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Nearby points of interest

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About Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

Q represents Queen and country, the revered figure for whom this hotel was named. A singular letter, for a very singular space. Located in the most storied room in Victoria, Q at the Empress is a must-visit culinary celebration that is second to none. This atmospheric space has a distinctly modern, contemporary feel, all the while staying true to the building’s unique iconic heritage with its dark cherry wood ceilings and spectacularly detailed moldings. Focusing on regional ingredients, the carefully curated menu features locally sourced seafood, meats and produce prepared surely and skillfully by Chef Morgan Wilson and his incredible team. Try one of over 850 bottles of wines from the temperature controlled visible wine wall featuring the best of the Pacific North West and select vintages from all over the globe. From romantic dinner to vibrant social event all you need to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy Q at the Empress, the place to be on Vancouver Island.

721 Government Street
Victoria, BC V8W 1W5
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Northwest

Hours of Operation:

Breakfast: Daily: 6:30am - 11:00am; Lunch: Daily: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Daily: 5:30pm - 10:30pm

Cross Street:
Belleville & Goverment Streets

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
CAN$31 to CAN$50

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(250) 389-2727

Website:
http://www.fairmont.com/empress

Parking Details:
Valet or self parking is available in the Fairmont Empress parkade

Executive Chef:
Morgan Wilson

Private Party Facilities:
The Royal Table is an added refinement to your fine dining experience. Providing guests with a heightened touch of elegance during their dining experience, this experience is truly memorable for a birthday, engagement or simply an evening together. From silver cloches and candelabras to customized wine selections from our Sommelier and a few special touches from the Chef, The Royal Table service provides a sophisticated refinement to an enchanted dining experience. The cost is a C$30 surcharge per person in addition to meal selection costs.

Private Party Contact:
Dining Reservations: (250) 389-2727

Additional:
Cocktails, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, View, Wine

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Details

Treat your loved one to a romantic 4-course Valentine’s Dinner that includes a decadent visit to our Death By Chocolate Cave. Created by Executive Pastry Chef AJ Thalakkat, it’s an interactive twist on a perennial favourite! Indulge this Valentine’s Day for only $82/pp. 48-hrs cancellation required.

Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.4

ambience

4.3

value

3.8

Noise

Quiet

78% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (14)
Good for Anniversaries (13)
Notable Wine List (13)
See All
Quiet Conversation (12)
Fit for Foodies (10)
Local Ingredients (10)
Good for a Date (9)
Great for Lunch (9)
Romantic (8)
Good for Birthdays (7)
Business Meals (7)
Creative Cuisine (6)
Bar Seating (6)
Pre/post Theatre (6)
Live Music (6)
Cozy (5)
Good for Groups (5)
Handcrafted Cocktails (5)
Scenic View (4)
Vibrant Bar Scene (4)
Waterfront (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Authentic (3)
Casual (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Great Beer (3)
Happy Hour (3)
Healthy (3)
Neighborhood Gem (3)
Seasonal (3)
Fun (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Organic (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
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219 reviews
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·Dined 3 days ago

The service was excellent. We had cocktails from their special menu and their gimlet was perfectly done. We went on Saturday night and there was live music. Definitely a magical experience. You could feel the history of the place. The food was delicious, with a modern flair on classic dishes. I would absolutely recommend this dining experience to anyone, especially for a special occasion.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined 4 days ago

Our go to spot for lunch in Victoria. Love the menu at the Q. Something tasty for everyone! We also love the consistent exceptional service.

Tags: Scenic View, Business Meals, Fun, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Disabled Access, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Afternoon Tea, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Bar Seating, Seasonal, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Live Music, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Happy Hour, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 8, 2018

Lorne couldn’t have made our four year anniversary more special. What a great night!! Can’t speak higher of the service, ambiance and food. An unforgettable evening!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 6, 2018

Sablefish dish is a must have. Waiter LOREN IS a delight and his recommendations are spot o n for both food .wine and beer.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on January 1, 2018

I was visiting family from out-of-town and thought it would be a treat to take my family to an upscale restaurant within the Empress hotel. I made the reservation using OpenTable, and even so, we were not greeted for about 5 minutes while waiting at the service stand at the front of the restaurant. After being seated, it took another 10 minutes for the waitress to inquire about beverages, and by that time, the table that came in after us, already had their beverages served and orders taken. The hostess and waitress were very polite, but the service was rather inefficient.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Enjoyed a lovely New Year's Eve lunch with guest from out of town. We really enjoyed the menu and suggestions from our efficient server. Beautiful presentation, great timing for drinks and ordering and server was in no way an interruption, to our visit. Updated decor is wonderful and holiday decorations very tasteful and festive. Only comment I could make, is the chairs at the table need to be clean, I had to sit on a dirty one, because I did not want to make a fuss with my guests. Kind of disappointing for such a beautiful dining room. We enjoyed lovely coffee's and biscotti and lots of time to chat after our huge lunch.

Tags: Authentic, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 31, 2017

We cannot say anything bad about our experience-we started at the Lounge which other than being seated near the glass wash station (only seats available) it was great! Terrific service and cocktails!
Dinner was amazing as was the service. My husband enjoyed the steak, best he’s ever had. I highly recommend the sablefish and creme caramel for dessert!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Great Beer, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 31, 2017

For the price the food was meh, not great. We started with the seafood tower for a lot of money, and we will say the smoked salmon was amazing and the oysters were great, kind of hard to screw up raw oysters. King crab legs?? More like baby tiny legs, smaller in size than dungeoness, the shrimp was meh and the poke had too much sesame oil. Finished with a rib eye and not only very charred but super thin cut. Again, a saving factor was the potatoes, super yummy; but not worth the money. Overall the restaurant is small and cramped, and if going to the Empress is a must, have drink in the bar or tea in the afternoon, skip the dinner and go to The Irish Times Pub, half the price and super yummy!!

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food2
ambience3
service4
value1

 
·Dined on December 31, 2017

The food was delicious, our server Andrew was knowledgeable and fun. We would go back and ask to be seated in his section. We loved every minute of our dinner there.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Cozy
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 30, 2017

Food was excellent, service was slow-ish, especially the bar. I ordered a Rye and Coke and it took at least 10 minutes to come. My wife’s wine came in half the time. All they are doing is putting a shot into a glass. They don’t mix it so that you can do it to your own taste, it shouldn’t take for than a couple minutes.

The menu on OpenTable is completely wrong though. Don’t trust it. Most items have been changed or removed and the ones that remain are significantly more expensive than they say on here.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 28, 2017

The food and drinks were excellent. The service was unfortunately slow, and our server was not particularly knowledgeable. The room is gorgeous. Would recommend for a date or special occasion.

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Seasonal
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

 
·Dined on December 28, 2017

Disappointed , service was mediocre no bread plates. Cold soup sent back to get warmed. Food was above average. But total experience wasn’t up to the cost. Old Empree fine dining Restaurant, I felt was better experience.

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food3
ambience5
service2
value2

 
·Dined on December 25, 2017

Christmas Eve Dinner was wonderful! Service and food were excellent.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 24, 2017

Our Christmas eve lunch was a special treat, part of a family tradition. Our visit to the q dining room was pleasant and the food was excellent. Staff seemed a little harried even though the dining room was far from full and the dinner service was hours away. ... glitches were minor but evident... hostess was quickly able to conceal fatigue as we approached the desk to be seated. Took inordinately long to get coffee delivered to the table , some of our party's main course dishes were brought with the starters of the rest of us , cutlery removed with starters was not replaced with main dishes until requested, steak knife not automatically presented with the steak, extra glassware removed only on request, incorrect orders brought to table... as mentioned earlier, the food and atmosphere are excellent , but the service team seems to need some extra training. For a restaurant in a landmark, destination hotel such as the empress and for the price of lunch (at the top end of reasonable for a special occasion ) guests should also be treated to service that lives up to the reputation of the hotel . Hopefully the staff are paid well enough by the new owners to want to stay and learn the skills needed to become effective reprentatives of one of Victorias landmark locations in future.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Organic, Healthy, Sunday Lunch, Business Meals, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

vip
 (London)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Service really shabby. They served our mains while we were still eating our appetisers. We had to ask for cutlery. Not sure who our waiter was as we had so many random people helping us. Hostess had a run in her stocking which is not appropriate for a five star hotel restaurant. Waiter seemed his head was in the clouds. Would not recommend and in fact should’ve gone to Cora’s restaurant up the street.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 23, 2017

The food was excellent and the staff was very friendly and accommodating! Thank you for a very special evening!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 21, 2017

I expected the Empress to be on the expensive side but this was over the top. The wine list is extensive to be sure but at lunch I don't want to have to go through 20 pages to pick a handful of wines under $100. My first pick was not available. An abbreviated lunch wine list would be great- the full pretentious list on request. The menu on the other hand was a one page one side selection. Our server was neither skilled or unskilled, not good but not bad- average. It was interesting seeing what the dining room has evolved into. In closing the Bengal bar and the dining room, it is my opinion that the Empress/Fairmont has stumbled, abandoning the traditional clientele for a new generation that favours a $175 burger and sandwich with a decent wine lunch. I feel old.

Tags: Scenic View, Business Meals, Quiet Conversation
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food4
ambience4
service2
value1

 
·Dined on December 21, 2017

Food was well prepared but lacked depth of flavors. Cocktail was a mess - certainly not made by a skilled bartender. Wait staff is bizarre and lack any of the finesse that you would expect in a modern fine dining restaurant. Room is gorgeous.

Tags: Scenic View, Bar Seating, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre
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food3
ambience5
service2
value4

 
·Dined on December 18, 2017

Beautiful quiet & cozy setting. Exceptional staff - personable, knowledgeable, service perfectly timed. Food was great- tasty, large portion, interesting. Surprised by charge of $6 for coffee & $15 for local white wine. I should have checked.

Tags: Good for Groups, Quiet Conversation, Healthy, Great for Lunch, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 17, 2017

Although it was not the former Bengal Room, the Q at the Empress Hotel was very good. The food although $$$, was very tasty and the portions quite reasonable. The staff were terrific and the service was outstanding.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 14, 2017

The service is impeccable, but the bill when you are done can be a shocker - mostly due to the cost of the cocktails and wine.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Waterfront, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service5
value2

 
·Dined on December 11, 2017

Menu was somewhat limited for lunch. Would be nice to have the Chactuerie/appetizer option back as a lunch choice (instead as part of the $32 lunch meal). The choices we had were delicious but overall we found the mean very pricey. $6 for a coffee is expensive. I had seafood chowder, coffee and a dessert and with tip my lunch was over $40. That's far too high in my experience.

Tags: Waterfront, Great for Lunch, Quiet Conversation
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food4
ambience4
service4
value2

 
·Dined on December 10, 2017

Rich and taste food.
Friendly service

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 9, 2017

We really enjoyed the food and the service. We always find the quality to be high at Fairmont restaurants.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 4, 2017

Yesterday I had lunch with friends who meet annually in December. Until it closed, we met for a decade in the Bengal Room where the food was generous, the atmosphere good and the price reasonable.
I've been to Q twice in the past week. On each occasion there were only a handful of guests.
The food and service are good. The prices are high and the room has the look of a college cafeteria. Something needs to change.
I wish you well but will not be coming again for now. Rachel Wyatt

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food3
ambience1
service4
value2

 
·Dined on December 2, 2017

Our service was great. Was a little surprised that bread before the meal was an extra $12.00. Not used to that in fine restaurants.

What really got my attention occurred at the adjacent table. A wine bottle cork was stubborn and fell apart while removal was attempted. The server retired for assistance. He returned and, discretely, out of view of the customer, a $600 2001 vintage was decanted through a large coffee filter into a carafe, before being served with a flourish sans cork debris.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 26, 2017

We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and enjoyed the total dining experience. You cannot visit Victoria without stopping at the Empress Hotel. The Q was wonderful.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on November 19, 2017

First visit to the remodeled Empress. Q was okay, but not as exciting as we'd hoped. Menu a bit confused, wine list a touch on the expensive side for what I'd call a 4 star, not a 5 star dining experience. Friendly and thoughtful staff. We'll try it again in a few months but it will need to improve to get on our special occasion list. Sad to note the Bengal Lounge was not available. It was a unique experience to be able to offer visitors.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Business Meals
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food3
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 14, 2017

The food was excellent but the service was puzzling. Throughout our meal we had two servers looking after us. While we had ordered a bottle of water, and it was standing on our table about ½ full, when one of the servers filled our water glasses from a pitcher from his serving table. Huh?
The reason for our meal was a birthday celebration, the ambiance of the room was not conducive to a quiet, personal occasion.
I also resent the condition, that was given during the reservation process, that we could stay no longer than 90 minutes. Most meals don't take longer than that in any case, so why push it? When we arrived at 7pm, the room was less than half full and that didn't change during our stay.
Several people, unknown to us, passing our table, inquired about our enjoyment of our meal. I would have enjoyed it a lot more without these interruptions.
Altogether, the food was good, the rest not so much.

Tags: Quick Bite, Business Meals, Casual
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food4
ambience2
service3
value3

 
·Dined on November 13, 2017

Had lunch at the Q with a girlfriend. I had the salmon with lentils and veg, delicious! My friend had the tuna with rice dish and enjoyed it as well. It wasn't too busy and service was very good.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Vancouver)·Dined on November 13, 2017

We really enjoyed all aspects of this restaurant. The service, food and ambiance were all excellent. Fairmont hotels seem to always have a high standard for their dining experiences.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Bar Seating, Sunday Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 13, 2017

Always the best food and service, thanks for another memorable dinner!

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Key West)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Our meal was delicious and our server, Guy, was fantastic. A great evening.

Tags: Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Calgary)·Dined on November 3, 2017

We were excited to see the Empress after its major renovation. It is an iconic spot. Unfortunately the restaurant, Q, is not up to snuff. It is a great room with a great looking menu and decent wine list. But the execution of the food is lacking. If I am paying $30-40 for an entree I expect it to be very good and be done with care and attention. The appetizer salads were very good but heavy on acid from the pickled vegies. The sablefish was very small, dwarfed by the 4 potatoes on the plate and had been sitting under a heat lamp for too long. The braised short ribs were greasy with little in the way of an appetizing flavour. Don't get me wrong. The food was palatable but fine dining it is not.

Tags: Romantic, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries
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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 30, 2017

It's a very nice place to have a relaxed lunch, They have a Fix menu for less than 30 CAD. Unfortunately, the food is just good, the experience is more about the legendary place and the upscale dining room.

Tags: Cozy, Gluten Free Options, Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries
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food3
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on October 29, 2017

It was a lovely setting and the front end staff were very friendly and kind. Our evening was unfortunately spoiled as my invited guests both ordered the same meal as viewed on the menu which was a rice dish with Brussels sprouts, squash and some other ingredients which I can't now remember. What came out did not resemble what was stated in the menu. There was no squash or Brussel sprouts however a lot of mushrooms which was NOT on the menu and which my guests would never have ordered that dish if they knew mushrooms were in it. The dish was sent back and 1 'or 15 minutes later they came back with EXACTLY the same dish!!!
By then my wife and I were finished our dishes and my guests basically said to our server to just forget it as they didn't want to wait anymore and basically had lost their appetite. The manager (I assume as she never introduced herself as such) was really sweet and tried everything in her power to convince my guests to order anything else
on the menu on the house. Unfortunately they were just too fed up to bother and waited for us to have desert and we left. It is obvious to me that neither the servers nor the manager were to blame but someone in the kitchen really needs to pull up their game. This is a beautiful venue and a pricey menu so mistakes like this should not occur and if they do....they should have properly been addressed. Too bad as we really were looking forward to this special evening with our guests and it kind of got ruined.

Tags: Live Music, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience5
service2
value3

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on October 29, 2017

We had not been to dinner at the Empress since the renovations and were looking forward to a special night out. The restaurant has a good ambience and the service was excellent. Unfortunately neither my husband nor I enjoyed our meal at all. We ordered seasonal specials; mushroom soup and a mushroom pasta dish. The soup was quite bland and the pasta was awful. It was dry and boring. We just ordered the homemade ice cream for dessert and even it wasn’t very good. It was creamy and sweet but there was no difference in the taste between the bourbon vanilla and the dark chocolate. We were so disappointed that the meal wasn’t better, and with so many good restaurants in Victoria, we won’t be back.

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food1
ambience4
service4
value1

 
·Dined on October 27, 2017

A really fine dining experience. Every dish was different. Each was delightful and presented nicely. A knowledgeable server with a sense of humor helped make the evening special. Live music outside of the restaurant area wafted into the restaurant unobtrusively.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 26, 2017

Service excellent, except greeter didn't know how to access the reservation system. He gave us a very nice table by the window. The wild mushroom soup was superb, also the oysters. The desserts were a disappointment. The creme brulee was the worst I have ever tasted, too sweet and too soft. The Empress chocolate cake was only OK and too large after the other food items.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Quiet Conversation
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Edmonton)·Dined on October 24, 2017

Service was excellent, food was average and lacked taste. We have the salmon and the braised bison short ribs.

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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

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