We’ve been tracking the coming of The Courtney Room from across the Strait for the past couple of months, excited about the modern-meets-classic look (by Sharon Bortolotto from BBA Design with branding/identity via Glasfurd and Walker), the team they’ve put together (led by Chef Sam Harris), and the menus that read like an amalgam of my own personal favourites (mmm, vichyssoisse!). Expectations aside, now that it’s finally open – launched this week in the lobby of Victoria’s Magnolia Hotel & Spa – the thing surprising me about it is the length/breadth of its beer list. It’s a very well curated selection that really highlights the diversity of local brews. The short list of house cocktails looks interesting, too. I can’t wait to give it all a whirl!
Here’s the official word, as well as a gallery of photos:
The Courtney Room, Victoria’s newest dining destination, opens this week in the lobby of the Magnolia Hotel & Spa following a four-month restaurant renovation. With Executive Chef Sam Harris at the helm, guiding a menu that honours the very best of land and sea, The Courtney Room upholds the level of timeless hospitality characteristic of the award-winning Magnolia Hotel & Spa, which was named Travel + Leisure’s #1 City Hotel in Canada in their annual World’s Best Awards last year.
“We are very excited to see our vision for The Courtney Room come to life this summer,” says Bill Lewis, General Manager at Magnolia Hotel & Spa. “We look forward to giving guests a taste of our Island’s best ingredients in our elegant new dining room and restaurant.”
Chef Harris’ menu will enliven local and seasonal products with a classic French twist, in celebration of local farmers and flavours. The ingredient-driven menu allows each dish to convey a sense of place, highlighting produce sourced and foraged from as close as possible to the restaurant, including Umi Nami Farms, Madrona Organic Farm and Wildcraft Foraging. An Arrendoinox Maturmeat fridge allows the team to both dry age and cure local meat, resulting in dishes such as smoked garlic sausage with mustard spaetzli, cured steelhead with celeriac and pickled shimeji mushrooms and an extensive dry aged protein menu, featuring various steak cuts, Cheam View Ranch pork chop and local lamb rack. Rounding out the menu, guests can enjoy seafood towers, striped shrimp cocktail and rockfish meuniere, with a selection of vegetable dishes and sides.
Moving upstairs, the room develops into a more formal dining space, boasting Frette table linens, vintage-style lighting, brass accents and a palette of smokey grey, taupes and elegant earthen hues. The elevated feature wine room houses a varied collection, showcasing bottles suspended on floating plinths.
An approachable wine list includes selections from BC, France and an international range, as well as Le Verre de Vin wine preservation system offering 23 wines served by the glass, including Unsworth Vineyards, Checkmate Artisanal Winery and local treasure Sea Star Vineyards.
The Courtney Room offers genuine hospitality, day and night. Come and discover a true taste of Vancouver Island, combined with French flair and a warm welcome in Victoria’s newest dining destination. For dinner, lunch or brunch reservations, call 250-940-4090 or visit www.thecourtneyroom.com.
Images by Leila Kwok (supplied by the restaurant)