Restaurant review: Il Terrazzo, downtown Victoria

It doesn’t mean that because I have a paper due tomorrow, I can’t go and do something nice on my birthday. So my boyfriend asked me to choose a restaurant to go to, and I chose an Italian situated downtown, Il Terrazzo.

Il Terrazzo is in Waddington Alley, between Johnson and Yates. You kinda have to know it’s there; the entrance is off Johnson, which is a main street. But the entrance alley, even though still in winter mode, was nice to walk through; you felt like you were heading into some intimate but nicely situated terrasse. There was some space for outdoors tables, and you could imagine the crowd on nice summer evenings waiting in lines to get a spot outside.

The décor of the restaurant was typical of a higher-end Italian restaurant, but it serves its purpose very well. Nice dark wood tables and chairs, the seating area is wide open and the ceilings are high. Brick walls contribute to the intimate and welcoming atmosphere.

The menu is short but interesting; the wine list, to say the least, extensive. We both had martinis; I had something called Leornardo, which was delicious and did not taste like alcohol at all–a sign of a good martini. It involves pear liquor, ice wine and vodka–seriously one of the nicest drinks I ever had.

We ordered a bruschetta for an entrée. It was simple but effective: fresh-baked crusty peasant bread, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, shaved cheese of which I cannot remember the name but apparented to parmiggiano. I am not a fan of raw vegetables, but I could easily eat two pieces.I thought it was very good–although I am no cuisine expert.

It is halibut season in British Columbia, and I had the local halibut filet with a blackberry, green peppercorn and cheese sauce. Halibut is a very soft, white fish; it can handle a strong-tasting sauce. I thought the contrast between the sweet blackberries and the salty cheese interesting and especially pleasing. The halibut was served over pasta and three-cheese sauce, with a side of seasonal vegetables: carrots, asparagus and yellow zucchini. The asparagus were cooked to perfection; still crunchy but soft, and not soggy at all.

Since it was my birthday, I surrendered to dessert: I had the flourless chocolate cake, which ended up being basically a chocolate fudge cake. I really liked the local organic rhubarb and ginger compote, which I finished even when I couldn’t eat another bite of cake. I couldn’t finish it; it was very rich and chocolatey.

All in all, a pleasant experience which I would repeat for special occasions.

Price range:

Entrée, between 6 and 12$

Main course, about 15$ for the pizzas, 20$ for the pasta and 30$ for the meat courses

Dessert, between 6 and 12$

Wine: from very cheap to crazy expensive; I didn’t take a very close look at the wine list, which was 4 times thicker than the menu.

The menu changes often with the seasons; the website has their menu and is updated regularly. Also, reservations are highly recommended, especially during tourist season.

Il Terrazzo restaurant
555 Johnson Street
Victoria, BC
V8W 1M2

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Filed under Restaurants, Reviews

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