One major drawback to living in Canada’s most beautiful city is that familiar moment of panic when playing host to frequent—and frequently hungry—visitors. When stomachs start grumbling, the pressure’s on you to find that elusive gem: close to downtown, impressive (but not snooty), and most importantly, somewhere that embodies the spirit of local Island culture and cuisine. There’s got to be seafood, but not only seafood. And, of course, the mandatory ocean view. Stressed yet?
Luckily, Victoria locals have known for years that right in their midst is a sure thing for impressing company: the Blue Crab Seafood House (in the Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina at 146 Kingston St.) Impressing guests suddenly seems like a no-brainer when you’re noshing on the Blue Crab’s famously fresh seafood and sipping from the meticulous (eight-time Wine Spectator award-winning) wine list, following an ocean-side stroll from downtown, perhaps pausing to feed a rotund seal at the neighboring Fisherman’s Wharf. Easy.
On a blustery Monday night when other establishments close their doors, you might find yourself amongst a party of twenty-something foodies instagramming each course, a windswept, post-beach, local family savoring seafood chowder, and couples quieting first-date nerves over local beer and rare Malbecs in the expansive ocean-view lounge.
Keeping momentum – and staying current in a town whose restaurant lifespans are as unpredictable as the weather – is no easy task. This local mainstay pulls it off with apparent ease, thanks to the Blue Crab’s outstanding culinary team.
Standouts like king crab leg with silky crab risotto, light-as-air Dungeness crab cakes and grilled asparagus (topped with king crab & béarnaise) earned stamps of approval from even the toughest critics. Zagat reviewers pondered “what more can you ask for?” from the Blue Crab’s “tasty” menu, “attention to detail” and “magnificent views” and exceptional service.
This winter, check out Feast for $35—riffing off the explosively popular sampling menu trend, for the foodie in us all. And, if you find yourself nodding off after sampling that wine menu, you’ll praise this current promotion: Take the Elevator Home. Take advantage while you can—and thank us in the morning.
Reservations are suggested but not necessary at this come-as-you-are establishment. To avoid the dinner rush—and the torture of wafting aromas on an empty stomach, visit www.bluecrab.ca or call (250)480-1999 to secure your spot.
Another thing locals and visitors alike will appreciate is that Victoria’s reigning seafood champion is anything but contained to the harbourside restaurant. Blue Crab Catering crafts personalized, full-service events only as limited as its clients’ ideas. The Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel handles the nitty-gritty, from audio-visual needs in business meetings (with lunch, of course), to intimate private dinners, or even aisle-to-reception tented weddings on their sprawling patio just steps from the water.
The hotel’s ample space includes a ballroom for large conferences or black-tie receptions; three airy, harbor-view private rooms; and penthouse suites with panoramic views of the city. And, to file under “only in Victoria”: they also partner with Orca Spirit Adventures and cater private events aboard sprawling vessels for a day of private whale watching, or a romantic night-time inner harbor cruise (to wave to the commoners as you get a taste of the good life, natch.) Pirate hats enthusiastically welcomed.
For overwhelmed folks with an event to plan, who just want to sit back, enjoy the food, and let the someone else worry about the details (who doesn’t?), Blue Crab Catering’s ultra-attentive staff can appear positively angelic. Curious? Chat about your event—be it business or pleasure—with a friendly event planner (guaranteed pressure-free) to see what’s possible. (Just call 250-940-1101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
http://www.bluecrab.ca * 250.480.1999 * 146 Kingston St. Victoria, B.C.
– Paige Paquette http://www.paigepaquette.com