Friday, January 4, 2013

From Sea to Sky

Happy New Year! I rang in the new year at Whistler in Canada, with a lot of skiing and of course, apres skiing. The drive from our house is about 5-6 hours, including a long wait at the border. If you aren't driving, you can fly into Vancouver airport (YVR) and there is a bus that shuttles people from the airport directly to Whistler. In any case, your journey will take you from Vancouver to Whistler on the sea to sky highway, which is probably one of the most beautiful drives I have ever seen. 

Kirin Seafood Restaurant

Since we were driving through Vancouver and would be arriving around lunch time, we decided to find a dim sum restaurant. I can't recall the last time I had dim sum, probably the last time my friend Vai was visiting New York. My sister searched Yelp and found Kirin Seafood Restaurant. Dim sum ends at 2pm, and we arrived at 1:30pm, phew, right on time!

Kirin even has vegetarian dim sum! We ordered a few for the table to try them out.

When I was in school in Boston, my friends and I would go to Chau Chow city for dim sum regularly. My friend Ming told us a custom to thank the person pouring tea for you was to tap your fingers on the table. I think the back story (heavily paraphrased and going off of a story that was told to me about 9 years ago) is about a king who was pouring tea for "commoners", and a servant realized who he was, wanted to bow to him, but the king asked him not to do so, at the risk of revealing his identity. Instead, anytime the king poured tea for the servant, he would tap the table as a sign of deference instead of bowing.

{Veggie dim sum}

{Pork buns! Incredible in a way different from 
David Chang's}

Elements Tapas Bar

We actually came here for breakfast one morning. The stuffed french toast speaks for itself. 

Bearfoot Bistro

We weren't all that hungry once we arrived in Whistler given our huge dim sum lunch. We called around to make reservations at a few different places - and everything was booked! Note to self, always make reservations anywhere I go during the holidays. Luckily, there was a last minute cancellation at Bearfoot Bistro, so we walked on over.

I am not sure if this is just a holidays thing, but Bearfoot had a set three-course menu, with no a la carte options. It was not very vegetarian friendly, though I am sure you could talk to your server about some options. The really annoying thing about the menu is that there is a price for the three-course menu, but then most of the items on there have a supplemental charge. I've seen this at some restaurants for super chi-chi items (such as fresh shaved white truffle), but this supplement was on nearly every dish, including starters. For example, my rack of lamb was an extra $10. The wagyu beef was something like an extra $35.

{Amuse bouche of yellow fin tuna and quail egg}

{Drinking age is 19 in Canada! Cheewsth! 
(That is cheers in baby speak).}

I ordered the skuna bay salmon to start. It was served two ways, smoked and as a tartar, with "textures of potato", which was very interesting. In that shot glass to the bottom right of the photo, is a potato "chip" and then a potato foam. Unique flavors, that is for sure!

{Onion soup}


{Passion fruit palate cleanser}

{Rack of lamb}

{Venison - my favorite thing to eat on ski trips}

{Chocolate peanut butter bar = amazing! 
I LOVE chocolate & PB together!}

{Coconut cashew nougat}

Bearfoot Bistro is also a champagne bar. I believe the staff is even trained to saber champagne bottles. 

Crepe Montagne

Go here for breakfast every day. Relatively speaking, it is affordable, and yum. It opens at 8am and if you get there right when it opens, you won't have to wait for a table. Go anywhere from 8:30-11:00am, and you will likely have a long wait because it is a small place. You can skip the hot chocolate and the omelets, but the crepes are quite satisfying. My personal favorite was the rockies crepe and the chocolate and caramel crepe. 

{Slalom savory crepe}

{Warm berries with creme anglaise}

{Lemon curd}

{Nothing remained of the lemon curd crepe!}

{Rockies crepe with ham}

{My favorite! Chocolate & Caramel}

{Studying the Blackcomb map}

El Furniture Warehouse

Cheapest restaurant in Whistler by far! Everything on the menu is 4.95! I tried to order my burger medium rare, and the waitress gave me some spiel on how in Canada it is against the law to prepare burgers under a certain temperature. Um? What? I just had a medium rare venison the night before...Not sure what the deal was there, but my burger wasn't bad for being just medium, and 4.95. 

{The works burger}

Four Seasons - Fifty Two 80 Lounge

Fifty Two 80 (just in front of the restaurant Side Cut) has a fantastic drink menu, of which you can order and sip on drinks in front of a roaring fire place. I ordered a beet juice cocktail with a goat cheese foam. Yes. Goat cheese foam.


{Perfectly crisped fries}


{Sausage and truffle flatbread pizza}


We visited Araxi for both apres ski and New Years Eve dinner. During apres ski, gluhwein was my personal fave, and my sister enjoyed the cider. Gluhwein is basically a mulled red wine, and I think I will make this for Mai's birthday ski weekend in Killington next month. It is the perfect apres ski drink! 


{New Years Eve Tasting Menu}

{Foie gras parfait}

{Gnocchi with hazelnuts}

{Crystallized lemon and orange zest}


Ok, this is the REAL apres ski. Zog's is right at the base of Whistler, near the Blackcomb gondola. Zog's. Zog's serves poutine, hot dogs, and these amazing fried things named Beaver Tails. It is cash only, and the one day I forgot to bring cash was devastating. 

{Fried cinnamon sugar goodness}

{Chocolate hazelnut spread}

{Classic poutine}

{Onions for hot dogs}

{Enjoying beaver tails!}

An Ode to Hot Chocolate


Saving the best for last. My favorite place of all was Cows. I may have even gone there twice in one night. My favorite flavors are brownie explosion or peanut butter cup cup.

{Eyeing brownie explosion}

{Messie Bessie}

Basically all of the restaurants in Whistler are in walking distance if you are staying in the main village. Blackcomb (where Four Seasons is) is walkable from the main village, but you can also drive if you aren't skiing. Definitely make reservations! Supposedly there are upwords of 25,000 people in Whistler during the holidays! 

Now back in New York, I just want to eat spinach and carrots.

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