Deep Cove Chalet

11190 Chalet Rd, Sidney BC tel: (250) 656-3541

While the Deep Cove Chalet may not be the destination for trendy Victoria diners, this extremely out of the way restaurant is not without appeal for foodies that don't mind a drive.

More or less lost in the 1970s, the Deep Cove Chalet is a sophisticated restaurant where your grandma would feel very comfortable. Similarly, the age of health-consciousness never set foot in the door of this restaurant. What the Chalet lacks in modern decor, it compensates with some of the richest food I've ever had. The menu is one of the most indulgent I've ever seen - every animal under the sun is represented, most of which are prepared with a generous dose of butter and cream. If you ever wanted to feel what it was like to live in a time when heavy protein and fat consumption was A-OK, this is your place. On the other hand, this lengthy and elaborate menu clearly drives up the prices of any given dish. In order to keep such an extensive larder of perishable goods, I suspect that 5% of the food price is to recoup the cost of chucking out unused quails and rabbits at the end of the night.

Our server on this night, did a lovely job of escorting us through the evening - in character; black waiter's vest and bow tie, handle-bar mustache and a French accent. He was perfectly professional and well versed in his trade.

The wine list was certainly above average. Heavy on the French Bordeaux, with an ample selection of wine in the $150-300 range, there was certainly something for everyone and was designed to match the weight of the menu. That said, I would plan to spend $60-80 per bottle. I was particularly pleased to see (and order) a Venturi-Schulze sparkling rose - it was brilliant and festive.  Also of note is the adjacent Chalet Vineyard, which is well-represented on the wine list.

Fair enough, any restaurant that serves me foie gras gets acclaim and I was not surprised to see and be served one of the richest foie gras terrines I've ever had. I wouldn't go to the Deep Cove Chalet with any but the piggiest diners, it would be wasted on them and in fact the menu (facetiously I hope) even states that this is not a soup and salad restaurant and they don't split main courses. Order a big red wine and prepare yourself for the onslaught of animal fat. The Deep Cove Chalet is a special-occasion restaurant; for one because it's so far away and secondly because you'd get heart disease eating there with any frequency. 

 Reviewed: December 8 2005