Nautical Nellies Steak and Seafood House
Back in the old says, when I was working in film and television, one of the first people that I hired was Kim Mackenzie. Kim is a set decorated and, if I remember correctly, the first project that we worked on together was a commercial for the Lottery Corporation. I was the designer and Kim was doing the decorating. It was a very stressful shoot, with a lot of sets, a lot of props, and a lot of set decoration. Kim is a tremendous professional although I remember that she used to cry a lot, at the slightest provocation.
‘Kim, could that lamp be moved over that way a bit?’, and the tears would flow. As I say, it was the first big job for both of us and we were both trying to make a good impression. A lot was water has flowed under the bridge, but not so often down Kim’s cheeks anymore. She now lives in Los Angeles and we don’t get to see her very often so when she came to Victoria for just one day to see us, you can imagine how delighted we were. And to celebrate, we went to dinner at Nautical Nellies, one of Victoria’s best seafood restaurants.
Nautical Nellies is on Wharf street, just down from the Inner Harbour, an easy 15 minute walk from Albion Manor Bed and Breakfast here in Victoria. Being a seafood restaurant, there are lots of nautical themes in the restaurant, including aquaria filled with lots of colourful sea creatures. They aren’t the kind that you pick your dinner from. Most of the specimens in these tanks wouldn’t make much of a dinner, maybe a spoonful, but not much more. But they are beautiful and very relaxing to watch.
One very interesting features that they have at the restaurant is a wine ‘tasting’ menu, what they call Wine Flights, ‘a pre-designed trio of wine samplings used to compare wines from a specific region or a particular grape variety and an educational and entertaining way to taste a range of wine flavours’.
You can pick a selection of wines that you would like to try, to compare, to sample, and they bring them to you with a sheet of paper that has the name and a description. You can then slosh and gargle away to learn the differences between them and to see if there is one that you particularly like. I have long known that I like Pinot Gris, and my testing here confirmed this.
Now, as many of you know, Fernando is from Spain, Seville to be more specific. Seville is just down the road, so to speak, from Valencia where paella was invented. Paella is a very popular dish in all of the south of Spain and I have eaten quite a bit of it while travelling there. And at home too: Fernando makes it quite often and he’s good at it, if I may say. So I may have been testing the limits of the relationship by ordering a Seafood Paella (halibut, salmon, scallops, shrimp, prawns & chorizo sausage with peppers & onions in a spicy Creole rice, garnished with steamed mussels). Mmmm. How could you resist.
As you can see pictured, it certainly looked appetizing and it tasted great as well. No one can make it as well as the Spanish though (this added just in case Fernando reads this.)
Kim had a Seafood Risotto, salmon, halibut, scallops, shrimp, Dungeness crab claws & prawns, creamy dill risotto and shaved asiago. Fernando ordered Seafood Linguini, prawns, scallops, shrimp, salmon, halibut, mushrooms & scallions in tomato bacon cream, with mussels & more shaved asiago. Lots of seafood which you would expect from a seafood restaurant. We didn’t try it, but I understand from others that the sushi is very good here as well.
For dessert, I ordered a while chocolate crème brulé. No one else wanted more so I ate it myself. It was great to see Kim again and we spent a long and wonderful evening talking about many things, some old, some new. There’s nothing quite like a great meal, great wine, and wonderful friends. As I said, just 15 minutes walk from Albion Manor.
"There is no love more sincere than the love of food."
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