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“excellent service”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Brasserie L'ecole

Brasserie L'ecole
Ranked #36 of 1,180 Restaurants in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $103
Cuisines: French, European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Downtown
new york
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“excellent service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2012

Absolutely adored this place. The restaurant has a lovely romantic atmosphere and the people who work there love what they are doing and it shows. The bartender (or maybe the owner?) walked out to the sidewalk to say goodbye to us after we had left. Superb.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank storm12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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348 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    255
    61
    22
    8
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
new westminster
Level Contributor
180 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 230 helpful votes
“Best dinner ever”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2012

The service was genuine, the staff was attentive and witty. The food, all of it, was wonderful. NY steak was delicious, endive salad was so good, bread and butter was fresh and perfectly chewy, fries in truffle oil, garlic and parmesean was perfect....Would certainly dine here again if we visit victoria again.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank jack m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central Saanich, Canada
Level Contributor
64 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Excellent Food, Service & Atmosphere (But Room for Improvement)”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2012

While the Brasserie L'ecole definitely deserves its high ranking, it's not astronomically spectacular as some of the reviews describe. Yes, the atmosphere is fantastique, the service is superb, and the food is solid, but there’s room for improvement. Perhaps its popularity has lead to complacency?

Let’s start with the many positives. First, the food! The “daily” menu is actually fairly fixed, and that’s not a bad thing. Brasserie’s long-time favourites include the steak and frites in red wine reduction sauce with a side of fries, upgraded to truffle-oil tossed fries upon request. Dining here on a Saturday night, that’s what I ordered and it was good, but not great. While cooked as asked (medium-well), the steak was regrettably far too sinewy and much too much fat still attached. That said, the red wine reduction sauce in which this piece of meat sits was deliciously silky. The side order of fries (tossed in parmesan and parsley and truffle oil) was good, although whether they’re actually hand-cut is questionable. If they are, they ought to be more rustic than presently prepared. Food presentation was executed flawlessly.

Their onion soup was a solid number, and delivers the solid French onion soup that one would expect in a fine French restaurant. For the appetizer selection, it would really be nice to see the Salad Niçoise make a return to the menu. How can you have a French restaurant without a Salad Niçoise? I don’t get it. The selection of first course/appetizers, while understandably limited, would also benefit from some micro appetizers, such as olives or something like that. The bread that’s served with dinner is OK, but again, not great. What struck me on my most recent visit to Brasserie (and I’ve eaten here approximately five times over the past five years) is that it seems to have lost a bit of its rustic appeal, at least in terms of food. I believe it’s entirely possible to have beautifully prepared and presented food whilst still retaining a bit of French country.

The dessert selection is fantastic, although their first batch of Crème brûlée failed to set and was unavailable at the time. But, no worries, because the remaining dessert choices were wonderful. My mother and I split a plate of homemade cookies, and they were quite frankly incredibly good. In terms of wine, their selection is acceptable for a smaller restaurant. A slightly greater selection of per-glass choices would help. (Side note: my beer-loving 22-year-old sister seemed to like the beer selection!)

Another attraction of Brasserie is its absolutely fun, warm, and intimate atmosphere. With a darker décor and red walls, it definitely reminds one of eating somewhere in Paris. If you visit their website you get an accurate sense of this. (Side note: it’s unfair to compare this restaurant to a Parisian restaurant. This is a Canadian Westcoast take on a French restaurant, nothing more.) With low light levels and candlelight throughout, this establishment would appeal to both a romantic couple on a date or a larger group of friends and family. We sat amongst both groups and everyone seemed at ease. With efficient, friendly service, everyone was served with relative ease and quickness. Pricewise, the place is on the expensive side but not unaffordable. It’s what you’d expect for excellent food served in a fantastic setting. Expect to spend about $100 a person, including wine and dessert.

There are only two negatives worth mentioning, however. The first has to do with the somewhat limited appetizer selection, as mentioned above. The second is the owners’ regretful decision (of some time ago) to do away with reservations. I’ve yet to see a restaurant of this caliber that uses a first-come, first-serve system in its entirety, and it’s truly disappointing. Regardless of party size, reservations are simply not available. My family took my mother out on a Saturday night for her birthday dinner and if it wasn’t for my wife and I getting in line at 4:45 PM to get a table for five at 5:30 PM, we would have had to wait until 8:30 PM to be seated. I guess that’s why the restaurant puts quotation marks around the phrase “wait-list” on their website, as it indeed would be a long wait. Even a limited number of reservable tables would enhance Brasserie’s appeal to the local patron. (Based on this negative, I rated their Service as 3/5.) Whether there is this standing-in-a-queue on other nights, however, I cannot comment. My guess is that Tuesday and Wednesday nights are probably better.

In all, the atmosphere, service and food of Brasserie are top notch. Given the incredibly limited choice of top notch restaurants in Greater Victoria, even more so. And, while Brasserie L’ecole is not perfect, it comes close to it. It’s worth a first and a return visit by all means. Bon appetit!

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Adrian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Everett, Washington
Level Contributor
206 reviews
128 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“definitely overrated”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

This is a nice restaurant but definitely not great and nowhere near the great place some of the other reviews claim. (I've spent a lot of time in Paris and this is not even in the same category.) It is fairly small restaurant so you will definitely need to arrive early if you don't want to wait. (They don't take reservations.) The wine selection is acceptable but all of the beers are bottled. My wife and I both had the steak and frites (reviewed extensively by others). The presentation was fine, but the quality of the steak was not all the great. I found this esp disappointing given the price.

Be prepared to spend about $100 per couple (not incl dessert). I don't think it is worth a second visit when we travel to Victoria next time.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank jpm-indy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parksville, British Columbia, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2012

Wonderful experience, Service was prompt/friendly. Food/wine was delicious! We arrived shortly before 5:30 pm on Friday night,joined a fairly large line-up, just squeezed in fof immediate seating, but those after us, had to wait until 7pm or later. restaurant does not take reservations, so come early!! It would be worth the wait though,we were prepared and happy to go for a walk or drink then return, but lucked out. This is the best place for dinner in Victoria!

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank jpjohn39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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