As our list of ‘Top Restaurants We Want to Try in Victoria, But Haven’t Yet for Some Strange Reason’ continues to shrink, my partner and I are hard pressed to come up with new ones. What has helped however, is recommendations from close friends and co-workers alike as well as the occasional glance at sites such as Urban Spoon and persistent cravings for a certain type of cuisine.
Recommended by a co-worker who lived in the area, Heron Rock Bistro piqued my interest as a nice, quaint neighborhood restaurant that would be a nice change of pace for a mid-week dinner out.
Walking into the restaurant, it definitely had a quaint, bistro-like feel to the décor and ambient lighting. It was casual without being cookie cutter and romantic without being too high-class or expensive.
I ordered the clam chowder to start, while my partner ordered the crab cake. The chowder was delicious, it had the right amount of creaminess paired with the fresh seafood. My partner’s crab cake also didn’t disappoint as it was fresh, light and the dressing didn’t overwhelm the accompanying salad.
For a main course, I decided on the New York striploin steak paired with homemade hand-cut fries with garlic aioli to dip and caramelized shallot and balsamic butter on top. I’d never had balsamic butter on steak before, but the butter added a touch of sweetness to the steak that the accompanying root vegetables continued. It was delicious and definitely filling.
My partner ordered the pork chop, complete with potato, bacon and shitake mushroom hash and rosemary apple cider sauce. He said it was flavourful and tender.
For dessert, we both chose the pineapple white chocolate bread pudding and it was the largest serving of bread pudding that I’d ever seen in my life. So large, in fact, I couldn’t even finish eating it.
So, if you’re looking for a great neighborhood restaurant with casual and romantic ambience, head to James Bay and to Heron Rock Bistro. You won’t be disappointed.