Restaurant: Lure Restaurant & Lounge
Cuisine: West Coast/Seafood/Pacific Northwest/Regional
Last Visited: May 19-21, 2012
Location: Victoria, BC (Victoria/Downtown)
Address: 45 Songhees Road (Inside Delta Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa)
Transit: eastbound Esquimalt NS Johnson St Bridge at Johnson St Bridge (Stop ID: 100061)
Price Range: Breakfast/Brunch: $10-20 ($12-15 mains), Dinner $30-50+ ($25-35 mains)
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: FMF Must Try!
- West Coast/Regional cuisine
- Seasonal menus
- Sea harbour view
- Gluten free friendly
- Vegetarian friendly
- Family friendly
- Breakfast 7:00 am – 11:00 am
- Lunch 11:30 am – 2:00 pm
- Dinner 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
**Recommendations: Paradisi Cocktail, Pan Seared Scallops, Fried Rock Crab Cakes, Halibut, Grilled 7 oz AAA New York Steak, Caramelized Lemon Tart, Goat Cheesecake Brûlée, House Made Sorbet. Breakfast/brunch: Eggs Benedict à La LURE, Cranberry Pecan French Toast
It was my second night at The Delta Victoria Ocean Point Resort and my second dinner at Lure Restaurant & Lounge. See my breakfast/brunch post for Lure here and my first dinner there here. Normally when I travel I wouldn’t eat at the same restaurant twice just because I like trying new things, but on this occasion I was invited especially to try the restaurant so that was my intention.
I already knew what was on the menu since I had dinner here the night before and yet there were still a few items I wanted to try. Being that I made quite the dent in the menu yesterday, it was a good sign that I was looking forward to coming back. Even if there was nothing inspiring left to order on the menu, I would have no problems resorting back to the Pan Seared Scallops, Fried Rock Crab Cakes, and AAA New York Steak I had the night before. Of course this would be finished off with The Goat Cheesecake Brûlée and Paradisi Cocktail to start. Those were certainly my highlights from yesterday’s dinner – see here.
Upon being seated I was actually given a dining option, I could either order from the a la carte menu or have the chef put together a tasting menu. What!? Really!? You do Tasting Menus!? Yes please! Without any hesitation I asked for the Tasting Menu which is always my preference of dining if it is also available to the public. And it was!
Being that Lure is a hotel restaurant it’s quite often that the menus and chef’s style has to cater to the masses. There needs to be something for everyone and it needs to have tourists in mind. Therefore when I order a tasting menu I get very excited because it’s almost setting a chef free to show me his personality, style and personal tastes. It really shows me what and how he cooks. The menu is a collaborative effort from the whole kitchen staff, but what I got from all the dishes I tried in 2 days was an interest in purees, spice, lots of sauces and a sprinkle of fleur de sel as the finishing touch. There were some experimental dishes and unusual flavour combinations, but generally it was enjoyable and the sommelier does a great job.
For a multi course tasting menu it’s $60-90 depending on how many courses you want and there is an option for wine pairings as well. It averages to about $10-12 a dish and to have a special menu created for you with your dietary concerns in mind is ideal for celebratory occasions. They also have a full gluten free menu. I’m not a “gluten free person” and not a fan of it as a trend, but if it’s a legit allergy, then you have lots of options dining here. Personally I have no dietary concerns, so my only request was not to hold back. So here was Chef Dan’s Tasting Menu.
On the table:
- Whole wheat poppy seed bread, Olive bread, Asiago cheese bread
- Off to a good start! I always care about the complimentary bread and at this level I do expect it. It can say a lot about the restaurant.
- The assorted breads were from a local bakery called Bond Bond’s Bakery in Victoria.
- It was served chilled, but the quality was high and they were all good enough that I wanted to visit the actual bakery after.
- The whole wheat poppy seed bread had some sunflower seeds as well and I liked the nutty texture of it. It was also quite moist.
- The olive bread was my favourite and it was moist, stretchy, chewy, but not tiresome to chew and had good olive flavour throughout with little bits of olive here and there.
- The Asiago cheese bread was good, but I couldn’t tell it was cheese bread until I got to the crust where the salty nutty grated Asiago cheese was baked onto.
- Gluten free bread available – see it here.
- Cup $6 Bowl $10
- Wine pairing: Champagne
- It was creamy, rich and hearty with chunks of potatoes, carrots, celery, bacon and tomatoes.
- It had some small clams which had gotten a bit overcooked and chewy, but were still edible and the roux base was good although the clam juice was mild.
- The Pernod was cooked out and the drizzle of chili oil was a bit unexpected, but it added a nice spicy heat.
- I like spice, but I would have preferred it with lobster oil or just plain because the clam chowder was already flavourful and good on its own.
- With pistachio butter, balsamic reduction, chèvre cheese
- Wine pairing: Alderlea Bacchus, Cowichan Valley, BC $9.25
- I love pistachio anything so I was excited for this salad.
- It was fresh and light, but the dressing was quite heavy with the pistachio butter.
- The pistachio butter actually tasted and looked more like peanut butter than pistachio and it was quite thick and creamy.
- The salty and nutty dressing was cut with the acidic balsamic reduction and it wasn’t the prettiest colour, but the combo of dressings worked.
- The dressing went well with the vegetables, but I do wish it was more pistachio based than peanut based.
- Nuts and goat cheese work really well together and the salad had a good sprinkle of fleur de sel as the fishing touch.
- Grilled brioche, dehydrated strawberry, quince quenelle
- Wine pairing: Joie Rose (Pinot Noir/Gamay), Naramata Bench, BC
- It was a very classic combination of ingredients and condiments for foie gras pâté.
- The pâté was smooth, buttery, mousse like, consistent in colour, spreadable, made with cream and I could taste the foie in it.
- The quince quenelle wasn’t too sweet, but the texture was almost of powdery grainy apples which I wasn’t too keen on.
- Quince is naturally aromatic, but I think this one was enhanced with nutmeg and/or cinnamon.
- The strawberries were semi-dehydrated and still a bit juicy rather than chewy or crispy (not sure what texture they wanted), so I was unsure of the application and intention.
- If anything I could have used a pickled component and half as much fruit to balance the plate and let the foie shine, but the pâté itself was very good!
- Smoked potato silk, beans and carrots, black truffle emulsion, glazed leeks
- Wine pairing: Thelema Chardonnay, Elgin, South Africa $12.25
- This was my favourite savoury course of the night.
- Usually black truffles are paired with dark meats, so this was different, but it still tasted good.
- The edamame beans would have been fine as green peas, but I guess they’re not ready yet either.
- The potato silk was smoked in their in house smoker and it was my favourite thing on the plate. It was rich, buttery and perfect.
- The smoked potato silk was tried, tested and true and it was pretty much a garlicky pommes purée with intense aromatics.
- It had the texture of super creamy liquid silk and a hint of parsley oil which blended in.
- The halibut was flaky moist and well seasoned. I would have loved to see the skin, but understand that it might not sit well with the clientele.
- The truffle emulsion ended up being more or less a truffle pommes purée.
- I wasn’t sure what it was meant to be eaten with since there was already a pommes purée, but the plating suggested vegetables.
- I question the truffle being used like that though because it’s such a beautiful ingredient that even a few simple shavings over top of the fish or vegetables would have been effortlessly divine.
- If it was meant to be a sauce, than a thinner truffle scented vinaigrette would seem appropriate with the fish or vegetables.
- There was already such a delicious potato purée, so it seemed slightly redundant and even truffle oil would have done the job and delivered a similar flavour profile.
- Sea asparagus sautee, marinated tomatoes, wild mushroom and parmesan polenta, tomato-squid ink sauce
- Wine pairing: Mission Hill Merlot, Okanagan Valley, BC $8.25
- This salmon dish and the Smoked Salmon Frittata they served at breakfast were kind of both on the dry side.
- I’ve had squid ink with squid, shrimps, risotto and pasta, but never with salmon so this was experimental.
- The squid ink had good aromatics and an obvious acidity from tomatoes, but I just wasn’t sure what it was supposed to complement.
- Usually salmon gets acidity from lemons, but in this case it was tomatoes so the combination was a bit new for me. I’ve had in before, but not like this with the squid ink.
- The wild mushroom and parmesan polenta were my favourite parts of the dish and they were fluffy, eggy and the texture of agedashi tofu.
- It was sweet and creamy, salty and cheesy cubes of polenta and a purée of that under the salmon without the squid ink would have been great for me too.
- It would be great to have the fish skin crispy and served with the fish, but again it might not be appropriate for the type of restaurant and clientèle.
- I really like how there is a lot of time and effort spent on the condiments and side starches though.
- Roasted pineapple, gin, black pepper ice
- I loved this. Just like the previous night, the palate cleansers are fantastic here.
- It was crushed roasted pineapple and gin infused ice with a sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper on top. It was unique.
- It was refreshing, crisp, light, slightly sweet, not boozy and with a gentle heat of black pepper.
- Pink peppercorn would be great and more fragrant and mild, but I still liked this and the pepper was minimal, but I could taste it subtly.
- Usually palate cleansers aren’t spicy or peppery, but I just liked this as a dessert.
- Saffron poached potatoes, caramelized squash, pickled leek puree, black garlic
- Wine pairing: Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington State, USA $10.25
- It was a sweet honey and salty soy glazed duck and the duck was slightly chewy, but the skin was nice and crispy.
- Brome Lake Ducks can be cooked to medium-well and still be tender, but the fat layer was well rendered.
- The pickled leek puree and caramelized squash was a bit random with an Asian inspired soy glazed duck, but it was good separately.
- Again, there were a lot of flavours going on, but I could see the effort to be original and inventive.
- Orange candied bacon, vanilla poached orange segments, pistachio crumbs
- Wine pairing: Elephant Island Orchard Winery Framboise, BC
- Bacon in desserts is almost impossible to get away from nowadays, but the combination is still good even if it’s being overdone.
- In this case it added to the dessert so I liked it. It gave the pot de creme texture and salty contrast so I found it appropriate.
- The rich chocolate pot de creme was creamy and thinner than a ganache, but thicker than a mousse so the texture was good.
- It was a notch sweet for me and I was a bit surprised there was no chili in the chocolate, but it was better that there wasn’t because there was a lot going on already.
- There were some blueberry thyme dollops and vanilla orange segments, but they almost seemed like a separate dessert.
- I’m not sure if I saw the unity with the orange and the pot de creme and I think I expected Grand Marnier or orange flavour in the pot de creme too.
- The pistachio crumbs seemed like a last minute touch, but I’m never one to argue with pistachios.
- The dessert was very chocolaty and quite sweet and slightly random with components, but it did taste good.
- It seemed a bit “work with what you have”, but in the end the Goat Cheesecake Brûlée from the previous night was the must try dessert for me.