March 16, 2014

Pescatores, Downtown Victoria

Saturday night, and I have a pair of tickets to see the next part in the Hobbit Trilogy at the IMAX.  The IMAX yearly pass is one of the best values in Victoria.  Free documentaries, and $5 hollywood films.  So, you don't get many Hollywood films, but they are always the big ones that make sense to watch on the massive screen in face melting detail.

But before a film, a dinner.  It's Dine Around Victoria still and I'd like to take the Brunette of my Acquaintance out.  And I've never been to Pescatores, which is meant to be a fine place for a date night.  So I book through OpenTable and we trot down town for an early meal.

We head down past the oyster into a nice lit (low and gentle, but not dark) wood and plaster room.  It's nicely laid out, with giant fans lazily rotating on the roof, big prints on the walls which are vaguely cubist.  I am sure the Brunette could tell me the exact style or artist.  Big blocky, shapes of large colour showing abstracted figures.  Anyways, I liked the ambiance.  And the big columns of fish tanks, one of which we were sat next to.

We scanned both the $30 and $40 menu, the Cioppino jumped out at both of us.  It promised a pile of west coast sea food in an Italian style stew.  It's meant to be great here, so of we went on the $30 menu.  The starter I ordered was the Calamari.   Unispiring, tastleless squid. Lightly coated in a crispy coating, but there was no flavour to the meat, or the coating.  Just the tomato and olive paste to rescue it.  Just really average.  The salmon salad I tasted on my companions plate was excellent.  Well smoked fish, with a sparky lemon vingarette rounded out by the salad leaves.  My rabbit DNA approved of the greens.  But I lost the first round.

The drink menu had been perused, and I couldn't find a decent beer to go with my meal.  I like something hoppy with most food, or a really crisp clean lager.  And Coors doesn't count.  Struck out there, but stuck to the water (which was kept well topped up all through the meal).  But a great white wine was found to pair with the Cioppino, and the Brunette was very much in heaven with the grapefruity, citrus wine she got.  I'm afraid I just don't like wine very much, so the name has escaped me, but it was good.

The stew resurrected the meal. No beer was needed to lift this meal up.  A steaming pile of fish and shellfish arrived, swimming in a tomato/wine stock.  A thick stock, but not so it over powered the fish.  We had lumps of white fish, pieces of crab and scallops, and some tasty morsels of salmon.  All merged and combined together to make a fantastic medley of flavours and textures.

Dessert nailed it for me.  A huge slice of cheesecake, topped with a salted caramel milk sauce.  A dense filling with the right mix of savoury in with the oh-so-sweet base and sauce.  I had to defend it from the attacking fork of my companion.  She was (rightly) disappointed by the tiramasu which was a bland, wobbly white sponge lump.  We almost fell out over my insistence that the cheesecake was mine, which was seen as a most selfish position to take over a dessert.  But just the one ring, it was MY PRECIOUS.  Even if it didn't make me invisible.  It was just that good.

But a calamitous argument was avoided in the restaurant, and we left as friends (and I guess I will just have to take her out for cheesecake).  Full and mostly happy stomachs, good company with a good meal at a fair price.


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