Victoria’s Il Terrazzo

This week, I pointed the Acura towards Victoria with the primary goal of replenishing my supply of Dutch Bakery Meat Pies, a favourite since 1956.  Alas, I was to be denied said bundles of deliciousness. The bakery was closed for staff vacation! Who closes in July? Apparently the Dutch Bakery. 

But we decided to continue the trip and perhaps do a little shopping which was a success. We had a nostalgic drive around some old parts of the city and eventually headed for an early dinner at IL TERRAZZO, that wonderful Italian joint in a little alley just off lower Johnson Street. 

It has been several years since I was last there and about 25 since Sheila had been. She told our waiter saying he was probably just a kid last time she was there. He said, “No I’ve been here for 27 years”. Speaks well for a restaurant. 

The place is delightfully funky. Indoor, covered outdoor sort of patio. Lots of old brick, plants and fireplaces. We were seated at a table for two right beside a fireplace. Perfect. Our Waiter, Neil, and the rest of the staff were outstanding. Knowledgable, courteous, and really efficient. 

We shared a wonderful CEASAR Salad. Sheila opted for the MELANZANE Al FORNO, a delicious dish of eggplant , mushrooms, garlic, cheese in a tomato sauce over folded pasta. 3 days later she is still raving about it. For me it was the Calamari. it was like a Squid Steak, lightly breaded and served with Chorizo, roasted peppers, tomatoes with Polenta. Delicious. We didn’t need it but since I’ve never met a Creme Brûlée I didn’t like, we shared one. It was good but no better than my homemade, says he modestly. 

Il Terrazzo is a gem. A must go. If you have never been, put it on your bucket list. Reservations are absolutely a must as they are always busy. Their on line reservation system is the best I’ve ever used, by the way. Plan ahead or you just won’t get in. Open for dinner only from 4.  

You can check out the menu and reserve here.

Great decor, great food, great service. We love Il Terrazzo. 

Just saying…

Concert at St Andrew’s Lodge

At the Northwest end of Qualicum Beach is a beautiful parcel of land that was formerly the site of St Andrew’s Lodge, a facility that opened in 1938. It included a home a and some small cottages designed and built by Simon Muir Little, a local architect. St. Andrews welcomed guests for more than 80 years. Little’s daughter Elizabeth ran the lodge into her 80’s. After the lodge closed the St Andrew’s Historical & Cultural Society was formed to preserve the lodge. The cottages are gone but they plan to restore the lodge to its original beauty.  

As a fund raiser, last night they held a concert. Featured was the ISLAND BRASS QUINTET, a wonderful group comprised of two Trumpets, a Trombone, a French Horn and a Tuba. The Tuba is played by an old classmate and friend from Nanaimo, Bruce Roberts, who, at 82 continues to amaze me with his musical talent. 

The group played two sets which included tunes line ‘Ain’t Misbehaving’, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, ‘It’s a Wonderful World’ ( featuring a fabulous Trombone Solo). The group ended the night with ‘Jada’.  A superb concert that was certainly enjoyed by the audience who were sitting on the lawn with their portable chairs. The weather cooperated, too.  

The Island Brass Quintet are playing several concerts in the Nanaimo area over the summer. If you get a chance to hear them, please take it. You will not be disappointed. 

The crowd of a couple of hundred donated their admission which raised $3000 for the society. 

Great music, great fund raiser! 

Just saying…

Dinner at Kalvas

For the past 11 years I have driven almost daily past KALVAS Restaurant In PARKSVILLE.  Don’t know why I’ve never tried Kalvas. However a week ago my dear friend Sheila invited me to dinner at Kalvas. It was Prime Rib Night so I was ready for some beef as well as Escargot since very few restaurants serve the latter. 

Kalvas is in a charming Log Building and I was impressed with the interior. Rustic but sort of elegant. There are some very private window tables, perfect for a date. Our waiter was a very tall chap originally from New Zealand and he is a pro. Charming, funny and efficient. 

We both ordered Escargot which turned out to be rather disappointing. The snails and a few mushroom caps were heaped on an escargot plate and with not enough garlic butter, the best part of escargot. Sheila ordered Oysters Rockefeller as an entree and was stunned by the result. Clearly this was not a traditional Rockefeller. It was a gloppy mess with some rice on the side. Strange and disappointing and not like any Oysters Rockefeller we’d ever seen. 

Oysters Rockefeller?

I selected the Prime Rib which was quite good. Not wonderful but good. The Yorkshire was excellent and the size of a softball. The beef was accompanied by excellent mashed potatoes and some vegetables. Some gravy on the side and some horse radish would have complimented the plate. 

Very generous Prime Rib!

On a positive note our waiter comped a Creme Caramel which we shared for dessert. It was delicious and swimming in Grand Marnier. 

Would I go back? I’d have to think long and hard. It’s not cheap. 

If you want to try it the menu is here.

Open Tuesday thru Sunday.  Located at the corner of 19A and Molliet just west of McDonalds. Dinner only. Reservations recommended. 250-248-6933.

Just saying…