During my recent trip to Whistler in March 2012, I had the opportunity to have dinner at the Bearfoot Bistro, one of Whistlers must visit restaurants for foodies (Araxi being the second). Even as I sit here contemplating my next sentence, the flavours created by Executive Chef Melissa Craig come flooding back. The dining room is elegant with a very European 'fine dining' feel. The service is first class, attentive and as good as it can be without becoming overbearing. Our table was directly in front of the open kitchen where we watched the brigade execute dish after dish with military precision and in absolute silence.
Having had a moment to look at the menu and research the wine list, the sommelier arrived at our table and requested our presence in the cellar to saber a bottle of Champagne for our aperitif. Not only did I get to experience the cracking open of a bottle of bubbles with a saber, but a good time to explore the vast cellar.
The meal itself was incredible; dishes are created using the finest of local ingredients with excellent flavour and balance, and with emphasis on the diners enjoyment, not to flatter the chefs own ego and indulgences which is sadly too often the case in fine dining these days. Particular memorable dishes around the table included Scallops with pork belly, a trio of trout, lamb with artichokes and aubergines and butter poached lobster with salsify.
The wine list is extensive, offering a huge choice both local and from all over the world. If you wish to drink Petrus and Cristal then they have it, or similarly the sommelier is very unpretentious and more than happy to recommend some of the incredible wines from British Colombia. We stayed local and the Pinot Noir from the Okanagen Valley was the stand out, as was the Ice Wine we had with our dessert course.
Just as we thought the evening was coming to a close, another surprise was waiting for us around the corner. Beckoned yet again away from our table we were ushered into a room to don thick Canada Goose jackets, as worn by Artic explorers. Rather than the North pole, we were headed to the Belvedere Ice Room to taste some vodka at sub-zero temperatures.
A trip to Whistler would not be complete without a visit to the Bearfoot (or Sushi Village for that matter!).