The Black Hat

The Black Hat by Bistro 28 has opened at Langley and Broughton St in downtown Victoria and in the process transformed the appearance of the entire block. Holly financial investment! They've converted the old Tony's Trick and Joke Shop into a flashy 85 seat restaurant. It looks great. This kind development is exciting and I always find the cohones required to execute these visions awe-inspring.  Owner, Sam Chalmers, however is cool as a cucumber - which made me feel better.  

Open for dinner - late, Wednesday to Sunday, it certainly is nice to have another option for us folks who work in the evenings. The menu is dominated by small plates, with a very reasonable selection of main course items. We had the Baccala Fritters with lamb ragout ($16), the Pan Seared Halibut ($28), the Pork Belly with Kim Chi Salad and Fried Egg ($22) and the S'more ($8). Everything was tasty, creative and well executed. Portion wise, I'd call the servings 'modern,' so if you're visiting with a big eater, I'd order heavy. The value is in the labour of preperation and quality of product, so penny pinchers beware - you'll have to be open minded. And, yes, that is a $130 steak on the menu. It's not a type-o. Not my style, I would rather spend that kind of money on a labour intensive presentation of less expensive products, but if nobody wants it, I'm sure they'll take it off the menu.

Also, worthy of note is a lengthy list of wines by the glass, available in 1, 3 & 5 oz pours. The selection is BC dominated, but is generally well balanced. Wine prices are quite approachable.

The service was a little spotty, but they're only a week in, so I would recommend having a little patience until they've had a chance to break in the new staff and get their procedures in order.

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