This friendly restaurant is a great place to experience Victoria’s three main culinary passions: small plates, local ingredients, and Mediterranean flavors. It is the latest incarnation of what was a somewhat dark, gloomy steakhouse; it still has the clubby leather chairs and the multiple levels with stairs, screens, and glass dividers in between, but it’s a lot brighter these days, with bright art on the walls and a terrific long, wooden bar. Try one of the excellent cocktails while you nibble on spicy chorizo puffs, polenta bites, and savory meatballs, and try to decide between the short-rib pasta or Sardinian fish stew. Catalano also serves a terrific weekend brunch, and offers a well-edited selection of interesting wines. It’s owned and operated by the folks behind the popular Ferris’ Oyster Bar & Grill, which is also well worth a visit (536 Yates St.; [tel] 250/360-1824;