New Courtney Room Restaurant Meshes Menu and Design For a Casually Elegant Parisian Experience

Locally sourced ingredients take on a French Bistro vibe on the lower level and fine Parisian dining upstairs

  • Feb. 25, 2019 10:30 a.m.

– Story Chelsea Forman Photography by Lia Crowe

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

Victoria’s Courtney Room has added a littleje ne sais quoi and miam! to the city’s dining scene with a restaurant redesign that hums with a French bistro vibe on the lower level and offers fine Parisian dining upstairs.

Smoked honey mussel, fermented radish foam and pieces and trout roe

“Old world meets new” at the Magnolia Hotel & Spa’s newly renovated Courtney Room, which — through harmonizing design and menu — evokes a sense old Paris within a classically modern setting and a uniquely local expression.

High ceilings, elements of Art Nouveau, artfully tiled entranceway and chevron-patterned wood floor conjure the grand dame hotels of Paris, while the menu further elevates the Parisian experience with locally sourced and seasonal cuisine — from both land and sea — created with a French flourish.

The newly renovated Courtney Room

“The vision and goal was to take the area and turn it into a classically modern space that would tie into the hotel’s overall design,” says Bill Lewis, general manager at Magnolia Hotel & Spa. “We wanted the dining experience to meet the food experience, so we developed the menu to match the space.”

Two separate menus, one in the downstairs, casually elegant bistro area and one in the upscale, upstairs dining room, offer a range of French-style delicacies from caviar and velour en croute to charcuterie sandwiches. Although created with a French twist, the cuisine pays homage to its locally sourced ingredients with names such as Nootka Rose lentil and Bean Ragout, Yarrow meadows Duck Breast and Cache Creek Beef Tartare.

“For the Charcuterie Sandwich, we use a country loaf (made in house — it’s a mix of sourdough and rye), pickles, mustard and a rotating charcuterie, also made in-house.”

The Courtney Room renovation was undertaken by Sharon Bortolotto of BBA Design in collaboration with Vancouver-based design agency Glasfurd & Walker.

“Sharon has worked on the aesthetic of hotel for over 20 years … continuity in the design exists throughout the hotel, spa and now restaurant,” says Bill.

The main bar features gray marble and a custom glass oyster station. The elevated upstairs dining room features brasserie-style velvet banquette seating in a carpeted space with white tablecloths and a glassed-in wine room.

Vintage lighting creates a casual elegance reinforced by the restaurant’s sophisticated colour palette of smoky grey-blues, taupes and earthen hues. Commissioned abstract expressionist-style artwork by Blu Smith pairs with the space’s decorative accents of leather, brass, bronze-beaded curtains and white marble chevron details.

“The French 250 cocktail is a take on the classic French 75, but instead of regular gin we use Empress Gin from Victoria — hence the 250 (Victoria area code) to make it local. We also add wild mountain honey syrup and lemon juice and top it off with the Unsworth Charme de L’ile (also local from the Cowichan Valley). “

“Ideally, The Courtney Room will become an iconic dining space that is as timeless, classic and as long-lasting as the hotel. We think we built something exceptionally well designed and well thought out. It’s a timeless dining experience in a classic restaurant,” says Bill.

FoodrestaurantVictoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Monday rings in partial return of school across Saanich Peninsula

Saanich School District reopening of schools comes with revised health measures

B.C. Conservation kills bear in Langford amid growing problem of habituation

Officer demands garbage lockdown for residents in bear territory

Killing of Discovery Island wolf was legal, says BC Conservation Service

Takaya was shot and killed by hunters on March 24

Pub seeks 55-seat patio on Oak Bay Avenue

Oak Bay invites businesses to expand onto sidewalks, parking spots

Police enforce school zone speed limits as Greater Victoria students return to class

Saanich police on the lookout for speeders outside Glanford Middle School

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read