An Extravagant Weekend Spent in Whistler

I really do love Whistler. Even though I live on the North Shore, and on the base of a mountain itself, it’s a different feeling when you get to Whistler. The mountains close around you as if embracing you in welcome. There’s more of a chill in the air even though the sun is shining since you’ve moved up quite a bit in altitude.

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Walking around Whistler Village all you see are people from all over the world and their furry best friends at their sides, often small enough to be held or toted about, but then you encounter the big Bernese or the happy-go-lucky Labrador and it softens all of you to see animals out and about in such a crowded area; being one with the people.

Then there’s the food and spirits of Whistler. I’m not saying that the food is any better in Whistler. In fact the food in Vancouver is far more abundant and provides you with a far greater variety. But then there are the gems of Whistler that if you look hard enough you can discover for yourself. Sometimes the nicest gem of all is the big ruby in the heart of Whistler Village – a link in a chain of fine dining restaurants in Vancouver. Araxi.

My boyfriend and I headed up to Whistler for the September long weekend, and spent a gruelling 2.5 hours stuck in traffic on the way. We understand this is our fault for leaving so late in the day, but when a trip goes from its normal 1.25 hours to almost 3 you get a little irritated…and hangry because you forgot to pack snacks and water because you thought it was going to be 1.25 hours. You get the point.
So here we are, an irritated, hangry couple stuck in traffic on the Sea to Sky highway without food or water.

Let’s just say that once in Whistler, you start feeling a little more relaxed, though still hungry, and now you’re worried you might be late for your 5pm reservation at Araxi. And you had planned on shaving your legs at the cabin, but your an hour out from your reservation and you still haven’t gotten to the cabin. I was practicing deep breathing and getting no where.

Cut to getting lost in Alta Point million dollar homes (“this can’t be the area”), and realizing after 15 minutes wasted that you’ve passed the entrance to the complex about three times. {Wince. Stomach growl. Wooly mammoth legs asking for a sharp blade.}

Once parked and parading up the stairs and along the sidewalk to the apartment #, the front door gives you one more obstacle to jump (what door handle turns up instead of down??…please remember there had been no food or water). Door swings open and we are standing in a large entryway. This is no “cabin”. This is a freaking town house with three floors of splendor and comfort. The ideal getaway home in Whistler. Thank God for family connections!

Twenty minutes later I am shaved, makeup’d, hair-did, and in my new black cocktail dress and nude heels, walking out the door with my gorgeous guy and on our way to dinner.

Dinner at Araxi is an experience that I recommend to anyone visiting Whistler. Just make sure to put some of your paycheck aside, because depending on your appetite you can do some real damage. Our appetite cost us over $500…

I didn’t want to pull out my phone for every dish so unfortunately I only have a couple photos of the evening affair, so I’m going to do my best to give you every gritty detail to make up for the lack of art.

From 3-5pm they have oysters on the cheap(er) – 10 for $15 instead of a dozen for $30. 😉 We began with a plate of 10 oysters and a dirty Belvedere martini for myself and one of their in house special cocktails for the bf. Both were delicious and the oysters were perfectly shucked and served with a mignonette sauce, fresh shaved horseradish and lemon.

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Following our oysters and cocktails we moved inside into the dining room to a table in the window, and out of the busy center. Our waiter was Ben from New Zealand, and he was phenomenal.

Our two appetizers were the ravioli and the beef tartar. We paired our appetizers with a white wine from California (Treana, Marsanne/Viognier, Central Coast 2011). We paid a hefty $21.25 a glass an didn’t regret a single drop! I highly recommend it.

The ravioli was as if an artist had drawn it on to the plate and a chef had given it life. Handmade pasta, with tomato puree and sundried tomato puree, as well as a pesto puree – all dolloped, splashed and painted on to the plate. The ravioli was filled with a light, mellow cheese that allowed for the full effect of the puree’s to play their role. Very nice.
The beef tartar unfortunately was not the success that the ravioli was. It lacked flavour entirely, except for the salty handmade potato chips served on the side. It felt more like it belonged in a pub than at a five-star restaurant.

Onto the main courses, which we had to order when the appetizers arrived as they took 30-40 minutes to make. Your waiter or waitress will most likely let you know this, as ours did. We ordered the Wagyu beef cheeks with a carrot puree and vegetables, and the rabbit wrapped in prosciutto and accompanied by mashed potatoes and a grainy mustard sauce. They were both divine! The beef melted in your mouth and the rabbit (being a first for me) was so flavourful and so perfectly cooked. All accompaniments fit the meals perfectly. Highly recommended! I continued drinking the Viognier from before, and the bf had a very nice bold red.

Before moving on to dessert we decided to have the cheese plate located on the dessert menu, which was something I recommend for every visit to Whistler. We chose three cheeses, and they were accompanied by an in-house made cracker that was light and crunchy and an apple-fig jam also made in house. I had a glass of Prosecco which paired extremely well with the plate, and the bf had a single malt scotch.

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For dessert we shared the chocolate lava cake with earl grey ice cream and each had a coffee. The chocolate cake was very good, but nothing enormously thrilling. The ice cream on the other hand was absolutely delicious, and such a great idea for an ice cream flavour. I still have moments where I want to quickly drive up to Whistler to have earl gray ice cream.

Fat and full we headed back to our cozy castle. 😉

The next day was another full day of eating, drinking and walking around the Village. I recommend PureBread for the most wonderful baked goods, and a nice coffee. This was our last stop on Monday morning before the drive home.

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Bon Appetit Whistler!

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