My Favorite Dinner Every Year

We are very fortunate to have time share in Whistler Canada, and every year we look forward to our one dinner out while we’re there.

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My view of the kitchen from the Chefs Table, and Head Chef Melissa working on our food!  To Mark “That’s her, that’s the head chef, oh my goodness she’s working on our plates, look at all the patches on her jacket, I can’t believe I’m watching this!”

Whistler has a lot of really nice dinning options and experiences…almost too many to choose from! About 7 years ago we came across Bearfoot Bistro (celebrating still being alive after bungee jumping!) and we have been enjoying our one night out for dinner there ever since. It may sound crazy, but we look forward to that dinner all year long!

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It started out with just bread for me, but our server tracked down some really good gluten free bread for Mark so he wasn’t left out. 

We’ve seen the restaurant change over the years, but the thing is…it was already darn near perfect. Each improvement just pushes it a little more over the top, and makes it better without even realizing you wanted/needed it to be better. P.S. prices have not shot up…which is nice.

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 Mark’s were all pretty much the same, but with changes for his allergies. I can’t remember what each course was, but they were all pretty amazing!

From the moment I call to make the reservation it’s an experience that is so enjoyable. Repeat customers are in their system, so when I called they verified they were accommodating Mark’s allergies, and that it was our anniversary celebration. 3 days before dinner I already felt like I was being cared for, and cared about.

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Seriously every bite was like a party it was so good!

This year was a perfect storm of fortune in that we were able to reserve a chefs table, and order the Chefs Menu: 5 courses and 5 wine pairings. (Fine dinning can be pricey…we usually opt for the more cost effective option when eating at Bearfoot Bistro…this year was a splurge that was so worth it! We have never been treated different based on the price of our order…the service is impeccable either way!). It was a bit of a stretch for me because you don’t know what you will get with a Chefs Menu, it’s their choice. So if squid shows up (I don’t like it in any shape or preparation and can’t stand the smell of it) you are eating squid like it or not. But, I took the plunge and am so thankful I did!

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This was the star for me! That single ravioli (sadly Mark couldn’t try that) was the most amazing wagyu beef and it was rich, and decadent, yet felt cozy, and homey all at the same time. I felt like I needed privacy while eating it, it was that good.

When ordering the Chefs Menu just know that it’s like entering a long-term relationship. You want to take your time, enjoy every bite you take, don’t rush drinking the wine, ask questions (you have a view of the kitchen, and are being well cared for by people who take pride in their job, enjoy it!), and if you can meet the chef! We were there for 3 1/2  hours, and it seemed to go by so fast. I was shocked when I looked at my watch!

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This pallet cleanser was so pretty! It was filled with cucumber water to refresh your mouth and get ready for desert. The expediter brought these over and advised taking one big bite otherwise it would be a shower down your shirt.

I totally had a fan-girl moment when head chef Melissa Craig walked into the prep area of the kitchen and was working on our main dish…I admit I was giddy! After Mark pointed out to the server I was a fan, and had a question for her about her menu creation process, our server talked to her and she came out (twice) and answered questions, asked how we liked the food, and was just really, really nice! I kinda wanted her autograph, but I kept my cool, sort of.

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Dessert…so amazing! 

If you’re ever in Whistler I can’t recommend Bearfoot Bistro enough, it’s worth the visit. They are great with kiddos (thankfully we were Sky free for this dinner) and go above and beyond to accommodate food allergies.

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We were table 40, Mark was seat 3. This board has always been pretty visible from the dinning room, and we heard the chefs talking back and forth double checking that the mushrooms in dish 3 were gluten safe, or the sauce in dish 3 was dairy safe. They check, and double check, and check again, and explained every change made to Marks food to make it work for him so we’d know.

 

A few tips for eating out with allergies:

-Look at the menu on line before you go.

-Call ahead and verify they can accommodate you, and ask if you can bring your own bun/bread etc. to make it work.

-Don’t be scared to double check before taking the first bite!

-Generally the nicer the restaurant the better the accommodation will be, and the more willing they are to be helpful.

-Whistler is a pretty great place to eat with allergies. We’ve found several great options for Mark, obviously sticking to our fave for dinner though.

Bearfoot Bistro Dinning Experience

Our absolute favorite place to dine in Whistler is Bearfoot Bistro. Of course the food is good, otherwise they wouldn’t last…there is a lot of good food in Whistler!

View of the kitchen from our Chefs Table.
View of the kitchen from our Chefs Table.

What makes them stand out for me is that it’s fine dinning no matter how you look or who’s in your party. We have gone in there in hiking clothes (pretty common in Whistler to have a range of “types” in restaurants…it’s an adventure mountain town) and had dinner one year with Sky when she was 1 1/2. Both occasions we were treated like royalty, and even though they put us in an out of the way room, that wasn’t being used for dinner at the time, when we were there with Sky (per our request) we still felt like we were part of “things” and were given the same level of service. She had her moments to, but they handled it so well.

First round: Gazpacho with lace crouton.
First round: Gazpacho with lace crouton.

They take down every detail you offer when making your reservation. Things like special occasions, allergies etc. And, it seems like everyone on staff is aware and accommodating of said info.

The first year we ate there the chef came out to the table and had a “meeting” with us regarding Mark’s food and how each dish would be adjusted or changed to be gluten & dairy free.

Appetizer: Smoked Black Cod - paprika, lemon purée, chorizo, confit potato, lovage, crisp white anchovy
Appetizer: Smoked Black Cod – paprika, lemon purée, chorizo, confit potato, lovage, crisp white anchovy

This year we were lucky in that Bob and Michelle’s niece Ali traveled with us, so we had a few nights out kid free. One of those nights was Anniversary dinner for us/Birthday dinner for Bob at Bearfoot Bistro.

Main: Ricotta Gnudi - stinging nettle cream, toasted hazelnuts, fiddleheads, summer squash, garlic scape
Main: Ricotta Gnudi – stinging nettle cream, toasted hazelnuts, fiddleheads, summer squash, garlic scape

I was over the moon excited to find out there was a chefs table available for us. It was so fascinating to watch the food prep, plating, attention to detail, how many checks each plate goes through before it’s served, and how calm it all was. No yelling, running around like mad people, or any of the other shenanigans you see on tv cooking shows.

Dessert: Ricotta, Wild Roses & Raspberry - toasted almond streusel, fig & black raspberry jam, ricotta gelato & raspberry sorbet swirl, meringue, rose & ricotta espuma
Dessert: Ricotta, Wild Roses & Raspberry – toasted almond streusel, fig & black raspberry jam, ricotta gelato & raspberry sorbet swirl, meringue, rose & ricotta espuma

If you order a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine you can tour the cellar, learn how to use a saber to open a bottle, and drink while learning all about the cellar and using a saber. Since it was anniversary and birthday dinner we split a bottle of champagne and started our evening with a tour of the cellar.

Walls of wine!
Walls of wine!
That's a $10,000 bottle of wine!
That’s a $10,000 bottle of wine!

Tips:

-Offer up any information that will help them help you enjoy your experience.

-Get there early and have a champagne cocktail in the bar!

-Anyone can tour the cellar, just ask. If you want to saber open a bottle you need to purchase a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine…do it!

-Ask for a chefs table, it doesn’t coast extra.

-Make reservations!

-Ask questions. They take pride in what they do and want to share their passion and knowledge. Questions about the food, bar, why the herbs were toasted before going into your drink, the cellar, interactions/process in the kitchen…it’s all an open book just ask!

-The wine list is 90+ pages long…talk to the Sommelier! He will let you know what is pairing well, and what works with your budget.

That's a big saber!
That’s a big saber!
Michelle used a smaller saber to open our bottle of champagne...so cool!
Michelle used a smaller saber to open our bottle of champagne…so cool!

We had so much fun, easily one of the best, if not the best, dinning experiences I’ve ever had. Thank you to the Beckham’s for being up to saber some wine, and to my dad for the anniversary dinner!

Oh Canada

Last week found us on adventures in Whistler BC for our family vacation. We were lucky enough to have the Beckham family with us, so there were extra good times to be had!

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The gang on our hike to the train wreck!

I look forward to our week in Whistler every year, and while the locations we trade to some years have all been awesome, my heart is always wanting to get back to Whistler.

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Graffiti from the train wreck.
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More graffiti…it’s treated like art there, and the artists themselves are pretty respectful of where and how they do it.

One of my favorite things is that there are things like train wrecks, abandon mines, ruins from old towns all to be stumbled upon and explored. No keep out signs, no warning of danger. It’s all explore at your own risk. I don’t know if that’s a general Canada thing or a specific BC thing (there is a difference)…whatever it is I like it.

I also love all the amazing food (I have a post all about our amazing dinner out!), drinks, and chocolate. Oh the chocolate…I don’t even like chocolate, but Canadian chocolate is so much better than U.S. chocolate.

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My two favorite!
Cheers!
Cheers!

It’s an interesting place because no one is from Whistler. Everyone, even “locals” are from somewhere else, mostly overseas, so it’s a true melting pot of cultures. And, so easy going and happy. Just a mountain village enjoying all the adventures the outdoors can bring…totally our kind of place!

One of the coolest parts of the week there…I don’t have a picture of it (it really happened I promise!) we saw a bear! It walked right past the balcony to the condo, up the hill and crossed the road to forage in the ditch on the other side…so cool!

A few more pictures of our adventures up north……

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Best road tripper ever, even if she did color on my car. 😦
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Ready to hit the links.
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When in Whistler…stop at the Amsterdam Cafe…it’s worth it. Just don’t break the rules! 😉
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The only golf we can afford in Whistler! Look at that form…that’s why she needs lessons!
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For real Canada is a magical place of amazing Caesars, I mean that’s a meal right there!
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Sky loved this so much she did it twice and flipped as much as she could!
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Hot tub time with a view of the mountains in the background…not bad.
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Perfect ending to a great trip!
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She was looking up the mountain for bears.

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If you ever have the opportunity to visit Whistler…DO IT! You won’t regret it!

Thankful Thursday

Things I’m Thankful For Today:

My two fave people!
My two fave people!

-Vacation!

-The mash up of nature and urban that blends perfectly and leads to unexpected, beautiful discoveries at every turn in Whistler.

 

Graffiti art we found at a train crash site in the woods in Whistler. So unexpected, so cool, so beautiful.
Graffiti art we found at a train crash site in the woods in Whistler. So unexpected, so cool, so beautiful.

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-Sky’s turned into a comedian, and even though that makes it darn near impossible to get a “Normal” picture of her it is pretty funny.

Mark and his running partners.
Mark and his running partners.

-Beer time.

Beer is better in Whistler.
Beer is better in Whistler.

-Lululemon’s Wednesday night group run…it kicked my butt, but it sure felt good to get a good run in on vacation.

-Traveling with friends, relaxing, drinking wine, eating good food, and just being.

What are you thankful for today?