Monday, December 24, 2012

Great Snow at Mount Washington
Check out the fantastic snow at Mount is the best it has been in 30 years....enjoy!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cafe Brio - A Top Victoria Restaurant

Last night we paid a visit to Café Brio and we asked ourselves why it has taken so long to return.  The warm and inviting look of the restaurant  told us we were in for something special.   With a friendly greeting, our host Greg quickly seated Linda and I at one of the booth tables.  Within seconds, our server Michael brought ice water and took our drink order.  Greg stopped by to offer suggestions about the menu, advising that we share the house-made Salumni, a charcouterie plate.  It arrived shortly with prosciutto, a rich and creamy chicken liver parfait, mustards, dills, pickled sea asparagus, some to-die-for bread, along with a taste of the popular and unusual house specialty, Olive Ascolene (Italian meat stuffed olives), handmade by Maria (Greg's mother-in-law).  The salumni were delicious and the parfait was the best we have ever had!  It was sublime, spread on warm and fresh, crispy-crusted bread.  Wow!

Inside, the restaurant was warm, inviting and relatively quiet.  We find many restaurants too noisy to have a conversation.  The walls display an interesting and eclectic choice of art.  Café Brio offers half orders of most menu items.  This allows patrons who want lighter fare a choice, and facilitates trying more than one item, which is just what we did.

We started with two ample half-order appetizers, a delicious Romaine Heart salad with lemon vinaigrette and grana padano (a bread crumb tuile) and fresh local mussels with garlic, tomato, olives and capers.  The salad was delicious and the dressing very fresh tasting.  The mussels were perfectly cooked, and very tender.  Our attentive server Camille was back with more bread so that we could sop up the delicious tomato sauce.  It was so savory, we spooned it up like soup. 

For our main course, we also shared two half orders.  We chose the Roast Duck Breast (with ragout of flageolet beans, mirepoix, smoked bacon, cabbage and duck jus) and the Still Meadow Farms Pork Loin with Pork Rillet, the special of the night.  Each main course came with a different presentation and we enjoyed our choices, passing plates back and forth.

The Dessert Menu has a variety of sweets and cheeses.  We chose two of our favourites and as a result missed the Café Brio “piece de resistance” Carmel and Mascarpone Cheesecake!  That was hard to believe when we tasted our Sticky Date Toffee Pudding with house-made vanilla bean ice cream and toffee- rum sauce, and our other choice, Vanilla Bean Crème Brule.  Both looked so good, that we dove in, forgetting to take pictures.  We waited for another Sticky Date Toffee Pudding to come out of the kitchen to get a picture to share with you.  The Sticky Date Toffee Pudding was absolutely mind-blowing good.  Could any other dessert be that good?  Well stand by, we are going back soon!  Oh, the Crème Brule was great too, very creamy.

We were totally impressed by the service we received from the very friendly staff.  The food rated with the best of the great meals that we have had at restaurants in Victoria.  We strongly recommend you give Café Brio a try.  We conveyed our feelings to the congenial host Greg Hays and he said it was all part of the “master plan”.  We love the idea of half orders and it was truly enjoyable to be able to talk to each other during the meal without yelling.  Everything possible is made in-house with care and loving, and obvious good taste.  To review the Café Brio menu, click here. For more pictures of our dining adventure at Cafe Brio, please click through to our Facebook Page.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Winter is On at Mount Washington

In Victoria we have so far experienced on of the mildest Decembers in a while, but it is definitely winter on Mount Washington.  My freind Brent Curtain sent me this report....have a look.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Devour Bistro Downtown Victoria

We had heard so much about the Devour Bistro that today we decided to give it a try for lunch.  We were oh so glad we did.  The bistro is tiny, with seating for around ten.  The food is amazing.  We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch.  Ron had Pork Pie with capicolla, red pepper, spinach, and aged cheddar served with organic greens.  Linda had Pea meal bacon with caramelized onions and olive tapenade on a baguette.  The couple next to us raved about their Black Bean Soup with tomato salsa and sour cream.  It looked delicious.  Ron just had to try one of their gigantic cookies.  Their menu changes daily and is truly unique.  For a special dining experience, we strongly suggest that you give Devour a try.  We are sure you will not be disappointed.  Rebecca and Jena seem to really know what they are doing and certainly think outside the box.  Well done ladies.  For more information, go to our Facebook page. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Brentwood Bay Resort Chefs' Dinner

Tonight we visited the Brentwood Bay Resort to attend a “Chefs' Dinner”, a fund raiser for the British Columbia Chefs’ Association, Victoria Chapter. These dinner meetings take place throughout Greater Victoria at different locations each month. The dinner costs $35 for non-members and believe me, it is worth every penny. We were treated to an absolutely fabulous dinner starting with a freshly baked and sliced flax bun that was seriously delicious. We loved our appetizer of fresh Snapper Ceviche Japanese Style with orange, avocado and sweet soy. The main course of Berkshire Farms Pork Loin Chop rubbed with Chinese Five Spice, sweet potato purée, roasted winter vegetables, and apricot demi was beautifully plated. For dessert we were served a wonderful Passion Fruit Bavarois Madagascar vanilla gateâu, with raspberry coulis. The meal was engineered by Chef Jevon Thow, Sous Chef, Thelma Minoru Yokoyame Kundhart, Sushi chef, Takashi Hiraoka, and Apprentices Michael Allin and Sean Tillbury (all shown in the attached picture). The Brentwood Bay Resort is a beautiful property just beside the Mill Bay Ferry and well worth the short drive out from Victoria. These meals are open to anyone wanting to attend. The meetings are generally quite short, followed by the chefs’ dinner. If you are interested in attending the next one in January or to be added to the invitation list, contact Shirley Lang, one of the directors at email: For more pictures go to our facebook page.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sunshine, warm weather and birds!

What to do when the sun shines, the weather is warm (12C - 52F) and you are retired....go to Esquimalt Lagoon and feed the birds!  With our 25 lbs of chicken scratch, we do just that...swans, geese, ducks of all sorts, pigeons and gulls, just to name a few of our flock...these birds are never shy when the weather cools off for a while.  Enjoy.  For more video, go to our Facebook page.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Goldstream Park Nov 9, 2012

 Today is a beautiful day in Victoria. Clear blue skies means cooler weather. As I write it is 8C around 45F. In the last two weeks there has been a major leaf drop; however some of the trees still have green leaves as you may note in the pictures below. Goldstream is an amazing park with some incredible old trees (around 400 years old). There are large trees everywhere and you even drive into the parking lot you drive right by some very large ones. This time of the year the river is full of spawning salmon. The seagulls are feasting on the dead carcases and the eagles will not be far behind. There were no eagles today, but soon they will arrive in large numbers. This annual fall phenomena brings out large numbers of park visitors. The nature house has great displays for young and old alike and they run programs about the salmon. Be sure to walk down to the nature house and check it out. There is an eagle cam in the nature house that gives you great views of the end of the estuary and the mouth of the river. I have been there when you could count 40 eagles at once. The park if full of nature’s art as you will see from the picture. Lots of people were picnicking in the park today and eating hot dogs. Sun, blue sky, thousands of salmon, incredible scenery, and a whole lot more make this an incredible experience. Even in the absence of lots of leaves, the park is very green. The park sits at the bottom of Mount Finlayson which is a very popular hiking area for locals and visitors. Enjoy the photos. For more photos check our Facebook Page.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dad's Soups and Sangys Wale Road in Colwood

When I want a good sandwich, my first choice is Dad’s Soup and Sangys on Wale Road near the Juan de Fuca Rec Centre. They make excellent sandwiches and soups. They will whip them out for take-out if you so wish. The usually prepare 3 different soups each day. They also have a few salads, pre-made along with coffee, muffins, cookies, and canned soda pop and water.
The service always is friendly, and quick and they make the sandwich your way. The bread is absolutely delicious. The portions of meat and toppings are generous and the prices are reasonable for what you get. Recently they moved from Colwood Corners to Wale Road, just down the hill and across the street from the Rec Centre. Most people would describe the decor as funky. I go there for the sandwiches and I will go back again and again, because they are so good!  See more pictures on our Facebook Page.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Famoso Feast- Great Food, Location and Staff

Tonight we were hosted at the Famoso Neopolitan Pizzeria at the corner of Johnson and Wharf Streets in downtown Victoria. What a treat! We arrived with a group of ten, so Corey suggested one of their group meals, the Famoso Feast. This proved to be a great idea. Groups are offered a combination of appetizers and fire roasted pizza to choose from a list. We decided to let Corey chose our feast menu. Our appetizers included the Tapenade Trio, Mediterranean Flatbread, Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls, Gorgonzola Walnut Salad, and Famoso Salad. Then we enjoyed the Margherita, Cavoletti, Siciliana, and Sweet Barbeque Chicken pizzas. Every dish was delicious, an explosion of incredible tastes and very satisfying on the palate. We finished our meal with some very tasty gelato. We enjoyed every bite, sharing different flavours with each other . They have some great wine deals, so be sure to ask your waiter. The feast meals for groups are a good bargain. The pizzas are made with love as they are all hand formed. If you check out our pictures you will get a good idea of what you are in for when you visit Famoso and be sure to visit… you will not be disappointed. They have a great menu with lots of choice and the Neopolitan Pizzas are to die for. Check out their web site at: 
To see more pictures of our Famoso adventure, please go to our Facebook Page.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 28 - Fall on Vancouver Island

15C today, warm and wonderful. Fall is an amazing time on Vancouver Island. The leaves on the trees have barely begun to fall, even after a couple of good winds. We had an amazing streak of weather this year with constant sun through July, August, September and a bit of October. The rain did arrive, but when it rains here, it warms up, otherwise it would be snow. We have no snow, except at very high altitudes, which is not visible from any where here on the south end of Vancouver Island. It got pretty nice today. We have had a lot of rain for the past couple of weeks, but beauty still abounds. The following pictorial shows you just what is like this time of the year on Vancouver Island. Enjoy the pics but better yet come for a visit.  For more pictures of our lovely island in the Fall, go to our Facebook Site

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Seafood, Drink Beer FUNDRAISER/EVENT at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre

‘Seafood, Drink Beer’ FUNDRAISER/EVENT at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, Friday November 2nd 7-10pm

Eating locally and responsibly…so hot right now.

SIDNEY, BC – Many people don’t know that beer and seafood go together like, well, beer and seafood. It’s a great pairing! This event will highlight the culinary extravaganza that takes place when talented chefs use sustainable seafood and local craft beer to create a taste sensation! Cost is all inclusive: $40 per person (info for ticket sales, etc. at bottom of page).

The concept of the event was developed by a group of nine gung-ho Camosun students who are working toward earning their degree in Hospitality Management. Their assignment is to put on an event that would showcase their talents in hospitality management while simultaneously raising money for a charitable organization of their choice…that’s where the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre comes in.

The students requested that our facility house this catchy-titled event (“Seafood, Drink beer”), and promised to donate all proceeds back to the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. Their plan to pair sustainable seafood with local craft beer is topical and a great fit for our organization, so we of course said ‘yes’! We have since been extremely impressed with their hard work and professionalism in putting this fantastic night together.

To pull off an evening of amazing culinary delight…and beer drinking (don’t forget the beer drinking!), the Camosun students knew they needed to find a local chefs with credibility and expertise. Enter Island Chef Collaborative president and owner of Passion Eat Foods, Chef Dwane MacIsaac who will be headlining the event. Chef Dwane has prepared a menu of seafood delicacies that will accent the taste and craftsmanship of a variety of ales that will be provided by local favorite Driftwood Brewery. Event-goers will be encouraged to taste each beer with a corresponding nutriment that complements each carefully selected ingredient, and will also get to learn about what sustainable seafood means and why it is SO important.

All in all, this night promises to be a fantastic collaboration proving that enthusiastic college students can help a not-for-profit organization raise money for a great cause by putting on a fun and creative event for the community involving many generous local partners. If only we had a pen full of puppies, this night would be perfect! Baby wolf eels will have to do.

Other activities during the evening: live recipe demonstrations, a raffle drawing with various prizes, live presentation from Driftwood Brewery, and much more! Tickets will be sold online: or in person at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. More information can also be found on our website: Logo for event attached.

Please contact Christina Smethurst for further information: through email seven days a week or by phone Mon-Fri 9am-5pm 250-665-7511 or sat/sun 250-744-4852.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Panach Open Chef Dinner at the Bear Mountain Westin

Last night we attended the Open Chef Night at the Westin Bear Mountain Hotel in the Panache Restaurant.  The beautiful décor and some great food was truly “panache”.  The food was excellent and we got to meet some nice people and some old friends.
Open Chef Night allows aspiring student chefs to battle it out as Executive Chefs for a night in Panache, Bear Mountain's intimate fine dining restaurant.
Each Chef brings a new culinary experience for you to enjoy all under the guidance of The Westin Bear Mountain's very own, Executive Chef Iain Rennie. The series takes place on the last Wednesday of every month and will run throughout the school year. Kudos to Chef Rennie for giving young aspiring junior chefs the opportunity to grow and develop.

The dinner was critiqued by judges and then a winner was chosen.
  Tonight’s chefs were Edwardo Marquex and Sabrina Cozens.  Sabrina was declared the winner, in a very close competition.  The judges had a few suggestions, but overall everyone (guests and judges) were very impressed at the quality of the food.

Two menu options were available to choose from.
  Menu A, was three courses.  Lobster soup with Roasted Pork Belly, Black Olive Powder and Crispy Fingerling Potato, then a main of Braised Short Rib with Pomme Purée, Crispy Root  Chips and Red Pepper Jus and finishing with Citrus Almond Cake, Lemon Blueberry Semifreddo and Lavender Crumble.  Do I have your attention!

Menu B was also three courses.
  Wild Mushroom Soup with Sage Powder and Scallops, then a main of Wild Rice Crusted Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin, Vanilla Yam Purée, and Roasted Fingerling Patatoes and finishing with Okanagan Peach Crumble, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Caramelized White Chocolate and Peach Fluid Gel.

We each tried different meals so we could get a good feel for what was presented.
  It was all very good and well presented.  Well done chefs!
Enjoy a superb three course meal for $45 per person. Reservations are strongly recommended as the event routinely sells out. Call 250-391-7160 or email

The Canadian Culinary Federation members were judges.  The Federation hold regular monthly meetings at different locations throughout Greater Victoria and dinners like these are offered at each meeting.  These dinners are also open to the public.  So, if you are looking for a great meal and a new experience, we suggest that you sign up for one of these meals.  You will need to contact Bear Mountain for their monthly dinners and for the Federation meeting meals, you will need to contact Shirley Lang at

For more pictures please go to our Facebook site.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lido Bar and Bistro on the Waterfront Inner Harbour

Today two dear friends were in town from Sweden.  They wanted to meet for lunch and we wanted to impress them, so we took them to Lido bar and bistro.  It is one of the few eateries that is located on the water in Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbour.  It is located at 1234 S. Wharf Street.  If you can find the Wharfside on Wharf Street, you will see some steps going down the side of the Wharfside Restaurant toward the water.  When you reach the bottom you are just a few feet from on the best places to eat In that area and the views from the restaurant or the outside patio are spectacular.  You can watch the Harbour traffic or take in one of the amazing sunsets setting across the harbour.  The menu provides lots of variety and the food is truly delicious.  Today I had the pulled pork sandwich and a cup of the best sea food chowder I have had in some time.  It was chock-a-block with seafood and very tasty.  Our guest truly enjoyed their meal.  The Bistro is a great place for private parties.  We have been there for a private function before and the appetizers were really good.  They have a good selection of wine and beer.   I don’t think you will be disappointed if you go to the Lido.  The views from the window tables are spectacular.  The staff are friendly and helpful.  I suggest you give them a try.  For more pictures of the Lido and the food, please go to our facebook page.  Visit the Lido website and check out their menus.