whistler & banff
we wil be in whistler for 3 nights, then banff for 3.
would love any recommendations for restaurants. nothing too fancy - after skiing all day we usually like a more casual atmosphere.
great food, however, is a must. we'll have a car at both locations. thanks!
Too late I know for the original poster but just got back from a couple of days in Banff and really enjoyed Fuze on the second floor of the Clock Tower Village Mall on Banff Avenue.
Fusion to a degree. More east Indian than the customary Asian flavours I usually associate with "fusion cuisine". This was definitely NOT the "confusion cuisine" I have had elsewhere.
Quite a large open space. Attractive, comfortable main room with a number of chocolate booths. There is a private room or chef's table adjacent to the kitchen with a large window allowing one to see what the kitchen is up to without the noise. Also has a demonstration kitchen where they can produce cooking shows or serve as a reception area.
Combination of style and function as their wine is stored and featured in backlit display cases of silver brushed aluminum or stainless steel that can be seen from most of the restaurant.
I elected to eat in their lounge which they are developing into more a stand alone operation making it a bit more private from the rest of the dining room. I was going to order off the lounge menu but then decided to start with some oysters as they are trying out an oyster bar to "test the waters" so to speak.
They turned out to delicious. Flinty salty "smallish" offerings from the east coast.
I then had a trio of tartar, salmon, tuna and scallop. This was a terrific dish. The fish was good but the condiments and sauces which accompanied each were particularly pleasing. The wasabi sauced scallop topped with a quail's egg was a standout and I do not usally enjoy scallops, especially when uncooked.
For my main I opted for the Indian spiced NY Strip which perfectly grilled, rare as requested served over a parnsnip and potato puree. The curry spiced sauce was delicious and although it did have quite the "kick", it did not overwhelm the beef. Nice twist from the more usual peppercorn sauce you often get.
Has this with an excellent New World syrah from California that the sommelier/general manager Anthony Chalmers had recommended. Very good wine list. Well chosen. Not the "Manhattan Telephone book" size you often see in resort restaurants. Quite a number by the glass.
Finished off my evening with some cheese from a selection of seven or eight they had available that evening.
Fuze is certainly well worth a visit if you are in Banff.
I had originally intended to eat at the Maple Leaf Lounge which is part of the King Eddy Hotel complex but their kitchen had not yet opened for business. I elected to just have a glass of wine. Pretty decent unoaked chardonnay from Peninsula winery in the Niagara. Quite a good wine list, featuring predominantly Canadian wines but with more than a number of choices from Italy, France, Germany and the States.
re: Bob Mac
Salt'lic in banff!
take a pass! I made the mistake of eatting there following a last minute suggestion of a cab driver and I was served a FROZEN piece of fish.. yes a fishsicle arrived on my plate. I latter found that it is a chain of earls... bla ! there is many a good piece of beef in banff and that would be my last suggestion.
If you want a casual pub like place, the St. James gate is a beautiful Irish pub with a really fair menu of classic pub food.
Couldn't agree more with Da Cook.
Thanks for the heads up on the South Side Diner - I only thought they were a breakfast joint.
We went to Rics a couple month ago (both The Mix and Rix) big mistake. The food was nothing but below average, the service was half ass and the atmosphere was far too "cool" or trying to be "cool" for our liking.
A must is Rimrock - $$$ yes, but worth every penny!
I am a chef and caterer living in Whistler.
DO go to Sushi Village, there will be a line up and it is worth every second. There are few Sushi Bars anywhere on the planet that are as good for the price. Sit at the Sushi Bar and let the Chefs blow you away
Do go to Carumba, Elements, Pasta Lupino for good value and excellent, consistent food. The Beet Root cafe is a great choice for a casual lunch. All homemade, lots of vegetarian choices and friendly.Elements Tapas is almost in this list. It is owned by the Wildwood guys and is the only one of their restaurants I would have dinner at. The Wildwood is ONLY good for breakfast, they are a good value for eggs benny etc.., but my favourite breakfast hangout is the Southside Diner in Creekside - excellent specials all week especially the Prime RIb Wednesday. Sushi Ya is a friendly, good value sushi bar, owned by ex Sushi Village chefs who left during a "mutiny" It lacks the formers location, selection & range. Though You are more likely to encounter really interesting stuff. I had my first "live" sea urchin there and rarely can I enjoy the frozen stuff anymore.
Splurge and visit The Rimrock Cafe, very expensive, but one of the best restaurants anywhere. Also expensive but worth checking out is Apres (premium French), the two Umberto Restaurants (Il Caminetto and the Tratoria).
Do not go to Sachi, The Crab Shack, Ric's Grill, The Mix By Ric's, 21 Steps or Morgans.
There, I've just killed about 10 relationships.
In Whistler - i would go with either Sushi Ya or Sushi Village and not Sachi - we have tried to like Sachi but the food is not that good. The fish is fishy, the rice is undercooked and the MSG = very salty cooked food. Sushi Village is no more expensive and 100 times better.
A few other casual eats are:
-Portobello (great lunches)
I'll second The Maple Leaf. The husband and I eat there everytime we're in Banff. I love the PEI Mussels and the Groom Lake Duck. One time, they had an icewine sorbet as a dessert - it was the most enjoyable sorbet I've had in a long time. It is upscale, but indeed you can go in casual. We're always in our winter "walking around" clothes, and have always been welcomed.
In Banff we like Saltlik, casual and nice, and very good food, good variety too. Is centrally located, downtown Banff. Very good steak too. Also Maple Leaf has very good food, a little more upscale than Saltlick, but still a very casual athmosphere. Both of these places have websites, you might want to take a look at their menus.
Enjoy Banff, and please report your restaurant/food experience while in Banff.