Brasserie "L'ecole" - Victoria

We were in Victoria around the time of our anniversary, so we decided to splurge one night on a fine dining restaurant called "Brasserie L'Ecole". I was pretty excited, because I had heard that this French bistro was one of the best restaurants in Victoria. One thing to keep in mind about this restaurant is that they don't take reservations, and they don't have a set menu. Instead, there is a 'fresh sheet' everyday.

The restaurant itself is located in Chinatown. There is a very cool mural on the side of the building.

The restaurant itself was pretty small, and has your typical bistro feel - Toulouse Lautrec posters, red walls with dark wood trim.

Here was the day's fresh sheet (I know, I've been really slow to write about this).

I normally don't take pictures of bread, but I couldn't resist the cute little butter pot. The bread was good, though nothing spectacular.

For appetizer, we shared some Frites with Parmesan, garlic, parsley and truffle oil ($8). This was so good - the potatoes really tasted like potatoes (potatoey?), and the fries were exceptionally well seasoned. The garlic and the Parmesan really gave these potatoes a yummy savoury quality. The aioli that accompanied the frites was probably the best I've had, because it had a pronounced vinegar flavour which went especially well with the greasy fries. As you can see, the portion was huge. We were impressed.

Shane ordered the Boeuf Bourguignon with parsley potatoes ($22). The bowl came piled high with the stew. It looked really good. It tasted even better. The beef was cut in large chunks which were meltingly tender, and the dish had an incredible richness of taste. Everything about it--the texture, the seasoning, the flavours--were perfect. Shane was in heaven, and I was quite jealous.

Similarly inspired by reading 'My Life in France' by Julia Child (an excellent read, by the way), I got the Rock Fish Meuniere with vegetables ($23). For those of you that haven't read the book, 'Sole Meuniere' was the first dish Julia had in France, and it introduced her to the exciting, sensuous world of French cuisine. The rock fish, when it arrived, looked spectacular. The presentation was lovely. The fish was cooked nicely, with a nice sear on the edges. However, the fish was a little underseasoned, even with the addition of capers. It was also a little too greasy for me, though of course how could it not be, being fried in butter and all. But I guess in comparison with the robustly flavoured Boeuf Bourguignon, the fish really suffered.

However, the vegetables, which were served on the side, were really delicious and incredibly well cooked. It was the first time I had tried fiddleheads, and I really liked it (fresh, green tasting, with a subtle slippery texture). The veggies were the best part of the dish.

Check out this coffee presentation. It's cute, no?

Yes, we had dessert, even though we were really full. The creme brulee was very good, with a really thick crust yielding to the eggy goodness underneath. It didn't blow my mind, but it was a pretty nice ending.

Dining at the Brasserie was a very special experience. There was so much care put into the food, and you can't help but admire and appreciate that. I would definitely come back. For the Boeuf Bourguignon.


1 comment:

  1. looks so good. the veggies would be my fave too, but to be honest i've never had fiddlehead.