Not sure where to have dinner this weekend? Dine in or takeout? This might make your choice easier: the biggest foodie event in the south Island, Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria, is on for another week, ending next Sunday, Feb. 7. Since mid-January, the Tasting Victoria team has embarked on the task of checking out as many participating restaurants as possible, and sampling their delicious menus, to give you our top list of restaurants to try out before Dine Around ends.
If dining in isn’t your speed right now, most of these restaurants have their Dine Around menus available for takeout. Check them out and let us know what you think! Thank you for supporting local restaurants.
The Courtney Room
Just steps away from Victoria’s Inner Harbour, The Courtney Room offers a Pacific Northwest cuisine, with an ingredient-driven, fresh and seasonal menu. Their Dine Around & Stay in Town offerings are no exception.
Enjoy a $60 three-course menu that encompasses the best of The Courtney Room, handcrafted to bring out the best of Pacific modern cuisine. This menu includes options to choose from—first course: kale & radicchio salad, grilled humboldt squid or beef tenderloin tartare. Second course: Lois lake steelhead trout, peace country leg lamb, roasted rutabaga hasselbacks or crispy chicken breast terrine. For dessert, options include a parsnip cake with cream cheese, chai, hazelnut and pomegranate, and a caramel bar with frozen yogurt. Dessert was definitely the highlight of our meal, as well as the stunning room, the beautiful view and the excellent service. A great experience that is definitely worth trying.
You can also choose to add optional wine pairings or beer pairings to your dinner.
Make a night of it and book a staycation at the Magnolia Hotel with rates starting at $149.
Wind Cries Mary
This Victoria restaurant is truly a hidden gem you have to try—a tucked away portal to experience the rustic riches of Vancouver Island, in the middle of Victoria’s downtown core. Wind Cries Mary is offering a $60 menu for Dine Around that will give you the ultimate taste of what the restaurant has to offer.
Their dynamic food menu has a nose-to-tail approach, utilizing all aspects of the local bounty, and is geared towards “sharing.” Wind Cries Mary is featuring six dishes with an optional carefully crafted wine pairing.
The first course on this year’s menu features fresh burrata complemented with marinated beets, Vancouver Island arugula and Okanagan pears, as well as an endive salad with green apple, walnuts and goat cheese. For course two, options include a grilled octopus right from the Juan de Fuca with BC fingerling potatoes, red pepper, house made salmon chorizo and olives, along with sesame-crusted albacore tuna. As for the main, they serve a stillmeadows heritage pork meant to share, and for dessert, a delicious chai spiced cake.
You don’t want to miss out on this incredible and unique menu, in a beautiful space with excellent service.
Ferris’ Grill and Ferris’ Upstairs
Ferris’ Grill $30 Dine Around three-course menu is one of the best deals this year. The ambiance at Ferris’ Grill is casual and fun, offering optional BC craft beer and wine pairings with your meal. For the first course, you can choose from gin and tomato soup or a goat cheese and caramelized onion tart. As for the second course, you get to choose from braised pork cheeks (with porcini and truffle gnocchi… yumm), miso glazed steelhead trout or vegetable tagine. The dessert options are lemon ricotta fritters and a chocolate trio. Take it from us, everything on this menu is delicious and worth every penny.
You can find an imaginative $40 three-course Dine Around menu at Ferris’ Upstairs this year. Choose from an exquisite beet carpaccio with french lentils tuile, horseradish yogurt, goat cheese, pomegranate and hazelnuts, or Fanny Bay oyster fritters with cauliflower, lemon and tuna tonnato sauce. As for the second course, options include a Wagyu skirt steak, seafood fregola and a grilled cauliflower steak. For dessert, you can choose from lemon ricotta fritters and a chocolate trio. We definitely recommend trying out Ferris’ Upstairs for Dine Around 2021—great quality food and excellent flavours for a fair price.
LURE Restaurant & Bar
LURE Restaurant & Bar has transformed their Patio into “WinterLURE,” complete with winter wonderland-inspired dining domes providing an exclusive, warm and cozy dinner experience overlooking the Inner Harbour. Although there is a minimum spend of $150, we had a magical experience at WinterLure, and we definitely recommend trying out their 2021 Dine Around menu and their fun winter offerings.
Book your dining dome experience here.
LURE has two different Dine Around menus this year: a $40 three-course menu that includes options from albacore tuna poke, farmhouse chicken breast, Columbia River steelhead and more; and a $50 three-course menu—which we tried out—including a caesar salad and a west coast seafood chowder, a sterling silver beef strip loin and a Columbia River steelhead. Dessert options include a dark chocolate pot de creme and a vanilla cheesecake brûlée. Their vanilla cheesecake brûlée is definitely a must try.
Another great Dine Around deal is Finn’s Restaurant’s $40 menu. Enjoy exquisite fresh seafood with incredible Harbour views. With their new lower deck heated patio, you can have a nice and cozy dining experience. Their three-course menu can be paired with local craft beer and BC wines as an option. We tried almost everything from the seven menu items to choose from: small artisan greens, fennel and orange salad, and a cup of seafood chowder to start; their second course includes a choice between Finn’s seafood linguini, pan roasted Vancouver Island rockfish and pan roasted chicken breast; and for dessert you get to choose their delicious white coffee panna cotta or their classic lemon tart.
We hope you enjoy and get the most out of the last days of Dine Around & Stay in town. Let us know which restaurants were your favourites, and we encourage you to share your food photos on Instagram or Facebook by tagging @tastingvictoria or using #TastingVictoria so we can follow you along your culinary journey.