Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Victoria BC Dining: Paprika Bistro (Now Padella Bistro) Is A Winner

Last night three of us dined at Paprika Bistro, in a charming part of Victoria's Oak Bay.

Trip Advisor reviewers had said nice things about it, and a passing comment in Chowhound caught our eye, even if the commenter wrote "It is simple fair" for "fare."

Overall we were quite pleased with our choice. The restaurant itself presents a charming and attractive appearance. The seating area is broken up into several quasi-separated rooms, with the ambience of an old house. The table we'd reserved was in an area with only one couple at a table distant enough that we were barely aware of them.

The service was friendly and attentive. We took advantage of the optional three-course add-on for an additional $14. That included a choice of soup or salad (arugula or an interesting bright red beet soup) and a generously sized crème brûlée for dessert that was as good as any we've ever had.

For the main, Kathy and Brian chose from the menu the homemade pasta, bucatini , with braised beef, that was heartily reminiscent of a goulash.

Our guest, Louise, said her grilled pork loin was some of the best pork she'd ever eaten in B.C.

The house-made bread (they use a starter, although it's not sourdough) was so good that our server brought us a second basket.

With a modest quantity of house wine and the various taxes, the final bill for three of us was well north of $150, but for that we enjoyed a creative three-course meal and attentive service in a charming restaurant. In Victoria, that's good value.

 February 2013 update: We just checked out Trip Advisor and the restaurant's name has been changed to Padella Bistro as of Fall 2012. Unfortunately the most recent reviews there aren't kind so we'd check around before returning.

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