Jasper-Looking for a special meal
- Stephen Beckta
I own a modern, fine dining restaurant in Ottawa called Beckta and I am going out west for a few days with my mother to show her the Rockies. We wanted a really nice, more modern meal (no old-school hotel dining, please) in Jasper and was hoping for some suggestions. Many thanks!
Welcome to Chowhound. Your restaurant has been on my "culinary radar" since its opening but unfortunately Ottawa has not.
Jasper is a tough spot to make a recommendation. It is dominated by steak houses, family fare, pizza and the like that are usually owned and operated by folks of Greek descent.
The Greeks "pioneered" the hospitality industry and dominate it to this date. That of course is not necessarily a negative but regardless of whether it says Tonquin Prime Rib Village, Villa Vesuvius, L & W or something else the menus can be quite repetitive.
The two which spring to mind are the Fiddle River and Kim's Bistro.
Fiddle River Upstairs overlooking the train tracks and the mountains beyond on the main drag Connaught. Despite being in landlocked Alberta it specializes in seafood. Usually rather inventive options. Not just restricted to fish and chips...although they do do a good job with the latter. This is where we usually end up.
Otherwise I expect Kim's Bistro one block back into the townsite will be recommended. Here is the some info on it.
We have been the one time last fall. It was "ok". Was I blown away? No.
All of the motels/hotels have restaurants of course. We were just at the Jasper Park Lodge and although the food is good at the Edith Cavel room I would rather have a burger and sit out on the patio of the Emerald Lounge overlooking Lac Beauvert.
I have heard good things about the dining room at the Pyramid Lake Resort, Becker's Bungalows, etc. but have not been to either.
I will be interested in hearing what others recommend.
re: Bob Mac
Nothing insightful received at the Summer Solstice dinner last nice apart from some wonderful food and wine from the folks at Edmonton's Culina.
Too bad it did does not have a spot in Jasper.
One correction to my initial post...it is Andy's Bistro as the website confirms and not Kim's...the latter is in fact in Charlottetown, a long way from the Rockies
re: Bob Mac
I suggest the Becker's Bungalows' restaurant for a nice dinner. It is out the main townsite a bit but it is worth the trip out. A rustic style dining room, where the restaurant is near the river, the setting and the food combine well for a good experience.
A drink at the Jasper Park Lodge is great - the atmosphere can't be beat. More pricey but the place is great for a visit.
Earl's is super casual but fun. Jasper Pizza is casual eating.
Jasper is a super place to visit and one need not go further south for a great experience, food or otherwise.
re: Stephen Beckta
Thanks very much for everything, Chowhounds! My mother and I loved our meals at Andy's Bistro (dinner-great Duck and awesome wine selection!), Earl's (fun and surprisingly good for a chain), and lunch at the beautiful JPL (lovely service, beautiful room, good menu...much unlike hotel dinning that I am used to).
So thanks again everyone, and please check out these places in Jasper next time you are there if you haven't already!
I take it you are not visiting the Southern Rockies on this trip (Canmore, banff, Lake Louise)
Certainly a plethora of memorable dining experiences to be had in that area for sure.
As for Jasper, I second the previous posting re: Kim's. Above average food, good service and ambience. Will I remember the details in a few years, no. Certianly not when compared to Lake Louise's Post, Banff's Eden, Fuze, or Banffshire Club, or even Canmore's Crazyweed or the Quarry.
I saw your Opening Soon episode and was very impressed. As a chef, former restaurant owner and fellow sommelier I feel qualified to give you the low-down on Jasper.
I have lived and worked at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge for the past couple of months. Unofficially, of course, I agree with your comments on hotel dining and BobMac's comments on the Greek factor and rather conservative dining in Jasper.
I would recommend that you visit the JPL and dine on sushi at OKA. It is truly world-class stuff, especially the tasting menu. OKA is not affiliated with Fairmont. Just a word of warning, it is a real sushi bar and there is no yaki or other hot food.
If you come, step upstairs to the Moose's Nook restaurant and say "hi", I would love to meet you!