Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Forking at Dine Around

In the spirit of avoiding listening to yet another lecture, I sit here contemplating my last experience being a dine-arounder at Dine Around.  Every year around the middle of February, Tourism Victoria organizes an event known as "Dine Around and Stay In Town Victoria". (This also happens in other cities - check out local tourism websites). The Dine Around portion includes local restaurants that offer a 3-course menu at a fixed price point of $20, $30 or $40. The Stay In portion includes hotels, bed & breakfasts, etc that offer accommodations at reduced rates.http://www.tourismvictoria.com/dinearound

It just so happened that this year's Dine Around event coincided with mine and the bf's 2 year anniversary. (Can I get a woot?) So after sifting through numerous menus in order to find a place that suited our both our food-likings, we decided on AURA.  Really, the bf was probably too excited about the pork belly risotto, so I couldn't say no. It would be like telling him there is no Santa Claus...or that I'm actually a dude. But yeah, the risotto...upon asking him later if he loved it more than me, he replied , "Don't make it choose". Yes, he refers himself to an "it" sometimes...don't ask me why.

The restaurant is located at the Inn at Laurel Point, which has a stunning view of the harbour and the lights of downtown Victoria. Really quite beautiful, methinks!  The place was buzzing for a Thursday, because of the first day of Dine Around, but not too packed.  I chose the the breaded shrimp, ravioli, and pumpkin creme brulee. For starters, they gave us some amuse bouche.... And really, the very name made me giggle like a tool to no end. Afterall I am pretty much a 14-year-old girl trapped inside a 12-year-old boy's body...dressed in drag. (Ergo...the sense of humor of an adolescent teen to match sometimes). Anyhow...the amuse was less than amusing. (pronounced "amoozing").  They then dazzled me with brioche, which I'd never had before and let me tell you...If you're a bland carb-lover, you will see God if you eat this!!

The shrimp was heavy on the batter which left me with little room for the main course, unfortunately.  So damn tasty, though. The batter...stringy, and crunchy. They served them with edamame and nori psate..quite delightful! The ravioli was tasty enough, a wee bit on the bland side. I wasn't feeling it, though. However, the pumpkin creme brulee was definitely the redemption of the meal.  It was mind-blasting. The bf had some sort of hazlenut chocolate 3-ways or something. The presentation was fancy, but the taste of the chocolate was less than stellar.

I have to say, that we were really well taken care of at this place, as customer services is kind of a tipping point for me, if the food is less than stellar.  And, although the food was tasty, the price point was a bit over what we normally could afford without the fixed price menu for this event. The dishes are good portion, though. I would highly recommend this place, especially for a special event (p.s. they have large separate room for parties of more than 10), or extra-fancy date night. Despite our busy schedules, we really try hard to make it a priority to set quality time together, and NOT talk about law school. Our lives are so intertwined, it's hard to make that separation from our lives as students, versus our lives as a couple.

After dinner we went to Humboldt House B& B located just outside of downtown. (http://www.humboldthouse.com/) ... And  let me tell you, if you have an itch for kitsch, this place is your scratching post. We stayed in the Mikado room....quite possibly decorated by a 70 year old dude who picked some shit up at  a garage sale/flea market. HOWEVER, the selling points are the fact that it has both a hot tub AND a fireplace. Booyah! AAaaand, there is little cubby where your breakfast appears. It was pretty rad  to eat some crepes in my robe, with the fire roaring. I am a romantic at heart. SUE ME.

In remembering this time of our anniversary last year, compared to this year, I do have to say that I am grateful that I am in a different head and heart-space. Last year was a difficult one, and am really grateful to the bf for staying by my side during the darkest times of my life to date. This year, I am much more comfortable in my own skin, am healing, and most importantly, no longer a spazztic heap of anxiety that is ready to run away from life at every turn. I was able to love and accept love and celebrate a relationship that deserves some serious props. I had a blast, and can't wait for future anniversary celebrations and exploring new places when we move to our new city...

1 comment:

  1. Out of all of this..."Afterall I am pretty much a 14-year-old girl trapped inside a 12-year-old boy's body...dressed in drag."
    Was my FAVOURITE!

    I love you. And miss you. And you deserve NOTHING but happiness. And once you move to your new city, we will organize a meet...like Drumheller this summer....we're taking the boys!

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