I went to Victoria Gastro Pub for lunch today with some coworkers. While a tad too fancy for my day-to-day tastes, I liked it. The food was flavorful and filling. Servers dressed in black, providing excellent table service.
After eating at Hot Doug’s in Chicago, I was ready to try a Bucket of the Duck Fat Fries ($7). They’re served with a Roasted Garlic Aioli (meh, like a bland mayonnaise) and dusted with Truffle Sea Salt (tasty). Though not mentioned on the menu, they were also sprinkled with fresh rosemary (excellent). The seasonings offered more flavor than the duck fat, even when compared to the regular fries. If anything, the duck fat fries were more crispy than their peanut oil counterparts. In all, a disappointment and not worth the hype.
I ordered Huevos Rancheros ($8). Sunny side eggs, set atop a corn tortilla, black beans, chorizo sausage, and ranchero sauce. All of the dishes look delicious, even when you change things up a bit; I asked for the eggs scrambled and the kitchen delivered, creating a mini-tower of eggs atop everything else, beautifully presented. The corn tortilla was nice and crisp, complementing the other soft ingredients. The ranchero sauce was a deep orange color (almost like a curry sauce), smooth on the tongue, with a nice amount of zing. It didn’t look all that big when it came out, but it filled me up.
The others at my table had mixed reviews. Some praised the food. Others thought it was so-so. One of the specials wasn’t quite as advertised. It happens.
The atmosphere at Victoria is excellent. Low light, lots golds and browns. It reminds me of the Bellagio, actually. Very regal feeling. There is a lot of variety in the seating arrangements, including several rooms that can be closed off, making Victoria equally suitable for a couple or a private party of 30.
I won’t be a regular fixture there, but it would be a good place to take out-of-town guests for something a little different.