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

PHOTOS: Small crowd gathers to watch 231-tonne stacker-reclaimer load onto barge crane

The Dynamic Beast barge crane, known for work with Johnson Street Bridge, makes a return

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary hosts pop-up fundraiser in Sidney

Temporary store to feature unique hand made gifts, collectibles, clothing, books and more

National Drug Drop-Off month aims to reduce substance abuse by house-bound youth

Expert says there is misconception prescribed medication is safe to take

Victoria mayor wants newspaper boxes removed from downtown streets

Mayor Lisa Helps says the boxes are not needed, often filled with garbage

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Most Read