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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Find Coastal Cool in Victoria

2. Where to Eat

Taste the coastal bounty in cozy Ferris's Upstairs Oyster Bar.  

Admire experimental Pacific Northwest cuisine at Ulla, a high-ceilinged space strung with a tangle of ribboned light fixtures. Innovative takes on regional cuisine take the spotlight here, like a faux egg—the white made of cauliflower, the yolk of carrot and cheddar, served in a rich herb and potato soup ($10). Main courses focus on seasonal bounty, such as the Parry Bay Farm lamb with rye and confit shallot, turnips, and kale, in a licorice huckleberry sauce ($23). Reservations are a must; ask for the social table and strike up a conversation with a local.

Thaw chilly hands at Italian-influenced Café Brio. Start a night in this convivial, brick-walled space with a house specialty like meat-stuffed olives ($3), handmade by the owner’s mother using a hometown recipe from Italy’s Le Marche region. Then choose from hearty dishes like roast glazed sablefish with poached winter radish and wild mushrooms ($24) or spaghettini with roasted prawns ($22). Be sure to peruse the extensive wine list, offering over 300 options from around the world, with a unique focus on BC and Italian wines.

Hike up to Ferris’ Upstairs Oyster Bar, tucked away on the second floor of a heritage building. Amid romantic, candle-topped tables and exposed brick walls, dig into traditional baked oysters served with unusual ingredients such as cornflakes, butter, and thyme ($ each or $15 per dozen) or main dishes like seared wild sockeye salmon atop du puy lentils with pickled radish ($19).

Published on Jan 22, 2015 as a web exclusive.