Page 121

It’s Tuesday night at Pagliacci’s. A local band called Frye, Maxwell and Smith burns on a lively Chuck Berry tune, while some 60 patrons sip wine, dig into delectable plates of pasta, tap their toes and chatter. The song ends; the room breaks into loud applause, even a few spirited whoops. Clearly everybody — band, diners, and staff — is having fun on this damp night. “If music be the food of love, play on,” wrote Shakespeare, highlighting the intimate connection that food and music have long enjoyed. We say musicians who play well together “really cook.” Musical and culinary arts even share similar aesthetic approaches: a good band blends rhythm, harmony and melody, just as a skilled chef orchestrates texture, flavour and visual appeal. Fortunately, some Victoria restaurants serve up not only delicious food but also great live music. In short, they really cook. Richard Fisher, 51, an avid music fan who, with his wife and friends, seeks live music wherever he can, says, “we should all feel quite blessed” with the quality of the musicians in Victoria and that hearing them in good restaurants is “the icing on the cake.” Live music brings atmosphere to a restaurant and is a big factor in the overall quality of the dining-out experience, he says. Pianist Karel Roessingh, who plays in restaurants throughout the region, identifies adequate pay, good treatment and a sincere interest in the music as key elements along with great food in creating a positive environment for the musicians and hence the clientele. Musician Brooke Maxwell, who has played Pagliacci’s for seven years, appreciates the respect for music and artists shown by owner Howie Siegel and his staff, a sentiment echoed by others. Maxwell describes Pags as a place where musicians feel free to “take risks” and try new things. Consequently, great moments occur, when the band, the patrons, and the staff spontaneously connect. The regular lineups outside Pags attest to the quality and value of the food, from “The Dish of Eating Dangerously,” a fiery Indonesian stir fry ($10/$14), to the more prosaic “Meat John Doe,” a.k.a spaghetti and meatballs, ($9.50/$13.50), and the famous chocolate desserts ($6.50 to $7). Floor manager Kris Simard, 45, notes that on key anniversary dates Siegel has brought in artists like the late jazz great Dexter Gordon and vocalist Etta James as free, special treats for the restaurant’s loyal clientele. Pags apparently has the right vibe. Can other restaurants measure up? Sitting in her art-filled, seasonally-themed James Bay establishment, her red hair lit up by the sun through the windows of the 1912 heritage building, Lisa Boehme, the proprietor of The Superior Cafe, says yes. She says food and

more than just great steaks

250 386 2010

621 Courtney St. [Magnolia Hotel]

www.primesteak.ca

victoriaboulevard.com 121

Profile for Boulevard Magazine

Boulevard Magazine - January/February 2010 Issue  

BOULEVARD MAGAZINE is designed to capture the personality, culture and vitality that is Victoria by focusing on the Arts, People, Trends, Fo...

Boulevard Magazine - January/February 2010 Issue  

BOULEVARD MAGAZINE is designed to capture the personality, culture and vitality that is Victoria by focusing on the Arts, People, Trends, Fo...

Advertisement