent, but would have been better if it had been served with something more sophisticated than (I'm guessing) bagged chips from Que Pasa.

All in all, an excellent light dinner well worth the $50 (before tip).

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Sticky Wicket, The919 Douglas Street, Victoria
Great Hangout Pub
Submitted Friday, August 7, 2009 - 2:33pm [Dine in]

Went to Victoria for a mid-week vacation from Vancouver for just the spouse and I, so we were focusing on the activities kids wouldn't enjoy: walking around shopping, museums, etc. But we also focused on the kid-free downtime: pubs and higher-end restaurants.

The Sticky Wicket is large, but is broken up to feel like much cozier places. It was not at all busy when we were there (granted, both times we went were in the after-lunch/before-dinner lull), so the service was not an issue. Had the yam fries for a starter (good, but not fantastic), followed by the pulled pork sandwich (not overly sweet sauce; best pulled pork I've had in BC). Sleeves of import draught were on special for $4.25, which seemed a good value.

What really did it for me was the ambiance. The Sticky Wicket is almost the perfect pub atmosphere: lots of wood and comfortable seats. I'd like to go back when it was busier to see if the waitstaff can stand up to a rush, but for a leisurely afternoon with a couple of pints, it would be great.

Now if we could just get more of this type of place in Vancouver, I'd be a happy man.

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Closed
Zocalo2515 Main Street, Vancouver
Authentic Mexican, finally!
Submitted Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 1:45pm [Dine in]

I'd gotten quite tired of "Mexican" restaurants in Vancouver that served Southwestern or Tex-Mex instead of real Mexican, but I no longer have to make real Mexican myself when I get the hankering.

We went for lunch (only one other table was seated when we arrived), and started with the queso fundido, which was excellent, though a bit small for the $8.50 price tag. We then tried to order four tacos, but our server told us it wasn't like ordering several tiny tacos from a taqueria (which is what I was expecting, with a $6 price tag); each taco plate comes with two tacos, rice and brothy black beans. So we went with the tinga and pork carnitas, accompanied by lime margaritas. WOW! The preparation on both was as authentic as I've ever had (or made!). The beans were AMAZING, so much better than the brown-black "refried bean" paste you get from less authentic places.

Dessert was the flan de coco and the pastel de tres leches, both of which were good, and would have been better value for quality at $1-$2 less.

Overall, I was happy to find such great, soulful Mexican in Vancouver, but sad that it had taken me so long to find it. I will definitely go back, and recommend it to friends who know, and crave, authentic Mexican.

Buon provecho!

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Nick's Spaghetti House631 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Too Much for What You Get
Submitted Sunday, January 11, 2009 - 9:31pm [Dine in]

This is the second time I've been to Nick's, and I don't see a reason to go back again.

Maybe I am not the target audience for this restaurant: the menu is entirely "safe" classic dishes whose ingredients are uninspired. My party ordered an agnolotti with white sauce, and a half-order of ribs with spaghetti and red sauce, and a rotini with red sauce and meatballs. While the ribs were decent (there are better places to go for ribs), the meatballs were bland and the red sauce was watery. The agnolotti was actually ravioli and the white sauce a bit too simple.

The pricing is completely out of touch with the quality. Mediocre red sauce over spaghetti and three Italian sausages should not cost $20 anywhere, let alone a family restaurant. We didn't order desserts, so no comment on those. All told, entrees for three and a half litre of wine came to just over $60 before tip.

On the up side, even though they do not take reservations on the weekend, my party of three was seated fairly quickly. Although this has less to do with the running of the restaurant than the volume of guests.

Nick's is The Italian Restaurant that Time Forgot; I'm sure the menu was a hit in Vancouver in the '60s, but I have a feeling that the bulk of their clientele are people who have been coming specifically because the food is just how they remember it from their childhoods. Unfortunately for Nick's, what people consider "Italian food" has changed drastically in the intervening four decades, but the increasing sophistication in ingredients, dishes and preparations seems to have passed them by.

Nick's would be a good destination if you are going out with very unadventurous eaters and don't care about the price. But for dollar value, it's just not worth the visit.

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