Veneto Dining and Tapas Lounge (Rialto Hotel, Victoria BC)
There are two bartenders on whose hands I always hang my drinking life: Shawn Soole (of Clive’s Classic Lounge fame) and Simon Ogden (head bartender at Veneto Dining and Tapas Lounge). Every time I visit either of these two fine gentlemen’s establishments, I say “do your magic – I don’t want to know what’s in my drink, just make me happy”. And they do. Without so much as a blink, both Simon and Shawn deliver fantastic cocktails in my hands. I surprised Simon (whom I consider a very good friend) this past weekend as I dropped by Veneto Dining and Tapas Lounge completely and entirely unannounced.
I had been trying to visit Veneto, but for the past few months, my life has been crazy and hectic. So when I got invited to visit Victoria “at my own leisure and pace”, I took the opportunity to show up at Veneto and surprise Simon and get to enjoy first-hand what my friends in Victoria have been telling me all the time: that Veneto is one happening place. And hell, is it ever!
I dropped by Veneto twice. The first time I had a couple of cocktails, although I would lie if I said I remember. But they were amazing. The second time I only had one cocktail, but it was amazing. And I feel like I need to ask Simon what I had. All I can tell you is that ANYTHING that man concocts, is special and totally worth it. Cocktails are priced within the reasonable $10 price tag, and Simon is excellent in what he makes.
Veneto’s atmosphere is incredibly elegant and classy, and having visited independently twice, I can tell you that there are good reasons why Veneto is so popular: Clive’s and Veneto are the two places where I would most certainly run to and have a fantastic cocktail at the end of a stressful evening. Highly recommended, if you are in Victoria (British Columbia).
Disclosure: While I visited Victoria invited on a media trip, and Simon generously provided me with a complimentary drink on my first visit, on my second visit I paid for my drinks on my own dime. I just wanted to share my experience having cocktails at a place that was heavily recommended online and on my media kit. I wasn’t paid to write this post, nor was I required to do so either. In anything I write or publish on my site, I retain editorial control at all times. Should you have any questions/concern feel free to contact me via e-mail through my contact form.