Now that we’ve all emerged from our January hibernations, this month there are lots of food and drink happenings to keep our minds off those dark evenings as we watch spring approach. Tourism Victoria’s Dine Around and Stay in Town starts this month, some of the best restaurants in town are offering up three course pre-set menus with local beer and BC VQA wine pairings.
Ranging (food only) from $20 – $50 per person, I’m eyeing up 10 Acres Bistro for the $30 option to try quinoa fritters paired with Poplar Grove Viognier, a farm grain bowl with seasonal vegetables, barley, lentils and mild Madras curry sauce (pairing is Driftwood Brewing’s White Bark Witbier), and a vanilla crème brûlée to finish. Varsha Indian Kitchen has a great $20 menu, and you’ll find more menus on the Tourism Victoria website for spots like Lure, The Guild, North 48, Crooked Goose and more. Local hotels like the Empress, Delta, Hotel Zed and others are offering room rates at a deal to take your dining experience into a stay-cation night or weekend.
Spinnakers is pulling off a huge feat to reopen after a fire ripped through the upstairs of the pub in November. In late December they reopened the downstairs, and they’ve just released a Fire Fighter’s Session Thirst Extinguisher beer to raise money for the Victoria Firefighter’s Charitable Foundation, and say thank you to the emergency services crews for their work in saving the building from total loss. Prima Strada is closing their Bridge Street location, and opening in Cobble Hill next door to Drumroaster Coffee (a must stop on any road trip north), a vegetarian butcher is coming soon to the Victoria community, Farm & Field Butchers recently opened on Blanshard next to Discovery Coffee’s new location (try their plum and French brandy sausages, and bacon), Relish is open seven days a week now, and Discovery has just opened their fifth location.
Victoria Beer Week tickets are on sale now, event details are at victoriabeerweek.com, for March 3 – 11 this year. Opening night is a cask night, and there are ticket packages this year to get a deal on multiple events. Over 50 craft breweries will be here to join the festivities, most bring new beers and old favourites. I’m looking forward to the food pairings and creations that come along with Victoria Beer Week like pies from Victoria Pie Co., cheeses, brunch, and more. If you want to volunteer, check out the website to get in touch. Wherever the food adventures take you, this winter has lots of local options.