Category Archives: Restaurants

Dinner as Theater

I recently visited Whistler BC, which if you have never been, is an amazing ski and summer resort area north of Vancouver.  I could extol the virtues of the pristine, remarkable scenery, or the warmth and kindness of the people I encountered.  But this is, after all a food blog. So I will instead regale you with the tale of my dinner at the Bearfoot Bistro.

There’s a create your own three course menu for $38 and a Chef’s Five Course Tasting Menu for $68.  I opted for the three-course menu, but was delighted at the additional treats that they brought to the table.

I had mentioned I wanted to taste the mushroom broth, although there was another scallop appetizer I was interested in.  They said to order the scallop.  And before it arrived, they brought me a demitasse cup of their Wild Mushroom broth, which included shaved chanterelle, a poached quail egg and truffle oil.  It was both light and flavorful, and I could have eaten a bowl of it!

My selected appetizer was the Qualicum Beach Scallop on a bed of warm slaw that was paired with a braised oxtail filo pate with a sunchoke puree and roasted cippolini onions.  I don’t believe I have ever had a more tender, sweet Scallop!

They brought out a palate cleanser next:  a refreshing sake and cranberry sorbet.

It was time for the entrée.  I selected slow braised heritage Angus beef cheeks because I have never had that, and I saw it featured several times on recent cooking shows.  Think of braised short ribs, but with a milder flavor, and extremely tender.  It came with a butternut squash puree, a brown butter veal jus.

Dessert was a most divine Apple and Carmel pave’ with a maple smoked salt parfait and an “it-has-to-be-tasted” sour cream sherbet sprinkled with candied bacon bits.  Just when I thought it wasn’t possible to eat more, they rolled a table up to us, and as we watched, poured heavy cream into a bowl, followed by liquid nitrogen!  Yes… in a matter of seconds they made ice cream in front of us!  Great fun and quite delicious with the tray of toppings that came along with it.

As we sipped our coffee two of the delightful, international staff came up to the table carrying white ski parkas.  As we explained that those were not our coats, they laughed and told us to put them on and come with them.  So we did.

We were led to their Belvedere Ice Room…where they offered us flights of different vodkas to sample amid the arctic ambiance with a frozen bar and ice display boxes featuring vodkas from around the world.

The evening was completed with a quick visit to their wine cellar, which houses the largest collection of wines in Canada, including collectors bottles from 1907 and 1929, and one bottle of wine worth $25,000.  (I did not sample these.)

All in all it was one memorable meal, and definitely a theater-like dinner experience.

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