Friday, March 1, 2013

Dine Around 2013 Guest Post: The Flying Otter

this is part of a series of guest posts covering Dine Around 2013

About the Guest Poster
Cassie lives and dines in Victoria and is thankful to her patient friends who wait while she paparazzis their meal. She says "I love Dine Around in Victoria - trying restaurants I haven't been to in a while and dropping in on places that I already love - to try something new." 

February 27, 2013
The Flying Otter Grill was last year's DA find - a new-to-me restaurant that surprised and delighted our group.  The experience was so great, it caused us to return to the restaurant post-DA (which is the entire point of the promotion).  We eagerly anticipated their DA menu for 2013.

Both the indoor and 'patio' seating are toasty warm and comfortable, thanks to heaters and a large corner fireplace (which the staff happily informed us could be turned off when we got too warm...which we eventually did).  The Flying Otter has drink specials almost everyday - so in addition to a great meal-deal - we added some well priced mojitos and beer sleeves (and a nice large soda for the DD).

We split the difference at our table of four ordering two $20 and two $30 menus.  

$20 Menu appetizers: Wild Mushroom Tart & French Onion Soup
Starters off the $20 menu included a wild mushroom tart.  It was a nice starter size, flaky pastry filled with mixed mushrooms and the perfect amount of goat cheese, and French onion soup - piping hot, filled with soft onions and a topped with a large broiled, cheese crouton.

$30 Menu appetizers: Halibut Bites & Tuna Tataki Tacos
 Off the $30 menu we tried the halibut bites - nice thin-battered fish, shoe-string fried potatoes and tangy coleslaw.  It was a mini-meal in itself, as well as the tuna tataki tacos with diced mango, onions and pea shoots, wrapped in small, soft flour tortillas.  The tacos were excellent, very flavourful.

$20 Menu main: Chicken Legs with Truffled Mac & Cheese
For mains, the $20 offerings we chose included the popular chicken legs with truffled mac'n'cheese served with toasted jalapeño cornbread.  We saw several other tables in the restaurant order this dish as well.  Our hook was the truffled mac'n'cheese - which did not disappoint.  The chicken legs (two full legs and thighs!) we're also a hit - crispy fried on the outside and, although it sounds cliché, tender and juicy on the inside.  Truth be told - the second leg was taken home by both diners for a midnight snack/next day's lunch.

$30 Menu mains: lamb sirloin & Crab and Shrimp Ravioli
Our $30 choices were a lamb sirloin (prepared a perfect medium rare and barely needing the steak knife to cut it).  It was served with two large potato croquettes - pillowy-soft mashed potato patties fried until crisp.  The plate was finished off with baby carrots and asparagus spears - with a pleasant crunch to them still - a nice change from the usual soft veggies many places throw on the plate. The other selection was a generous serving of crab and shrimp ravioli with a saffron-cream sauce and sprinkled with red pepper slices and feta cheese to finish it - plus two generously garlic-buttered pieces of bread.  Really creamy and delicious.

$20 Menu desserts:
Desserts were delicious across the board.  The $20 menu selections were the white chocolate mousse tower.  The presentation was great - with a chocolate 'net' around the mousse and plenty of whip-cream to accompany the whole dish. The other option was the trio of cheesecake.  One new york style with a garnish of raspberry puree, one brule with a thin, crisp crust and one good it should be illegal - so glad this deep-fried option is on their regular menu.

$30 Menu dessert: Chocolate Trio
And finally the $30 menu choice was the same for both diners - the chocolate trio.  Chocolate ice-cream scoop, a silky-smooth pot de creme and two triangles of a rich, chewy brownie, garnished with whip cream.

Everything was great at the Flying Otter Grill and it reminded us that we need to come to this place more often - the food is prepared with care, the service is genuine and the ambiance is cozy (even without the toasty fireplace!).