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.