Il Terrazzo

December 30, 2011
Although Il Terrazzo is located in downtown Victoria, the narrow and dimly lit alley leading to the entrance seemed somewhat ominous at night. As we neared the entrance, the sounds of dishes clattering and people chattering permeated through the glass doors, creating quite a contrast with the quiet and deserted street outside.

The restaurant itself was very dimly lit, but the atmosphere was cozy and intimate.

As we were still very full from the afternoon tea at Fairmont Empress, we decided to get a couple of drinks and appetizers to share. I tried one of the cocktails — the French lemonade ($6.25). It tasted ok but was so sweet that I felt like I was drinking syrup.

We wanted something light, so we opted for seafood over meat. The capesante e tonno affumicato ($13), meaning "scallops and smoked tuna" in Italian, was indeed a refreshing appetizer. The scallops were juicy and tender, and the tuna was soft with a hint of smokiness. What I enjoyed most about this dish was the marinated wakame seaweed on top. It was a very flavourful rendition of the Japanese wakame salad.

The aglio arrosto e cambozola ($12) was a dish of roasted garlic bulbs served with cambozola blue cheese and rosemary flatbread. I had never liked blue cheeses because I found them overly strong and putrid, but this variety was not very intense. The cambozola, also known as blue brie, was creamy and mild yet still possessed a subtle form of the characteristic sharpness of blue cheese.

When the waitress realized we weren't ordering entrees, she brought us our complimentary basket of bread. If she had given it to us at the beginning of the meal, we probably wouldn't have ordered the dish with flatbread. We were just that full from the afternoon tea! The bread was remarkably soft and fluffy with very fine pores, and I enjoyed the savoury chopped olive dip despite not being a fan of olives.

The tiramisu ($8) was amazing and honestly the best I've ever had. The espresso and cocoa flavours blended together perfectly, making the dessert very rich and satisfying. The lady fingers were soaked through with espresso and complemented by the velvety smooth and creamy mascarpone. I would come back just for a piece of this Italian dessert.

Although we only tried a couple of dishes, I feel I can safely say this is a restaurant worth visiting. The prices are definitely on the high end, but the ambiance is quite charming and the food is very good quality. The tiramisu, in particular, is a must-try!

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