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Victoria, BC, V8V 1T3
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Il Terrazzo Ristorante
Remember that English is my second language so please be lenient. Fernando
Last night we went to “Il Terrazzo”. It’s that time of the year when we go and check out the restaurants that our guests have been visiting during the summer. This one always has good comments and I personally liked it as well.
Probably one of the reasons why I liked it is because the restaurant’s ambiance brought me back memories of a really good time living in Rome years ago. In the early eighties I got a grant from the Dante Alighieri, an Italian cultural association at the University of Seville. I was studying Italian and I chose Rome from other Italians cities. Not the best place to learn correct Italian but I didn’t care because in reality I was after ART. And I got plenty!
In one occasion, I was invited to go to a famous restaurant in Trastevere. The name of it is “Cencio La Parolaccia”. I was there years ago in the off season, apparently these days is too tourist. But when I was there I had fun, good food and of course I got insulted. Parolaccia means ‘bad word’ and you are treated there let’s say in a “down-to-earth-good-Trastevere-casual way. You will be insulted! By everyone, especially the waiters! I remember vaguely someone mocking the Spanish soccer team that lost in the previous world cup. Since I dislike soccer I didn’t care but not to disappoint the insulter I pretended to be so. After all, in Rome a big part of life is about pretending.
Il Terrazzo has a very similar feeling. Not the insults of course, but the ambiance. Wall red bricks, arches, lamps with real candles, little corners, smells, different levels, corners and some interesting framed drawings specially those that you will see going to the bathrooms. And more important, it all have a nice feeling of authenticity, of have being in the restaurant in times pasts, not just made yesterday to look like years ago and put by a interior designer.
In the same fashion that “La Parolaccia” is situated in one of the most authentic areas of Rome (my beloved Trastevere), “Il Terrazzo” is located around China Town which has a really nice genuine atmosphere of old Victorian streets and docks.
Once inside there is a welcoming warm from the different fireplaces and a beautiful atmosphere thanks to the alive conversations of the patrons (not as loud as La Parolaccia, and thank goodness for that).
About the food, as appetizer, I ordered FUNGHI ARROSTO (Portabella mushroom in a focaccia crumb and herb crust, oven baked with garlic butter, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts; sliced and tossed with baby spinach, crispy capers and balsamic vinegar). Really good and healthy.
Don had something even tastier- POLPETTE di GRANCHIO e SALMONE (toasted crab and salmon cake served on mixed baby greens with slices of vine-ripened tomato and cilantro pesto).
As main, I order my all-time favourite LINGUINE alle VONGOLE con SALSICCIA (steamed Manila clams, spicy pork sausage, fennel, saffron, tomatoes and cream). It was good and plenty. I wish restaurants in these parts of the planet would serve less food so I would have some energy to go to the dessert. Don ordered CIOPPINO (traditional seafood stew with prawns, scallops, tuna, mussels, fennel, chipotle peppers, tomatoes and fried bread- one of his favourites too. Including wine, tip and taxes, the bill came to about $120 Canadian.
After such demonstration of culinary plentyness, it was most welcome to walk back home putting a niece end to a lovely evening. The location of this restaurant in reference to us is excellent. About twenty minutes of lazy walk that help to digest the abundance of the meal. We passed in front of the Empress and then the legislator looking splendid in the night’s lights.
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