Jump to content

      













Photo

Veneto | Hotel Rialto | Victoria | 1450 Douglas St.


  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#1 Kikadee

Kikadee
  • Member
  • 239 posts

Posted 20 May 2009 - 09:16 AM

My co-workers and I booked a table at Veneto Lounge for last Friday evening. We were pleasantly surprised by the interior, which manages to be both cozy and modern. The wait-staff, bussers and hostess were all up-to-speed, and dealt really well with a large group, individual bills, staggered orders. The cocktail menu, which is the only one I looked at, had all the usuals and a few unique drinks that people tried: apple mojito was highly praised, as was the sazerac, and my black russian was A1, though it's pretty hard to screw that up.

The food .... hmmmmm. We were all sort of surprised that there were no salads on the menu. There were probably five women in our group who would have ordered a meal-sized salad, or soup and salad, or something with fresh greens and protein and bread, but this was a glaring omission. I mentioned it to the hostess when I left, and she agreed it was sort of odd and that she would bring it up with the powers-that-be.

I ended up ordering the "Beef" tapas: veal ravioli with mushrooms, beef short rib with polenta, and beef rouladen with lobster filling. These were presented in three small square porcelain dishes (5" x 5") on a long wooden tray, which is beautiful to look at, but damn, completely aggravating to deal with. It was really hard to cut things into bite-sized pieces in such tiny high-sided dishes; I had to use the tippy-tip of the knife and required the skills of a brain surgeon. I couldn't spin the tray to get a better angle because it was so long. So that's another minor quibble.

But the food was tasty, but it would have been much better if had arrived in a warmer state. The veal ravioli was divine: I could have eaten an entire plateful. The rest was good, and I liked it fine. My table-neighbours ordered the blue crab spring rolls, which sound delish, but they reported the taste as very underwhelming.

So, atmosphere, service, drinks, great.
Food temperature, food presentation, no salads, not so great, but could be easily amended.
Food itself, 7 out of 10 for quality, quantity, value-for-money.

I'd visit again if asked, but I think, personally, I prefer Ferris' Upstairs Lounge for drinks and nibblies, and the Tapas Bar in Trounce Alley, or any Japanese restaurant, for small-plates.

[Admin: Should this be a new thread in the restaurant/lounge section?]

#2 yodsaker

yodsaker
  • Member
  • 1,280 posts

Posted 20 May 2009 - 10:53 AM

Good report!

#3 julienne

julienne
  • Member
  • 225 posts

Posted 21 May 2009 - 07:16 AM

Agreed. Great report. I will be dining there shortly and after studying the menu, it looks like the chef is mirroring the wine list of tasting flights - 3 - 2oz pours for $10. A three plate flight of beef, crab, chicken, etc.
But like you say, some would rather have more traditional fare - salad, protein, etc.
It will interesting to see how the menu unfolds over the next few months, if at all.
Looking forward to dining there soon.

http://www.venetodining.com/

#4 hotdoglegz

hotdoglegz
  • Member
  • 119 posts

Posted 21 May 2009 - 09:01 AM

I mentioned it to the hostess when I left


Often the Host/Hostess is the lowest person on the totem pole so your comment might never be repeated.

I loved the report and I am anxious to check it out myself. Restaurants are a funny lot as they go through an adjustment phase when they first open and we like to give them time to work out the kinks (does any other industry get this perk?) before they are judged. Your review speaks very well for a place that has been open for a very short while.

#5 G-Man

G-Man

    Senior Case Officer

  • Moderator
  • 12,918 posts

Posted 21 May 2009 - 03:54 PM

^ I agree. ususally restaurants bomb at the beginning to do well from the start( with minor issues) bodes well for the future.

#6 VicDuck

VicDuck

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 409 posts

Posted 21 May 2009 - 09:59 PM

Never heard of this place before but it sounds like a good place to eat.

#7 VicHockeyFan

VicHockeyFan
  • Suspended User
  • 52,121 posts

Posted 25 May 2009 - 05:46 PM

Went in on the weekend for a quick drink, ya pretty nice looking. They had no Southern Comfort or Malibu, that is strange.

We were the only people there, at about 3 or 4pm Saturday.

#8 VicHockeyFan

VicHockeyFan
  • Suspended User
  • 52,121 posts

Posted 09 December 2009 - 08:54 AM

Veneto Tapa Lounge, the crowning touch to Danilo Danzo's $10-million restoration of the Hotel Rialto (formerly the Douglas Hotel), has been named one of Canada's Best New Restaurants for 2009 by Where magazine. Veneto was the only establishment from Victoria named to the annual Top-11 list and one of only two in B.C. after Cibo Trattoria in Vancouver.

http://www.timescolo...9805/story.html

I'm told the breakfast/lunch side of the place is going to be completely renovated in January, so it'll all be in the bar style of the south section.

#9 Bob Fugger

Bob Fugger

    Chief Factor

  • Member
  • 3,176 posts
  • LocationSouth Central CSV

Posted 09 December 2009 - 09:07 AM

I'm told the breakfast/lunch side of the place is going to be completely renovated in January, so it'll all be in the bar style of the south section.


You mean the caffe bar on the right hand side (as you enter the main doors)? That's too bad - I guess they weren't doing a brisk enough business, there.

#10 VicHockeyFan

VicHockeyFan
  • Suspended User
  • 52,121 posts

Posted 09 December 2009 - 09:31 AM

You mean the caffe bar on the right hand side (as you enter the main doors)? That's too bad - I guess they weren't doing a brisk enough business, there.


Correct. And I understand the liquor store is doing very poorly too. I'm not very surprised by that, they are focussing much to much on high-end brands only, and don't carry staples. It's a beautiful store, but volume of Potters and Lambs and Molson Canadian still pays the bills.

#11 Bernard

Bernard
  • Member
  • 4,241 posts
  • LocationVictoria BC

Posted 09 December 2009 - 09:37 AM

Veneto Tapa Lounge, the crowning touch to Danilo Danzo's $10-million restoration of the Hotel Rialto (formerly the Douglas Hotel), has been named one of Canada's Best New Restaurants for 2009 by Where magazine. Veneto was the only establishment from Victoria named to the annual Top-11 list and one of only two in B.C. after Cibo Trattoria in Vancouver.


I am shocked. We went there in September and were underwhelmed. A big reason we were unimpressed is that we were going on the basis of it being tapas - something it has nothing to do with at all. Tapas is food you can share, this is not the case with what you get at Veneto.

The cooking style is also all over the place and makes for very hit and miss dishes. The chef is taking from too many backgrounds and trying to meld them for no good reason. The strongest influence is New American Southwest.

The name of the restaurant evokes northern Italy - there is is nothing on the menu to reflect. The restaurant would better be called Trios and make it clear you get trios of dishes in a tasting menu setting.

Veneto Tapa Bar makes as much sense for the restaurant as Dusseldorf Sushi Bar does.

The food itself was a mixture of good, ok and bad. There was nothing stellar, nothing to be wowed by. The food is clearly not on the same level as somewhere like Camille's.

I had a chance to eat a restaurant that does something similar. Poppy in Seattle does an amazing job of bringing forth a plate of tasting menu food and does it in a way that is beyond belief. Poppy is truly one of the best restaurants in North America. The cost of food at Veneto and Poppy is about the same, though the quality of the execution is not at all the same.

#12 VicHockeyFan

VicHockeyFan
  • Suspended User
  • 52,121 posts

Posted 09 December 2009 - 09:53 AM

^ We are talking about an award from a magazine that is really just one large advertorial for the firms that take out display ads in same. It doesn't do any negative reviews, it's all puff pieces.

#13 Kapten Kapsell

Kapten Kapsell
  • Member
  • 2,323 posts

Posted 19 January 2010 - 05:20 PM

I passed by the Rialto earlier yesterday and the restaurant & coffee shop appeared closed. Does anyone have any information on this...?

#14 VicHockeyFan

VicHockeyFan
  • Suspended User
  • 52,121 posts

Posted 19 January 2010 - 05:25 PM

I passed by the Rialto earlier yesterday and the restaurant & coffee shop appeared closed. Does anyone have any information on this...?


I heard they were closing the coffee shop part and going to make the whole place kind of the same thing, all Veneto.

#15 Bernard

Bernard
  • Member
  • 4,241 posts
  • LocationVictoria BC

Posted 19 January 2010 - 06:19 PM

It depresses me that the Victoria restaurant scene is so much less than what one gets in Vancouver, Seattle or Portland. Adequate is what people rave about in this city.

The fact that Veneto is doing well is a testament to Victoria, not their qaulity

#16 G-Man

G-Man

    Senior Case Officer

  • Moderator
  • 12,918 posts

Posted 19 January 2010 - 07:50 PM

^ I disagree for a city 350k there are some pretty amazing restaurants here.

#17 jklymak

jklymak
  • Member
  • 3,514 posts

Posted 20 January 2010 - 06:54 AM

^ I agree with your disagreement. To compare to cities 10x as big is a little unfair. I bet per capita we are better than any of the three mentioned above.

#18 julienne

julienne
  • Member
  • 225 posts

Posted 20 January 2010 - 08:22 AM

It depresses me that the Victoria restaurant scene is so much less than what one gets in Vancouver, Seattle or Portland. Adequate is what people rave about in this city.


Best to not to dwell on it, Bernard. It will eat you alive!

The cooking style is also all over the place and makes for very hit and miss dishes. The chef is taking from too many backgrounds and trying to meld them for no good reason. The strongest influence is New American Southwest.
The name of the restaurant evokes northern Italy - there is is nothing on the menu to reflect. The restaurant would better be called Trios and make it clear you get trios of dishes in a tasting menu setting.
Veneto Tapa Bar makes as much sense for the restaurant as Dusseldorf Sushi Bar does.

All excellent points and very well wrought. The renovation was such a labour of love, the lounge and adjacent dining room are gorgeous but like you suggest there is a disconnect between the Italian-ness of the names and concept and the resulting menus.
They really have not found their stride yet. I hope they do.

#19 Holden West

Holden West

    Va va voom!

  • Member
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 20 January 2010 - 08:38 AM

^You say the Rialto can't serve anything other than gourmet pizza and pasta? It's an Italian-themed hotel because the owner is Italian.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#20 Bernard

Bernard
  • Member
  • 4,241 posts
  • LocationVictoria BC

Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:34 AM

^ I disagree for a city 350k there are some pretty amazing restaurants here.


We have a handful of good restaurants, I do not deny that, but we have a lot of mediocre restaurants. We have roughly the same number of good restaurants as Port Townsend. As much as it pains to say the next thing, Kelowna does better than we do. I really am not a fan of Kelowna.

I feel like the public here is willing to accept second rate for rather high prices. What Poppy is doing in Seattle could easily be done here. The Gyoza King in Vancouver would work here as well. There is not a need to be high, high end to be good.

As much as I like Mole or Zambri's, neither one wows me like Poppy or Gyoza King. Both of them are better than what I can do at home.

My first measure of a restaurant is to see if it something I could have done better at home or not. Most restaurants in this city can not pass this bar.

What we do have here in Victoria is an emerging set of excellent food suppliers.

As to the the name and Italian - I was not referring to the name of the hotel, I was referring to calling the restaurant Veneto. This is an Italian name and I fail to see what it has to do with new American Southwest Cuisine. I also fail to understand how Tapas relates to anything to do with the place.

Before anyone says "open your own place then!" I can not do that. With ADHD I could not work in a kitchen doing the same thing over and over again. Running a restaurant would also kill my love of cooking.

You're not quite at the end of this discussion topic!

Use the page links at the lower-left to go to the next page to read additional posts.
 



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users