Northwest Wining and Dining Applauds Farmers Markets in Victoria, British Columbia

July 29, 2013

Victoria, BC, farmers market photo

Thinking of visiting our neighbor to the North, the charming town of Victoria, British Columbia, for a little r&r this summer?

A recent press release reminded us to be sure to visit one of the city’s bustling farmers markets, which are now in full swing. Local favorites include the Victoria Public Market, Moss Street Market, and the Chinatown Night Market.

The Victoria Public Market at the Hudson Building is Victoria’s newest culinary experience! Vendors include everything from a butcher to a baker to a sweet-and-savory pie maker, with popular names such as Salt Spring Island Cheese, Vij’s, Olive the Senses, and Wildfire Bakery among the mix. Hours for the market are 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays and closed on Mondays, with the larger farmers markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The Moss Street Market is now in its 22nd season of providing local and organic farm-fresh produce, local foods, handmade crafts, artisan clothing, live music, and community education to visitors. Found at the corner of Moss Street and Fairfield Road, this vibrant  market operates from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every Saturday, May through October, rain or shine.

Finally, the Chinatown Night Market, located in Canada’s oldest Chinatown, happens every second Wednesday of the month from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on July 10, August 14, and September 11, 2013. This market focuses on culturally relevant entertainment, food, and artists, making it a showcase of Asian culture and a completely unique market in Victoria.

Northwest Wining and Dining’s Dishes of the Day

July 22, 2013

Palomino Seattle Scallops with Pernod Beurre Blanc

Hard to believe it’s been three months since we chose a proper Dish of the Day (last one was The Capital Grille’s stupendous Seafood Tower), so today I’ve chosen not one, but three for your viewing pleasure.

Above behold the glorious Asiago-Almond Crusted Scallops with Pernod Butter Sauce and first-of-the-season grilled asparagus,  which we enjoyed a few weeks ago at the Palomino Restaurant & Bar location in downtown Seattle (truth be known, it is in the CityCentre Building, where Spencer used to go to work at Callison Architecture every day!).

How the chef got the perfect crispy crust and still managed to leave the scallops rare in the middle is beyond me. I tried to figure out how to replicate the dish at home, but just figured I’d eat it at Palomino as often as possible.

Just last weekend, when the temperatures were high (close to 90!) in Seattle, we were lucky to score an outside seat at Le Pichet, right on First Avenue in the Pike Place Market.

Le Pichet Pike Place Market Salmon

The Seared Salmon with baby garlic tops, flageolet beans, carrots, and asparagus was like summer on a plate, the salmon perfectly cooked to rare and the garlic tops more green than garlicky. A very light white broth brought the dish together so perfectly that I lapped up every last drop with the soup spoon thoughtfully provided!

Gordon Biersch Blackened Tuna Salad

Not so politically correct, but still very well executed, is the (blackened) Ahi and Greens salad at Gordon Biersch. I feel a deep twinge every time I order Ahi, since it  (in fact, most species of tuna, except for albacore) is on the endangered list, but every so often it serves as a special treat. This one was served with a well-made miso dressing and wasn’t overly charred or spicy. A Cajun remoulade sauce was also offered, and went surprisingly well with the fish and greens.


More on Locally Grown Food

March 11, 2013

Fresh produce

Is locally grown food making an impact on the produce industry?

The answer is a resounding “yes,” according to an article in Restaurant Hospitality magazine.

“So many consumers prefer it [locally grown produce] there’s been a noticeable demand shift in the produce industry,” according to the article.

Giant agricultural lender Rabobank funded a study entitled, “Local Foods: Shifting the Balance of Opportunity for Regional U.S. Produce.” Based on statistics gathered in the study, Rabobank concluded that its core customers–mainly national-scale growers based in California–should adjust their business models and get on the locally grown bandwagon.

We’ve been singing this mantra for years, beginning in 1992 with publication of the first edition of the “Pike Place Market Cookbook.” Nice the rest of the world is finally catching up!


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