614 Humboldt St, tel: 250.385.4512 open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner

Pescatores has enjoyed many years of success with a powerful combination of tourists, local and business clientele. In recent years, with competition increasing among higher end restaurants, it seemed as if Pescatores was drifting into a malaise of tourist driven menus.  Being on the cusp of the tourist season we thought we’d venture into the inner harbour before the throngs of tourists began their annual surge.
For a Sunday night Pescatores was very busy. We were seated and served quickly in the large, attractive dining room. With a fresh sheet that included a sensible glossary of fish and oyster types, we were feeling confident.
We ordered half a dozen oyster ($12) and drinks while we read over the menu. The oysters arrived quickly with a conventional mignonette and fresh horseradish, a nice touch. The oysters were fresh, but could have been shucked a little more carefully.
On a oyster kicked we followed our raw oysters with an order of oysters Pescatore ($12). Large baked oysters with bacon, cream and crispy fried leeks. The leeks were great and the oysters again fresh with a well balanced presentation.
For our mains, Patty had the snapper from the fresh sheet and I had the mixed grill ($24). Patty’s snapper lacked something in terms of presentation, but the execution was good and again the fish fresh. Patty also noted that the risotto accompaniment was nicely cooked. My mixed grill included a braised beef shortrib, BC spot prawns and Albacore tuna. Well not an unpleasant dish - I wasn’t served spot prawns and my attention was not drawn to a substitution. A spot prawn is a pretty distinctive food, it’s pretty obvious when you’re served something else - especially when there is factory skewer still in them (besides being hard to skewer, they are never sold with the skewer in them). The price of the dish similarly suggested extremely good value or an inconsistency. The shortrib was tender, but a little light on the sauce. The tuna was nicely cooked, but lacked a sauce. The accompanying vegetables were not bad, but I thought the mashed potatoes were a poor pair.
The wine list is heavy on American wines, but includes some BC and ‘other’ choices, as well as a good selection of fish friendly red wines.
While the spot prawn incident stains my experience somewhat, generally we were happy with the quality and execution and were similarly pleased with better service and lower prices than expected. The ambiance and menu is an easy crowd pleaser for mixed company and could definitely be on the list for entertaining out of town guests looking for a seafood restaurant without leaving the comfort of downtown.

April 2009