If you’ve ever wondered if there is enough to eat and drink in Whistler, the answer is yes – a resounding yes. Whistler has a bustling culinary scene and we’ve had a taste and sip (gulps and shots) of some of the gems and had to share.
The Eats and Drinks
Vine and Grill is the hotel restaurant at The Westin Resort & Spa. With Chef Bradley at the helm, the restaurant is keeping things pure, simple, fresh and grilled.
Dinner started off with a trio of B.C. wine and cheese flight. Our tasting included the Natural Pastures Camembert paired with See Ya Later Ranch Pinto Gris, Village Cheese Amber Ale with Mission Hill Chardonnay and Salt Spring Island Blue Juliette with Chateau St. Michelle Cabernet. My personal favourite had to be the second as the creaminess of the Village Cheese Amber Ale cheese paired wonderful with Mission Hill’s Chardonnay.
Then for a trio of salmon including a cured, tartar and ikura tastings. The cured salmon was nicely balanced and the ikura with crème fraiche was superb if you’re a fan of salty salmon roe but the star of the three was the tartar with a quail egg yolk on the top.
For the main, I went with the Chilcoutin Venison Chop with Chassis Glaze venison at the recommendation of the chef. It was very simply prepared with no complicated sauces – just seasoned and cooked perfectly without even a hint of gaminess. Easily my favourite plate of the night.
This meal is one of the last to be served at the Grill & Vine as we experienced it. Construction crews will be coming in early next week to refresh the establishment with new and exciting introductions including a fire-burning pizza oven among other changes.
The Westin Resort & Spa
Address: 4090 Whistler Way, Whistler, B.C.
Nita Lake Lodge
Nita Lake Lodge is a small boutique property about a ten minute drive away from the main Whistler Village. The lodge is very picturesque so its no surprise that summer weddings for 2014 are already booked out.
We stopped in for breakfast at Aura where Chef Michael has put together a tasty breakfast menu.
Their rooftop garden is nearing the end of their first major annual harvest, and it was nice to tour the vegetables and herbs that the culinary team forages for their kitchen and bar. Next year, it will be great to see what is next for the program.
Address: 2131 Lake Placid Road, Whistler, B.C.
Sidecut at Four Seasons Resort Whistler
The Four Seasons Resort Whistler’s Sidecut restaurant keeps diners on their toes. We had the privilege of being treated to Chef Tory Martindale culinary treats along with the company and expertise of wine consultant Kurtis Kolt. Each course was served with two wine pairings. One glass that a diner might typically expect (think: steak with a big bold red) and the other that wouldn’t be expected but would work in a different way.
The three course meal included:
Citrus cured salmon, lemon fromage fraise, dill rice crispies, nasturtium salad and smoked yellow pepper coulis – delish! This was paired with Cedarcreek 2012 ‘Block 3’ Riesling and Stoneboat Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir. Both wines were lovely, but the Stoneboat made for a much more sophisticated pairing.
Black Angus roasted beef tenderloin, braised short rib dumpling, bone barrow potato, flamed tomato and parsnip pearls. This was paired with Tinhorn Creek ‘Oldfield Series’ 2012 Bench Rose, and Laughing Stock 2010 Portfolio. And the winner? Laughing Stock!
Lastly, we had Golden Ears Farms Jersey Blue, Salt Spring Island Goats Brie Souffle and urban honey paired with a Summerhill cipes brut and Harper’s Trail 2012 Late Harvest Riesling. The cheese souflle was flaky, savoury and ooey gooey goodness. Together with the brut, it made for a fantastic end to a superb meal.
Sidecut @ Four Seasons Resort Whistler
Address: 4591 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, B.C.
Bearfoot Bistro is a Whistler institution. Although it is primarily a fine dining restaurant, it’s more than just a meal as there are plenty of drink as well. Two of Bearfoot Bistro’s most well-known experiences have to be champagne sabering and the Belvedere Ice Room.
Champagne sabering will take you down to the restaurant’s underground wine cellar where you’ll learn about the Napolenic era tradition then be given a sword and a bottle of bubbly. The trick is to flick the wrist and to follow the neck of the bottle. Mine came off in one fell swoop only to have the cork go flying across the room into a hanging Bearfoot Bistro banner to my satisfaction.
To then go from bubbles to vodka, we made our way to the Belvedere Ice Room where the first step is to get dressed accordingly in Canadian Goose down jackets. At -32C (-25F) the Belvedere Ice Room is the world’s coldest vodka tasting room – and the only permanent sub-zero vodka room in Canada.
Address: 4121 Village Green, Whistler, B.C.
All of these fabulous eats and drinks will be in the spotlight for Whistler’s food and wine festival Cornucopia. This year, it’s back for an extended 11 days – giving you more chance to see, eat and sip through the best.