The monopoly tycoons of the 19th century traditionally did their wheeling and dealing at fine-dining establishments, cleverly concealing the fact that they still lived with their parents. Dine like a railroad baron with today's Groupon: for $20, you get a four-course prix-fixe lunch at Nautical Nellies (a $40 value). The four courses include:
- Root-vegetable velouté (a $6 value)
- Wilted spinach salad (an $8 value)
- Grilled chicken breast (an $18 value)
- Duo of mousse (an $8 value)
Nautical Nellies' chefs coax robust flavours from quality ingredients, catching the attention of taste buds as well as OpenTable, where it garnered a Diners' Choice award. Palates awaken as velvety root-vegetable velouté collides with apple-ginger chutney (add smoked albacore tuna for $2), creating a matrix of taste and texture as delicate and dramatic as the power struggle between pepper and salt. Come the second course, diners hunt applewood-smoked bacon, walnuts, and sautéed mushrooms in a jungle of wilted spinach salad coated in layers of honey-dijon dressing. The main course plates a protein-packed grilled chicken breast beside chanterelle mushroom butter, grilled asparagus, cashews, and tarragon-scented rice pilaf that whispers romantic sonnets to the nose (upgrade to a 6-ounce peppercorn new york strip steak and fries for $10). During dessert, gustatory expeditions conclude when a duo of mousse unites Callebaut chocolate, wild raspberries, and lavender shortbread. Though not included with today's deal, servers happily suggest drink pairings from an extensive wine list to enhance each course or further enliven the atmosphere on the heated patio.
Nautical Nellies Restaurant
Nautical Nellies Restaurant, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2016, is no stranger to recognition. The eatery, which overlooks the city's inner harbour, has garnered multiple Open Table Diners' Choice awards in categories including Best Food, Best Seafood, and Best Overall. Fillets of wild Pacific halibut or Vancouver Island ling cod flake beneath forks, and shellfish, lobster, and Dungeness crab claws teeter on multi-tiered seafood towers. Diners can sample 10 varieties of oysters and rolls of fusion sushi. Grass-fed Angus steaks, aged for 35 days, are cooked to any specification, from well done to what chefs term “blue”— seared on the outside, with a cool centre and a scrawled-on frowny face.
Thanks to the work of wine director Betty Furneaux, Nautical Nellies' beverage programs are just as thoughtfully designed as its dining menus. Wine Spectator honoured the eatery's wine list with an Award of Excellence in 2011, 2013, and 2014. Cocktails range from beachy mojitos to the savoury double-prawn caesar with vodka, Clamato juice, and two black tiger prawns. The restaurant also dedicates a section of the menu exclusively to scotch.
1001 Wharf St.
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1T6