About Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

721 Government Street
Victoria, BC V8W 1W5
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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.

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

Dine Around - Three Course Menu

Special valid Feb 17, 2017 - Mar 5, 2017 all week from 5:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Specials

Dine Around - Three Course Menu

Special valid Feb 17, 2017 - Mar 5, 2017 all week from 5:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Details

Specially designed by Restaurant Executive Chef, Juan Bochenski. Sample the best of Vancouver Island. Optional wine pairing available for $20 or beer pairing for $16. Excludes Tax and Tip. Advance reservations recommended. Special valid Feb 17, 2017 - Mar 5, 2017 all week from 5:00 PM - 9:30 PM.

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

5
4
3
2
1

4.0

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.1

ambience

4.1

value

3.7

noise

Moderate

79% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (27)
Business Meals (20)
Historic (17)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (17)
Quiet Conversation (15)
Creative Cuisine (14)
Fit for Foodies (12)
Romantic (12)
Good for a Date (12)
Great for Lunch (12)
Local Ingredients (11)
Notable Wine List (11)
Modern Decor (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (10)
Pre/post Theatre (9)
Good for Birthdays (9)
Healthy (9)
Seasonal (8)
Scenic View (6)
Fireplace (6)
Afternoon Tea (6)
Cozy (6)
Live Music (6)
Tasting Menu (5)
Afternoon Coffee (5)
Waterfront (5)
Comfort Food (5)
Worth the Drive (4)
Quick Bite (3)
Casual (3)
Bar Seating (3)
Good for Groups (3)
Hot Spot (3)
Happy Hour (3)
Great for Brunch (3)
Family Style (3)
Neighborhood Gem (2)
Great Beer (2)
Fun (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
People Watching (2)
Outstanding Value (2)
Authentic (2)
Tapas (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Vegan (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Private Room (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Dining Occasion:
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101 reviews
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We went over for a belated Valentine's D ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined a day ago

We went over for a belated Valentine's Day date. What a great place to take a date. Beautiful integration of the antique wood work and modern decor. Food was tremendous and the service was incredible. Really a special occasion.

Tags: Special Occasion, Tasting Menu, Local Ingredients, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

It would be more popular if the price po ...

 
 (Calgary)·Dined 5 days ago

It would be more popular if the price point came down a bit.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Waterfront, Special Occasion, Modern Decor
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

It was my 7 year marriage anniversary, I ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined 6 days ago

It was my 7 year marriage anniversary, I did informed the team about the same and was expecting atleast a complimentary dessert or something but it did not happen.

Food was not that great too but expensive.

Surprised did not went the way I arranged prior to pur arrival.

Tags: Bar Seating
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food1
ambience1
service3
value1

We had a really enjoyable, tasty lunch w ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined 6 days ago

We had a really enjoyable, tasty lunch with exceptional outstanding service. Appreciated having great table service instead of a waitress that only made good contact with you when presenting the bill!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Delicious food, friendly and attentive w ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined 7 days ago

Delicious food, friendly and attentive wait staff, lovely atmosphere, just an all-around great place to dine!

Tags: Business Meals, Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Absolutely delicious food, beautiful and ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined 7 days ago

Absolutely delicious food, beautiful and graceful dining environment, professional and warm services makes it perfect dinner. Thank you

Tags: Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

It's hard to say as there is a lot of ch ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on February 12, 2017

It's hard to say as there is a lot of change underway at the hotel, but this was certainly not at the level we've come to expect from The Empress. The food was amazing, but the rest of the package seemed a little underdeveloped.

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food5
ambience2
service2
value3

Our service was extremely slow and when ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on January 26, 2017

Our service was extremely slow and when I enquired about the wine that was on the daily sheet menu the server could not tell me anything about the wine other than it was white!! It took us over 30 minutes to get a glass of sparkling water. It took over 30 minutes for the server to take our order and it took over an hour to get our food. Far too long a time for a business/work lunch. We were a table of 8 and there were only four other people in the restaurant at this time. Not sure why everything took so long!

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food4
ambience4
service1
value1

The food was amazing, and the room was p ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on January 24, 2017

The food was amazing, and the room was pleasant. Our first time in the Q Restaurant. Interesting design concept.

Tags: Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience4
service1
value3

Our experience was exceptional except fo ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on January 20, 2017

Our experience was exceptional except for one thing. That was the noisy live music being played in the QLounge at the other end of the room. The physical division does not take away from the amazing acoustics that this wonderful heritage building is known for, so the sound carried way to well. Along with that, the music was much more suited to a Coffe House scene than even the new classy ambiance that the Q at the Empress and the Q Lounge have been designed to be. Please reconsider who you hire for entertainment in the Q Lounge as it will definitely affect the dinning experience of those who are expecting a more subdued and classy dining experience in Q at the Empress.

Sincerely,

Diane Yusko-Fielding

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Historic, Healthy, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience3
service4
value5

I took my boyfriend out for his birthday ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on January 19, 2017

I took my boyfriend out for his birthday dinner and drinks, the staff were bubbly and friendly wishing him a happy birthday throughout the night. We were too full to order desert but the kitchen especially prepared a little surprise birthday treat on the house, which was irresistible and made the evening that much more personal and special. Thank "Q" for a lovely evening :D

Tags: Seasonal, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fireplace, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Cozy, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

We enjoyed the food and night out. Impre ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on January 14, 2017

We enjoyed the food and night out. Impressed by the renovations at The Empress and its

more contemporary appeal

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Modern Decor, Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Live Music
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food5
ambience4
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This was my first experience at the Q re ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on January 13, 2017

This was my first experience at the Q restaurant. I booked through OpenTable and it was a breeze. The most notable point is the service. I was impressed with the staff from the moment we arrived until we left - they are polite, professional and attentive. The charcuterie lunch option looked incredible, although we opted for sandwiches. These were delicious but sloppy to eat. The "dill fries" were fries sprinkled with dehydrated dill, so not overly impressive but hot and crunchy. Portion size was good. The hefeweizen was very good and well priced. The overall lunch price was high, but expected for the venue. I would definitely recommend the Q and look forward to returning again - primarily for the great staff and service.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Pre/post Theatre, Gluten Free Options
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food4
ambience4
service5
value2

Loved the Seafood Tower! Our meal was o ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Loved the Seafood Tower! Our meal was outstanding, and the service was as well.

Tags: Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Historic, Afternoon Tea, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Very poor services from welcoming guests ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 30, 2016

Very poor services from welcoming guests to collecting payment, wrong dishes, noisy environment and very fake smile

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food3
ambience1
service1
value1

Great food at great value with great ser ...

vip
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 29, 2016

Great food at great value with great service in a beautiful setting,

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Brunch, Afternoon Coffee, Notable Wine List, Afternoon Tea, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Excellent service , entree okay, decor n ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 26, 2016

Excellent service , entree okay, decor nice, The appetizer was interesting with moist smoked salmon.

Tags: Quick Bite, Creative Cuisine, Modern Decor, Great for Lunch
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food4
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service5
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The staff was very well educated in wine ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 24, 2016

The staff was very well educated in wine pairings and seasonal dishes. Overall the experience was unique and rewarding. I would recommend for any special occasion.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Seasonal, Business Meals, Afternoon Tea
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The tenderloin was outstanding - the de ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 24, 2016

The tenderloin was outstanding - the dessert (strudel) not so much (soggy). Salad also wimpy. House red (Spanish) wine was good. Service great!

Personally did not enjoy the very heavy ambiance of the room -- it felt like we were dining in an old, British gentleman's club, with all the dark wooden panels and heavy, carved, ornate wooden beams in the ceiling. It did not feel friendly or particularly comfortable.

Also, thought the choice for lighting that looked like giant, lighted puzzle pieces felt out of place and incongruous with the rest of the room. Chandeliers would have been more fitting.

It was the day before Christmas eve and we wanted to have dinner where there was beautiful decorations to get in the mood for the season - there were minimal Christmas decorations and it could have been any time of the year, as opposed to Christmas.

Tags: Private Room, Business Meals, Special Occasion, Historic
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food4
ambience3
service5
value3

We couldn't have been happier with our r ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 23, 2016

We couldn't have been happier with our romantic, pre-Christmas lunch for two. From the lovely appetizer buffet, to the comfort-food main dishes, and the authentically friendly service, and of course the wonderful Empress Hotel, this was a magical experience. Well worth the trip from Pender Island. Thank you.

Tags: Business Meals, Romantic, Seasonal, Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Historic, Special Occasion, Fireplace, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Healthy, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I was at the Q three times since Sept. E ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 22, 2016

I was at the Q three times since Sept. Every time it was a wonderful experience.

The service is exceptional . The food excellent. I plan on going there often.

Tags: Family Style, , Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Scenic View, Quick Bite, Healthy, Special Occasion, Great for Brunch
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food5
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service5
value5

We loved our evening at the Q. Our only ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 19, 2016

We loved our evening at the Q. Our only request for next time is that the veggies accompanying the salmon were very sparse, but the food and service were very good.

Tags: Historic, Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

The food and surroundings were good. Se ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 19, 2016

The food and surroundings were good. Service could have been a little better. However it was very overpriced for what we had. The food was good not great. The drinks especially were grossly overpriced. Probably would not go back again.

Tags: Historic
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food4
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service3
value2

Celebrated our first wedding anniversary ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 18, 2016

Celebrated our first wedding anniversary at Q for dinner; rushed and impersonal service. Had eaten there a couple months before at a birthday dinner. Would not return for a special occasion.

Tags: Live Music, Hot Spot
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food3
ambience3
service1
value3

We always enjoy dining at the Q at the E ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 17, 2016

We always enjoy dining at the Q at the Empress. It has been our destination for special occasions for decades. The recent remodel was impressive while retaining the historic elements of the restaurant we've come to enjoy. The staff were friendly and attentive to our needs.

Tags: Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Historic, Waterfront
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food4
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service4
value4

I treated my parents to a special Christ ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 17, 2016

I treated my parents to a special Christmas dinner at the Q in the Empress. They enjoyed a perfect evening from the moment they arrived. The atmosphere, service, food and wine were all exceptional. A special thank you to the waiter...unfortunately I don't know his name, for making the entire dining experience so special. I have never heard my parents sound so thrilled! I can't wait to dine at the Q the next time I visit Victoria.

Tags: Molecular Gastronomy, Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Seasonal, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I chose Q for lunch over High Tea to cel ...

 
 (Edmonton)·Dined on December 15, 2016

I chose Q for lunch over High Tea to celebrate my birthday with my mom, and what a great decision. We arrived early but were cheerfully accommodated. The three-course monthly special started with a tapas/salad bar of olives, breads, cheese, cold cuts, two salad types, and exotic salad additions. There was a choice of three different mains, and a seasonal dessert. Everything was of outstanding quality, making for a very memorable experience in a renovated space that successfully marries historic interior with contemporary updates.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Historic
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food5
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service5
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I'm a local who knows the Empress proper ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 14, 2016

I'm a local who knows the Empress property well and wasn't dismayed by the closing of the Bengal Lounge or the previous fine dining space. I had eaten in both.

I was hopeful that the new look and contemporary feel of The Q would be just what the property needed.

The Q as a venue is great... both the bar and the restaurant. But, there were a few stand outs that I believe Could prove 'counter productive' to real success. Please see beliow:

  • having your website describe what a diner should wear is unnecessary

  • telling a diner on the website how long they have to eat...to allow others in, is unnecessary- the food service alone should manage that

  • the servers, though friendly, were not trained to the level of the restaurant

  • wine knowledge was weak

  • the style of the dishes used to serve the food did not have the level of 'sophistication' your website alluded to

  • the food 'styling' on the plate was uninspired

We, as a group, were disappointed because we held great hope for the new space.

The restaurant was mostly empty and on a mid December evening that's a concern, I would think.

I do hope this review helps....I want the Q to be successful!

Regards,

Barbara Ellsworth

Tags: Local Ingredients, Healthy
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food3
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service2
value3

We went for the Christmas buffet special ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 13, 2016

We went for the Christmas buffet special and it was very nicely presented and the turkey main course was just like home cooked. Entry was a little difficult due to ongoing construction but once inside the renovations are taking shape and everything is first class. Will go back over the year as the lunch special is supposed to change with the season. A first class treat.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Local Ingredients, Seasonal, Great Beer, Comfort Food, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion
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food4
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service4
value4

Was a bit disappointed overall. Nothing ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 12, 2016

Was a bit disappointed overall. Nothing really wrong with the place, not sure it fits the Empress, may just take a bit of getting used to. Wine by the glass is well overpriced but I guess it's the location. It was very quiet in the night we went so that may be a part of it. Will definitely give it another chance.

Tags: Happy Hour, Scenic View, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals
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food2
ambience3
service5
value2

I took my neighbour for lunch and we enj ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 11, 2016

I took my neighbour for lunch and we enjoyed our outing. The table decoration for Christmas was a bit sparse. Our waiter was excellent, friendly and attentive.

The ceilings are so beautiful and the new Reno updates nicely. Still needs a bit more of the cosy factor. Otherwise a lovely place for lunch. Thank you, NKidd

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, Great for Lunch, People Watching, Fireplace
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food4
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Overall great experience; we were celebr ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 11, 2016

Overall great experience; we were celebrating a birthday and enjoyed a great breakfast in a wonderful atmosphere. Menu was well curated, and everyone from vegetarians to meat lovers in our group were able to find something appealing. Bit of a hitch with the service, but that being said, the manager and host were very attentive, we had a lovely time, and I would absolutely go back.

Tags: Special Occasion, Historic, Vegan, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Tasting Menu, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience5
service2
value3

It is not often that a restaurant of thi ...

 
 (London)·Dined on December 7, 2016

It is not often that a restaurant of this class offers a "family style" tasting menu, but this recently introduced feature at "Q" is definitely worth trying if you are in a group of four-plus. It was a culinary delight and a very fun way to spend the evening - it radiates conviviality!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

This is a place that I would go to for s ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on December 5, 2016

This is a place that I would go to for special occasions ... the food was delicious, however, very costly.

Tags: Tapas, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service4
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Great visit. Friendly staff. Good Room i ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on November 26, 2016

Great visit. Friendly staff. Good Room if a bit small. Clean. Looking forward to visiting again, especially after the final renovations are complete.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Quick Bite, Family Style, Afternoon Coffee, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Great Beer, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Excellent food and service with friendly ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on November 17, 2016

Excellent food and service with friendly staff. Friends of the Empress discount needs to be brought to this restaurant so loyal locals can come more often.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Great for Lunch, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Casual
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

Very Beautiful restaurant. Food was exc ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on November 13, 2016

Very Beautiful restaurant. Food was exceptional, wine was fantastic, and our server was amazing. He was funny, and very attentive !! The decor was gorgeous...very modern and chic. Almost didn't feel like I was at home, felt like I was in a chic restaurant in LA or Vegas. I do miss the old Empress...nothing compares to that, however Victoria did need a beautiful restaurant like this.

Tags: Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Handcrafted Cocktails, Waterfront, Pre/post Theatre, Live Music, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Modern Decor, Scenic View, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Courteously received. Good service. Food ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on November 5, 2016

Courteously received. Good service. Food was tasty but later badly upset my stomach

Tags: Good for a Date
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food2
ambience5
service5
value3

My husband and I recently went to the Q ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on November 3, 2016

My husband and I recently went to the Q for our anniversary and we were offered the best seat, located right next to the very large fireplace. Normally the table seats 6, however because it was a slow night, we were able to sit there. The ambience was incredible, I could have sat there for hours, just relishing at the feel of being there. There was not too many other tables, at least no one that was around us or we could see without getting up (it was a rainy Wednesday evening, off season), which made us feel extra special, like this beautiful, mahogany place was reserved just for us!

The food was nice, although the flavours didn't necessarily blow us away. He had the steak and I had the lamb, which were both cooked perfectly. In my opinion, the best thing on both of our plates was a farro risotto-like side that comes with the lamb. Also, the chocolate hazelnut cake was delicious. Everything else was moderately above par.

Our server was very kind, soft-spoken and knowledgable.

Overall, the ambience of the restaurant was my favourite part of being there. We had a lovely evening, largely in part to coming here!

Tags: Special Occasion, Historic, Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

FANTASTIC FOOD! Definitely an addition t ...

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on November 1, 2016

FANTASTIC FOOD! Definitely an addition to our date night regular spots :) Looking forward to going back :)

Tags: Romantic, Scenic View, Modern Decor, Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups, Historic, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

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