Nautical Nellies offers a large selection of fresh local and imported seafood and prime beef. Nellies has a rustic decor with a blend of seafaring artifacts as well as a funky Oyster Bar.
We had a reservation and got seaten beside the hostess area, not too far away from the entrance. I asked for my steak " medium", it came with 3 spears of asparagus, some squash, and beets. Instead of garlic mashed potatoes, I asked for fries, the fries were good and came in a bowl. It was a thick piece of meat, of average size, but think it was slightly overcooked and it was a bit dry. My partner had the same meal but he ordered it "well done" which was a mistake, as it came out super dry. The prices were high for the amount of food you get.
We checked into the Empress and made a reso here for a somewhat unconventional Christmas dinner. The hostess was genuinely pleasant and personable, seated us straight away and set a good tone for the whole evening.
Our server approached passed our table numerous times before finally coming to take a drink order. Unfortunately the personable hostess had not given lessons to the waiter. We ordered vodka martinis and oysters to start with. When we asked him what oysters he had available he said, "oh, I haven't had a chance to look at the board yet." Not in an apologetic way, but in a snippy, "how annoying that you should ask me just what I don't know" way. After our oysters and martini's, I was ready for another one and he again passed our table empty handed numerous times without either stopping to clear our glasses/dishes, nor offering to replenish our drinks. By this time we had figured things out and being in a wonderful mood from our afternoon of various delights we just flagged down the very pleasant hostess and ordered our drinks from her. She also cleared our glasses and plates. The waiter then took our order for mains. I ordered a whole lobster and my sweetie the "cowboy lollipop". I asked if there was any way they could pre crack my lobster in the kitchen and the waiter just said, "No, they won't do that". My hubby made a little joke about sweet talking the chef into it and the waiter, again, in flip, snotty way said, "On a night like this no sweet talking will make them do that." When faced with a snotty, snide, incompetent waiter like this... we can only do what we do best, ignore him and have a good time anyway. The mains took awhile to arrive but we weren't in a hurry and when the food came it was absolutely worth the wait. My lobster was perfect, sweet and moist. The Rib-eye was perfectly aged and grilled medium rare as ordered. The veggies were crisp and well presented. The food made up for the very annoying waiter and we loved every bite.
Funny thing is when we had finished our mains I told my hubby, "watch now, the waiters going to turn saccharine sweet just before presenting the bill". Having worked in service for number of years you know when you've given bad service and you tend to try and make up for it at the end if you get the chance.
When presenting the bill, our waiter poured on a syrupy voice saying, "Thank you so very much for sharing your Christmas evening with us". Well, no amount of sweet talking could get more than a 10% tip from us, although we did had both very lovely hostesses a ten spot each for doing basically all the work for their snippy co-worker.
We will go back to Nautical Nellies but if we get the same waiter we'll move to another section... problem solved.
After a recommendation from a local friend I found myself in NN on Thursday night. They have centainly improved upon their opening menu and decor, but the food is still sub par. Service was friendly and attentive with good menu knowledge. For the price ( which was a little high for the caliber) I would choose Barkleys or even the Keg over this try hard surf and turf attempt.
Nautical Nellies was recommended by our doorman at the hotel. We tried to get in but they were booked so we made reservations for the next night.
We were seated at a window seat - the decor could use some sprucing up. Ordered the Steak and Crab and my girlfriend had the Salmon.
The food and wine was great. Our waitress did not come over when our glasses were empty or we may have ordered more wine... Coffee was old and she did not offer to brew a new pot.
Overall a good experience but our waitress was young and distracted with her colleagues as they were all chit chatting instead of watching tables. Might try again...
It's such a shame that such consistantly great food, and excellent service is dragged down by cheesy, dated, nautical-themed decor.
My husband and I have been to NN more than a few times, and the food always impresses us. The menu is varied and offers choices for everyone, even for non seafood lovers. The portions are generous, and beautifully presented - I usually go for the "Colossal Canoe" tasting plate ($24), and my husband is partial to their signature dish the "Seafood Trio" ($27) - and both are excellent every time.
The service has also been excellent, even on our last visit - our server was new and in the process of being trained. But she was knowledgable, bubbly and quite fun, she made our night.
The atmosphere is what is lacking here. It seems the dining area in front of the bar has been updated - but still has an early nineties feel to it. But if you are seated upstairs you will find yourself in a 'popeye & olive oyl' inspired themed restaurant - which perhaps had it's day, but that day is long past.
Overall worth the money, but I wish the decor could keep up to the menu, which is modern and thoroughly excellent.
I actually just joined this site to warn people about this place. Had dinner there last night . Never felt more ripped off after leaving a restaurant. For the money they're charging I expected a lot more. Not a hard , cold triangle of rice, two hard carrots, two hard beans , and a little bowl of seafood for 35.00. With the 15.00 $ appy for a total of 50.00 . For 52.00 you could go to Matisse for a 4 course dinner , and have a real dinning experience. Trust me, get the bread pudding for dessert.
The decor is very outdated, the only thing I really enjoyed about the atmosphere was the hot sun on the patio. I did not like the fact that my napkin had been used by someone else and reset without notice. The cutlery was very dirty, i actually used my lemon water and the other side of the dirty napkin to clean my cutlery before i used it. I had the dungeness crab, it was succulent, in the white wine sauce, but by the time i was on the second hal of the crab it was cold, and im not a slow crab eater believe me. So maybe get a little creative with it, serve half at a time, almost like it were rung in split in half and just pick up the second half later when the guest has finished the first half, verbalize that to the guest when they order it, explain why, and you will blow them away, it's all about the details.
I ate the best steak I have ever eaten in my life at Nautical Nellies! It was soooo good!
The service was great as well.
I have been back a few times, and have never had a bad experience there! I highly recommend it. They also have a small patio you can sit on in the summer...which just makes it that much better!
Oh! I am from Vancouver... no where in Vancouver can you find Fanny Bay Oysters. Not even at The Cannery. The closest match The Cannery has does not even match up to the little Fanny Bay's that are sooooo sweet.
I was recommended to go here after surveying the seafood joints at the wharf by someone at another joint. Now, isn't that a bit surprising.
I love the oyster. They could have the all seafood platter that has king crab, lobster, prawns, fish and all... I ended up having to make my sister spend $100 on me for my king crab, lobster, 1 doz. oysters fresh on the shell (Fanny Bay and Royal Miyagi). Yummm... Fanny Bay is still the best, prawns, fish and lotsa seafood while she and another friend's food cost only less than $60 together.
For great seafood, come here. Decor is nice... who says a nautical decor is old??? That's why it is called NAUTICAL nellies.
Second time here... love the crab cakes... nearly ate my sister's king crab this time... it was so huge... but she did not share...
Worth the trip to take the ferry, go to Victoria, get dinner here and take the late night ferry home.
As part of our romantic package at the bed and breakfast we were staying at a dinner here was included. Our hosts made the reservation and requested a table with a view - which we got (thank you amore by the sea). My husband and I love seafood and had the plater for two. It was wonderful; lots of food, cooked perfectly, lots of choice etc. The service was also great, we wanted to take our time and not be rushed and the server did just that. We never felt rushed (although they were busy), we felt we could just sit, relax and enjoy our wonderful night and food together. We are thankful to the bed and breakfast who sold us this package as we would not have ever found this restaurant on our own. When we return to Victoria/Amore, we'll be back to Nautical Nellies!
You will not be disappointed by the food or the environment at Nautical Nellies. The steak was pretty damn good, and the view of lit-up Victoria downtown on one side and a decorative fish tank on the other was impressive.
What brought down the whole experience for me was the service. I don't regularly spend $100 for a dinner for two, so when I do, I want it to feel like a special occasion. At Nautical Nellies, it was clear that the waitress had about 30 seconds to get our order and run to the next table. When asked about the menu, she shot an answer back and rushed along with the order. Also, the waiting times seemed excessive: it shouldn't take 25 minutes to bring wine.