Third & Final Stop on the Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria Tour: Vista 18

I saved the best for last to close out our Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria Tour. We chose Vista 18 partially for the beautiful views of the city and the waterfront but also to try out some amazing food.

After perusing the menu, we decided to try the $30 selection. Our server, the ever easy going and good natured Russell, commented that many people were averse to trying the steak dish in the entrée after being told what sweetbreads were, but having developed a taste for pate, sweetbreads didn’t scare me.

My partner and I both decided to try the chicken terrine as an appetizer. It has less of a spreadable texture than I thought it would, but it was still tasty paired with the rosemary crackers that had come in our bread basket.

For a main course, I did choose the steak with the sweetbreads and onion Yorkshire pudding. My partner went with the pan seared sablefish with spicy tomato and octopus ragout. The steak I had was even better than the one I had at Spinnakers a few days previous, but Russell was right, the crowning achievement of the dish was definitely the crispy breaded sweetbreads.

They were so good, I’m still craving them now, in fact. My partner did enjoy his fish, but the ragout was a little too spicy for him.

To round out the evening, he had the flourless chocolate torte with peanut butter ice cream for dessert, while I chose the cardamom panna cotta with a cardamom shortbread cookie. My partner was addicted to the peanut butter ice cream while the panna cotta and cookie were so good, sometimes I feel like I can still taste them.

Overall, I’d say Vista 18 was definitively the winner out of the three restaurants for me and I can’t wait to have dinner there again.

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PS. Missed my post on Chez Michel or Spinnakers Gastro Brew Pub?

PPS. Sorry for the blurry photos, forgot the camera and had to make due with my partner’s phone.

Band, Bubbles and Bennys: Victoria Taste Festival’s Premier Brunch at Vista 18

Since I stepped into Vista 18 the first time and sat down to a delicious brunch with a seemingly endless mug of coffee, it has become one of my favorite restaurants. A great spot for a glass of wine or cocktail, listening to jazz bands or a lone singer strumming his guitar while enjoying a panoramic view of the downtown core; Vista 18 had been an after dinner spot for myself and my partner on more than one occasion.

When I heard that Vista 18 was hosting the ‘Band, Bubbles and Bennys’ brunch event as part of the Victoria Taste Festival in late July, I grabbed a ticket right away and made sure to get there early enough to grab a good seat.

The band was just warming up as we took our seats and were waiting for the first course. Sitting at a table that included Gigi Seals, Executive Director of the BC Wild Salmon Council was a treat in of itself, as she regaled the table with stories of all the restaurants she’d been to and well-known chefs that she spoke to.

The first course was a delicious glass of pickled watermelon, paired with my favorite white wine of the day, See You Later Ranch Brut. It wasn’t too dry and had a citrus finish. We then moved to a mixed fruit and French vanilla yogurt parfait, complete with lavender and a little granola. This was paired with Sea Cider Pippins, which I tolerated but wasn’t my favorite as I don’t enjoy dry cider.

For the main course, I chose the Eggs Benedict with beef short rib and whiskey BBQ hollandaise sauce. I’d never had Eggs Benedict with short ribs before but it was amazing, tender enough to just melt in my mouth. The main course was paired with Vigneti Zanatta Glenora Fantasia Brut, a sparkling white wine that I put as number three on my list of favorite wines for the day.

In between courses, our table chatted about everything from fishing to remodeling homes and restaurants. The band played jazzy tunes and big band hits in the background as we chatted, adding to the comfortable, yet sophisticated atmosphere I’d come to expect from Vista 18.

For dessert, we were treated to a strawberry stuffed with dark chocolate mousse(one of my guilty pleasures) paired with hazelnut shortbread and Elephant Island ‘Pink Elephant’, a deep red wine with Granny smith apple cuvee and cassis dosage. It was delicious and it became my second favorite wine of the day, one that I will definitely order again.

Overall, it was a great brunch experience at Vista 18 and for me, a successful return trip to one of my favorite restaurants in the city.

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Lilian Sue-In Retrospect Writing Services, Owner & Operator