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Whistler restaurant update


Sobaicecream
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I've been researching restaurants in Whistler (for a Christmas Eve/birthday dinner) and, after a thorough search of eGullet, noticed there aren't many new posts on the subject. I know there are a few names that consistently come up--Araxi, Bearfoot Bistro, Les Gros, Rimrock Cafe, etc.--but are these places all *still* good? I read a review elsewhere that said service at the Bearfoot wasn't great, for example.

Usually, for me, the quality of food always comes first, but since it's a special occasion, I'm concerned about service, ambiance, etc., as well. So weighing all these things equally, which restaurant would you recommend?

I've also tried to find more info on Les Gros--what's the ambiance like, can it accommodate a part of 7 to 8 people, etc.--but haven't been able to find much. Anyone have pictures?

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I've been researching restaurants in Whistler (for a Christmas Eve/birthday dinner) and, after a thorough search of eGullet, noticed there aren't many new posts on the subject. I know there are a few names that consistently come up--Araxi, Bearfoot Bistro, Les Gros, Rimrock Cafe, etc.--but are these places all *still* good? I read a review elsewhere that said service at the Bearfoot wasn't great, for example.

Usually, for me, the quality of food always comes first, but since it's a special occasion, I'm concerned about service, ambiance, etc., as well. So weighing all these things equally, which restaurant would you recommend?

I've also tried to find more info on Les Gros--what's the ambiance like, can it accommodate a part of 7 to 8 people, etc.--but haven't been able to find much. Anyone have pictures?

These restaurants are mentioned because they are good and consistently so.

Yes, they are all still good. I don't know where you read that the service at the Bearfoot wasn't good. But then, everyone has their own opinion.

Out of all of the ones you have listed, I would go to the Bearfoot, Rimrock and Les Gros. When was the last time that you searched for Whistler restaurants?

You've missed quite a few.

The Mountain Club, Zen, Apres, and the 5280 Bistro at the 4 Seasons are missing.

Le Gros is a great place that can take care of a group your size quite easily.

Pascal is one of the best sauciers I have ever seen and he does simple French food like no-one else I know.

The ambiance is great and it is a warm, inviting room and with a host like Pascal, you can't go wrong.

A bit out of town but worth the trip.

Forget about Araxi's though. Overpriced, over-rated and the place has the ambience of an airport terminal.

Hope this helped.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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I would second the recommendation for Bearfoot (but bring your platinum card). That being said, Melissa Craig is one of the most talented chefs in the country hands down, and her food alone is worth the price. A great wine list, but a little heavy on the markups.

I personally have never had a bad meal at Araxi, and they serve great local cuisine. The room can be romantic is you get the right table and the service is always outstanding.

Rim Rock and Les Gros are both fairly plain and not exciting, but both offer very well executed food and have comfortable rooms.

The Mountain Club and Elements are regular haunts of mine (as I live in Squamish and seem to drive to Whistler for dinner more than Vancouver). Both offer great value and really inventive dishes. I think Elements probably has the best frites in the pacific northwest (sorry Brasserie L'Ecole)!

Zen is overpriced for sushi, Fifty Two 80 is still trying to get some consistency in the kitchen.

I hope this helps!

Cheers,

Eric

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I have been eating in Whistler for some 20 years, (and I'm only 24) so I'm a bit of a sucker for the classics, but I have to say that the Rimrock is a clear winner to me--and the best value. Service, ambience and food is with out fail impeccable, and it will cost you less than quite a few other places. (I was last there in mid June).

I was most recently at Araxi's in mid-July. While everything was quite tasty and very well done, I found the ambience loud and intruding, not to mention we were only inside because they had sat us outside in a hideous wind. The food was good, but it cost us an arm and a leg.

Another suggestion--more a general reccomendation for anyone, is Sushi Village. It is an old staple of the village that has terrific sushi (last there on...well, sunday). Fresh fish, creative rolls, great hot dishes. They can't go wrong in my book. If you have six or more people you can make a reservation and skip the hour long wait, and there are fabulous tatami rooms, which I reccomend highly.

Like I said I've been eating there forever, and these are the ones I've been to most recently, so feel free to keep that in mind---both in that they are where I choose to go, and that I'm less familiar with newer places.

Gnomey

The GastroGnome

(The adventures of a Gnome who does not sit idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages)

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Hi everyone,

Thanks for the great input!

Sabrosita, I spent my childhood in Vancouver and my family were regulars at Sushi Village, but haven't been back to Whistler in over ten years, so it's great to hear it's still good! Looking at the photos on the Rimrock website, it looked very casual--is that not the case? Since we're celebrating a special occasion (dad's 70th birthday), we wanted something a little fancier.

Oyster Guy, thanks for the tip on Araxi. I did kind of get the same impression. As for the other restaurants you mentioned that I missed, I actually left some of them out because I thought they seemed a little on the casual side--Apres, Elements, etc. Please let me know if I'm wrong.

I think I'm leaning toward Bearfoot Bistro, right now--it kind of seems like the safe bet.

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Hi everyone,

Thanks for the great input!

Sabrosita, I spent my childhood in Vancouver and my family were regulars at Sushi Village, but haven't been back to Whistler in over ten years, so it's great to hear it's still good! Looking at the photos on the Rimrock website, it looked very casual--is that not the case? Since we're celebrating a special occasion (dad's 70th birthday), we wanted something a little fancier.

Oyster Guy, thanks for the tip on Araxi. I did kind of get the same impression. As for the other restaurants you mentioned that I missed, I actually left some of them out because I thought they seemed a little on the casual side--Apres, Elements, etc. Please let me know if I'm wrong.

I think I'm leaning toward Bearfoot Bistro, right now--it kind of seems like the safe bet.

Feel free to come and say "hi" as I work at the Bearfoot.

I'll treat you to your first dozen oysters.

Apres and Elements might seem casual but their food is right up there with the big boys in town. Apres will dent your wallet a little more than Elements though.

I, myself, am a big fan of Elements. If not dinner, try their breakfast. (served till 3:00 p.m.)

Glad I could help.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

Edited by Oyster Guy (log)

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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Forget about Araxi's though. Overpriced, over-rated and the place has the ambience of an airport terminal.

Hope this helped.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

:laugh:

Very neighbourly of you, OG! I'd probably want to diss Araxi too if I worked at the restaurant that often played second fiddle to it.

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Forget about Araxi's though. Overpriced, over-rated and the place has the ambience of an airport terminal.

Hope this helped.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

:laugh:

Very neighbourly of you, OG! I'd probably want to diss Araxi too if I worked at the restaurant that often played second fiddle to it.

OG has been nothing but up front about where he works and he has lived and worked in Whistler for a long time. I’d say that qualifies him to make fair comment on what places are preferable to eat at. Not to mention his extremely generous offer to Sobaicecream of the first dozen oysters being on him… not something everyone would do and something he has done before. Pretty damn hospitable and generous imnsho.

So why diss him? What's up with that?

Edited by appreciator (log)

sarah

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was. --Unknown

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I am not dissing anyone.

The food and service where I work stands on it's own merit and I don't need to trumpet that fact.

I guess it went unnoticed that I did reccomend other establishments other than the one I work in.

The reason I said what I did is that Araxi's has not always had James Walt at the helm in the kitchen the last few years and this has meant that the food has been a tad inconsistent (for lack of a better term)

I have never liked their room and it appears from the other posts that I am not the only one who feels this way. I find the room to be too open for my liking and too sterile and cold. All I said was merely my own opinion and nothing more.

Tell me Andrew, are you accused of "dissing" people if you give a place a bad review or are you merely "doing your job?"

I was just trying to help a visitor out with a couple suggestions, something all of us in Whistler are called upon to do numerous times everyday. Nothing more.

Thanks Appreciator. It's nice that someone figured out what I was trying to do.

The offer of a dozen oysters also applies to you if you get to Whistler.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

P.S. How do we play second fiddle to Araxi's?

We offer a totally different experience from them and the only way a comment like that would be justified is if you are talking about the Vancouver Magazine Awards, something that we regard as a total joke as far as being a legitimate restaurant award hence our complete absence from the awards ceremony for the past 4 years.

And we always manage to place second even though the judges haven't set foot in the place for over 3 years. How serious would you expect anybody to take an award when things like this happen consistently every year?

Edited by Oyster Guy (log)

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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Just get your oysters from Neptune. They're like 40 cents each if you buy five dozen at a time. That's pretty close to being free!

A little lemon, some crushed ice and you, too, can sell them for three bucks a piece.

-- Matt.

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As evidenced by the little emoticon before my post, I was joking.

Sniff...no free oysters... :sad:

Don't worry, I knew you were joking. I don't really count, though, but if you're ever in my 'hood, I'll give you free oysters. Of course, I don't know if you'd want free oysters in Winnipeg (it's so well-known for its seafood!).

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Oyster Guy,

I dropped into Bearfoot some years ago, I had some particular oysters that were very impressive, my wife who has never liked raw oysters had a dozen to herself. It was described as two hippie marine biology PHD's on some island's special award winning oysters =D They still haunt me.

UPDATE: Found the Oyster thread, Stellar Bay's from Cortes Island! Finally!

Edited by stoked (log)
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Oyster Guy,

I dropped into Bearfoot some years ago, I had some particular oysters that were very impressive, my wife who has never liked raw oysters had a dozen to herself. It was described as two hippie marine biology PHD's on some island's special award winning oysters =D They still haunt me.

UPDATE: Found the Oyster thread, Stellar Bay's from Cortes Island! Finally!

Stoked,

If you want to experience these fine oysters at home, go to Albion Fisheries on Great Northern Way in Vancouver.

They have a retail sales outlet and you can pick up 5 dozen of those bad boys for about 6 bucks a dozen.

I think I remember you......

I always remember converting non-oyster eaters to the fold.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

Edited by Oyster Guy (log)

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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Stoked,

If you want to experience these fine oysters at home, go to Albion Fisheries on Great Northern Way in Vancouver.

They have a retail sales outlet and you can pick up 5 dozen of those bad boys for about 6 bucks.

I think I remember you......

I always remember converting non-oyster eaters to the fold.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

Thanks OG! You just made my day! Last season I only made it to Whistler once, but I'll definitely have to drop in this upcoming season.

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  • 2 months later...
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the great input!

Sabrosita, I spent my childhood in Vancouver and my family were regulars at Sushi Village, but haven't been back to Whistler in over ten years, so it's great to hear it's still good! Looking at the photos on the Rimrock website, it looked very casual--is that not the case? Since we're celebrating a special occasion (dad's 70th birthday), we wanted something a little fancier.

Oyster Guy, thanks for the tip on Araxi. I did kind of get the same impression. As for the other restaurants you mentioned that I missed, I actually left some of them out because I thought they seemed a little on the casual side--Apres, Elements, etc. Please let me know if I'm wrong.

I think I'm leaning toward Bearfoot Bistro, right now--it kind of seems like the safe bet.

Feel free to come and say "hi" as I work at the Bearfoot.

I'll treat you to your first dozen oysters.

Apres and Elements might seem casual but their food is right up there with the big boys in town. Apres will dent your wallet a little more than Elements though.

I, myself, am a big fan of Elements. If not dinner, try their breakfast. (served till 3:00 p.m.)

Glad I could help.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

Can I also get a dozen oysters too?!?!?! :biggrin: Wife and I are going to be in Whistler for the first time over the New Year weekend and I'm definitely planning to check out Bearfoot! Whistler appears to have a very promising list of dining options.

Would also love any recs you might have for New Year nite celebration. Thanks in advance.

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Just back from a mid-week, mini-vacation in Whistler.

Was destined to eat at Ric's in the Crystal Lodge however it was closed for a private party... read the menu and was rather excited about what they had to offer – it seemed creative and the room looked lively, at least from the door.

Backup plan was Monks on the Blackcomb side. We started off with a shared appy of crab cakes which were tasty, actually had more crab than bread or other fillers and was well presented. Two mains followed with a steak for my wife and rack of lamb for me. Both dishes were well presented, well cooked and were hearty in portion. We opted not for dessert but had coffee’s and with two cocktails at the beginning the bill tallied $120. We enjoyed ourselves and wouldn’t hesitate to send anyone to Monk’s.

Lunch on the run was at Palomino in the Chateau where we shared a sandwich and soup while driving back to Vancouver. The soup was fish chowder and was hot, had plenty of clams, salmon and shrimp and tasted great. The sandwich was made in front of you with whatever toppings you wanted… mix and match whatever meats, tuna, egg salad… then whatever veggie… whatever sauces… add in a cup of coffee (or a soda) for $12 and we were more than pleased with value-for-money.

That was our two stops in Whistler.

Brian

Brian Misko

House of Q - Competition BBQ

www.houseofq.com

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I just wanted to save someone else from searching in vain. It always surprises me when I read travel articles about Whistler and how inaccurate they are. It really makes me wonder about other places I read about and if any of it is actually true.

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I'm interested in Whistler's Own Bakery. We've been seeing and tasting their products here in Vancouver lately and the Skookum Bar has become a regular snack I put in my son's backpack. I tried the U-bake cookies I bought and Meinhardt's-very good too. I've never been to Whistler. Has anyone been to the bakery?

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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