Il Terrazzo serves up fine Italian dining in an old town courtyard setting. Northern Italian cuisine featuring wood-oven roasted meats and pizza, home-made pasta and fresh West Coast seafood.
There are a lot of restaurants in the immediate neighbourhood of this place, and most are catered to tourists, which means so-so food quality. This one, however, is a bit special. The setting is in a heritage building, with an entrance off an alley. The decor is casual but nice, and the food is very, very good, not what you would normally expect at a run-of-the-mill Italian restaurant. I had the grilled calamari, my wife had an ahi tuna sandwich, and my daughter had a prawns pizza. Every dish was tasty and very well prepared. We looked at nearby tables, and the food that the other guests were having was also very nicely presented, so I imagine that they, too, tasted very good. Prices are very reasonable for what you get. A good place to go to, to avoid the usual tourist trap.
My husband and I came here having been told it's one of the best restaurants in Victoria for Italian. We had a reso for 7pm and when we arrived it was packed to the brims. The servers didn't acknowledge us right away, they were talking about a table or something but didn't even say "one moment" or "we'll be right with you". Not terribly impressed and kind of awkwardly standing there wondering what there deal was my husband interupted them, they found our reso and sat as next to the doors that lead to the terrace.
We were really excited to enjoy our night and so we looked into the wine list. I chose 2 wines having known that sometimes on large lists you may need a back up as they may or may not have that wine. Both wines were unavailable, my husband then chose a wine and it too was not around, after asking our server he chose something and it was perfect. We were brought bread with a delicious tapanade. We decided to share the mussels which were great, the carpaccio which was also very good and our final course was the braised short rib. This was okay, and I was really disappointed as I was looking forward to it. It sounded fantastic on the menu, the fennel that was accompanying the ribs were really mushy, the potatos were crispy on the outside and dryyyy on the inside and as the the ribs they not quite done. It didn't really slide off the bone and the demi glaze that was finishing the dishes was terribly salty, we actually didn't even finish, the portion was pretty big but it was a shame that it was not done properly. Another thing that I was kind of put off with is that we told our server that we wanted to take our time and go through each course sharing including the main. When it came out he brought the entree and one small side plate and walks away to grab pepper I'm thinking he also going to grab another plate but istead slides the dish over to my husband and put this little dish infront of me.We both laughed thinking how funny it looked, we also used to work in restaurants so it's funny to see peoples train of thought when serving, you can weed out the good ones from the bad ones in little things like that... Anyhow....
We get another plate from the busser and as mentioned ate our mediocre ribs.
We finshed our night with americanos and enjoyed the romantic setting. Even though it was busy each table had their own private party going on and looked like many where doing the same thing we were. Overall the food was good, not great and nothing special. The value is okay, fairly priced but you get what you pay for, I would rather spend a little more money and get amazing food. The service was good including the other busser/servers. The ambiance is what I really enjoyed, a great room. I'd go back... maybe.. maybe not.. I'll decide on the flight over.
Seeing the overwhelmingly positive reviews of this place, I had high expectations coming here. Il Terrazzo definitely has it's charm. At first, I thought the reviewers were right. The ambience is more romantic than anything, and the place has its customers. Lots of them.
I should have looked at the menu while we were waiting for our table (which was a good thirty minutes or so). This place was probably one of the nightmares for vegetarians or vegans, in which the only meat-free options available are salads. Luckily, there was something else for me to have, the melazane al forno which is pasta cooked in mushrooms, eggplant and spinach. The waiter gave me a strange look when I kept on asking him about whether certain foods had any meat in them.
Let me clarify that the food did not taste bad, just lacked variety of options for vegetarians to choose from. Hence the 3-stars. On the flip side, my friends did have a good time, and the food was fairly priced.
I'll leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions.
I came here for dinner while visiting a friend who was going to school in Victoria. It was right before finishing the program and she was about to come home again, so we wanted to go to some place nice. She had heard some good things about this place and since she was a semi-local, we left the decision to her.
When we got there, I thought the restaurant was very nice looking. Dark and cozy. We were greeted by a sour hostess that believed smiling would kill her. She gave us attitude from the beginning and we felt very out-of-place. She was more concerned about the way she looked than the well-being of her guests. She kept adjusting herself as she wore a very low-cut droop-neck top. I choose not the remember the details of this experience (it was the beginning of this year), but still can't shake the horrible service we received.
We dined on a pizza and 3 pasta dishes. I remembered looking at the menu and thinking, "Wow, these prices are on the high side". I didn't think the quality justified the $$ they were charging. In my opinion, they were trying really hard to be a high-class fine dining establishment. I will not be dining here again.
Ever get those days (nights) when you feel like dressing up and going out to a fancy restaurant? Il Terrazzo fits the bill.
While this fine Italian restaurant is an excellent choice for lunch I recommend you go their for an early or late dinner experience. The food and service is outstanding and together with the ambiance of brick and wood sitting inside or in the covered patio out back, is a treat.
If you've never been here you owe it to yourself to try it. You will not regret it.
I said Macaroni Grill was nice, well I forgot about Il Terrazzo. The first time I ate there, I couldn't remember the name and raved about this nameless place to people for nearly a year. It was a Christmas party, so I'd have to excused for being lost. I've been here 3 times and every time has been such a mind-blowingly good experience. The portions are huge, the service is fantastic, and I am always trying to swing the next party to that locale.
I have seriously never had a bad meal here. What I like about Il Terrazzo is that despite the number of times I have been here (and years!) the food is consistently good. It is my go-to place for Italian on special occasions in downtown. The place is lovely and romantic. Came here last with my boyfriend and we left both heavy and happy. Their risotto was a spicy perfection which didn't come as a surprise as all their pastas are so. My boyfriend enjoyed his fettucine and found the portions sizes to be decent...he is 6'2 and with a huge appetite that always causes him problems in feeding himself.
The ambiance was great: romantic, dinner by candelight. Entire restaurant has warm rustic feeling.
The service was incredible. We don't drink and normally that means less attention from the wait staff but our waiter was friendly, attentive and qiuck!
The food was delicious and the servings were huge! We were absolutely shocked at how quickly the food came (we had just started eating our bread when the chef brought our meals out).
Can't wait to return.
I have eaten at Il Terrazzo more than a dozen times while working downtown. The food is very tasty - some of the best anywhere. However, on three different occasions I have found strange objects in my food, and in the food of others I was dining with - some of them I won't get into - but here are a few examples a large elastic band (more than half of it) in a vegetable dish, a very large black hair (about a food long) some of these things I don't know how they could have missed and brought on a plate without seeing they were so large. The worst part was the service, the manager was even there, and he didn't seem at all worried about the problems "oh that's just an elastic band from the broccoli". Keep a close eye on what you're eating at Il Terrazzo that's my advice.
It was a windy day in Victoria when i happened to walk by Il Terrazzo. I'd heard that they had a lovely patio so i peeped in and immediately yearned to be sitting in front of one of their four outdoor fireplaces. By far, this restaurant has one of the coziest patios you could find. We made reservations to return for dinner later that evening which was a good idea because the waiting area was packed at 8:30.
The menu selection was just okay - it really needs to shed the italian family restaurant vibe to reach the level of fine dining. They should start off with honing the items down and then getting someone to design more sophisticated looking menus. It's painful to be charged $30 an entree by Size 12 Arial Font.
Also they need more nice touches to the service like offering freshly grated parmesan. At most we got an affable bus boy offering us grated pepper. But aren't the waiters supposed to do that?
The meal started off with a portobello salad which was decent. I really needed to be impressed with the portobello - they're such big yummy fellows. But disappointly the greens completely took over the dish - i thought they had brought the wrong plate to me. My companion raved over his grilled halibut with blackberry sauce over 3 cheese penne. The fish was cooked perfectly however we bother agreed that the blackberries were a pretentious touch. My grilled tiger prawns were also delicious in a light buttery sauce.
Overall, we found the food yummy but a bit too expensive for the level of quality and sophistication. I wasn't completely happy with the service. Our wine took a while to come, perhaps they assumed we'd want it with the main meal. Also the waiter never came by to ask us how are meal was. He just appeared in the beginning and the end.
But not to end on a sour note, there is a great vibe to the place and maybe it's bc the people there are a lot like the menu - an eclectic mix of down-to-earth with sophistication.
We heard about Il Terrazzo from the front hotel staff while staying at The Empress. When we passed by, we saw that it won people's choice awards so why not?
We went as a party of 4. The ambience is nice; we sat outside in one of the warmest patios i've ever been to. Our appy's were good, our friends had some salads (the one with roasted tomato and other stuff was really good!) and we shared the bread w/ roast garlic.. . it was pretty simple, just bread with gargonzola cheese baked on and a full bulb of roast garlic, but it was pretty good nevertheless.
Everyone ordered the exact same entree except for me. I had the pasta with the chorizo sausage minus the sausage (i don't eat meat) and it was a little bland for me but that could have been cuz the sausage brings so much flavour to the dish. Everyone else had the seafood linguine which was pretty nice; i was going to order that too but i thought the cream sauce would be too heavy but it's not. It's surprsingly light and the noodles don't get lost in the sauce.
For dessert we had the sampler to share which was good because we were all stuffed!!
All in all, the ambience is nice. We weren't in a rush for time so we stayed there for about 3 hours. Yes, the food is a bit expensive for what it is. I mean, who much can you really charge for pasta? And the menu could use a little updating in the looks department. But these days it's tough to find a good quality restaurant and although this wasn't one of my best ones, it's still better than alot of them out there.
Enjoyed a most pleasent evening at Il Terrazzo Saturday night. The food (I had halibut) was excellent, the veggies were nicely done with just a little "crunch" to them.
The service was quick and courteous. Two different staff asked us whether everything was satisfactory and were close by when were ready to order.
All in all, just what I've come to expect from Il Terrazzo.
I took my wife here for her birthday dinner, it was so loud in the restaurant we could hardly hear ourselves talk. This basically spoiled the whole evening. The food was good, best Italian we have had in Victoria but for the price you can get a lot better in Vancouver. Service was indifferent, not tremendously friendly and not well timed. We may go back some time as the food was good, but if it is busy and loud again, that would be the last time.
I would come here for the bread and tapenade alone, but since they give this to you free as soon as you sit down, I probably wouldn't be much of a welcome guest if I filled up on that, then left. It's tempting to do that, though, since they keep refilling both the tapenade and the bread, and one could easily make a meal of it.
The rest of the food is delicious, too. One can reliably bring an out-of-towner here and know they will be happy with their meal.
The patio is the most appealing part of the restaurant, but the whole place is attractive.
To enjoy the food for considerably less financial outlay, go for lunch, instead of dinner.
This restaurant has large portions of generally interesting food. Don't even think about your cholesterol while you're here as that will spoil your dinner (lots of cheese!). I always feel that I got my money's worth when I dine here.
A few things to note: First, this is not the place to go for a quiet dinner. It can be very, very noisy. And you're probably going to be sitting close enough to at least one other table to take part in their dinner conversation.
The wait staff usually seems to be running from one table to the next so when you've got one at your table make use of them. Sometimes I've been there and had great staff that seemed to be able to spend all the time in the world with me, other times I had to almost trip them as they went by.
For me the patio is generally a bit more sane. The only drawback is that in the winter it can be drafty, try to sit near a fireplace. If you're sitting inside, try to avoid the tables closest to the kitchen area (back left corner when you first walk in) as this raises the noise level if the kitchen is really busy.
Reservations really are a must.
While I don't seem to have given this restaurant a great review, I actually do like it and go back to it regularly. The middle of the road grading is due to the noise and the closeness of the tables. The food is fine and generally a good value; while not particularly outstanding it is consistently good.
just like everyone else i heard great things about this place so me and my boyfriend decided we should go have lunch there. we waited queitly at the door. all three of the worker saw us but did nothing. the bar guy look, the server and the manager or who ever he was also took a glance at us, still stand there we both look at each STILL waiting for a greating. finally the one standing close to other decided to ask if we've been help since we where standing next to him this hold time. we said NO and he said someone will be right there. just standing there seem to go by so long and it was not busy at all. finally we where seated. our server was sweet and kind and help answer my question. the food was nothing special there menu only use big worlds to make it seem so great. overal the food was ok and i like my server. the seating space is kind of tight.
I have eaten at Il Terrazzo on over 10 occasions. There is no doubt that it is a loud, bustling atmosphere, but that is what makes it such an awesome place in my opinion! Who wants to sit in silence listening to elevator music in a contrived minimalist environment..this is EXACTLY what Italian dining should be! Loud, full of laughter, excellent food, giant portions, and great wines. Yes the prices are up there but so is the quality of the food and the portions. I have tried everything from the steaks, to the braised pork & cabbage canneloni(yum) to the oysters. All delicious and creatively prepared. The wine list is extensive and impressive. This is a hidden gem of a place...BRAVO!
It was very frustrating to go to a restaurant, highly recommended by colleagues in the industry, and to be served very good food by staff who seemed unaware of basic service ideas.
Our before dinner martinis arrived after our first courses; our wine only arrived after a third request while we were a third of the way through our entrees; and no explanation or small apology was ever offered.
While we did think the risotto, in particular, creative and excellent, all the good food in the world has a difficult time competing with wait staff who fail to remember and fill orders, and who pace course (and drink) delivery so poorly.
I've been to Il Terrazzo about 10 times now, twice for lunch. You can always depend on great service, food, presentation, and atmosphere.
I've tried all sort of menu items and they always impress. The portions are actually rather large, despite looking small due to using over-sized plates. The warm mini bread slices and olive tapenade everyone gets upon seating is to die for alone. Excellent wine selection too.
Servers are there when they should be, no more, no less. They are career servers and their professionalism shows.
I love the atmosphere with the candles on the walls, the brick walls, brick fireplaces on the patio. Tables generally aren't too close together. You feel you can talk normally, have some good laughs, and not think you have to worry about interrupting other tables.
Some people say this place is expensive, but take a look at their menu online. Good size portions too. It's not any more expensive than an Earls or Cactus Club or any of those mainstream places.
Highly recommend to anyone - except families with young kids.
I was a little put off by the noise and activity when we first entered, but that is true of a lot of good restaurants. The service was very friendly and made several suggestions which turned out to be very good. Excellent Osso Bucco and a fantastic Italian wine selection with many good vintages of Tuscan and Pidemontese producers, including an incredible collection of Brunellos.