Whistler is a beautiful place away from home yet closely accessible within the day. A beautiful scenic drive during the summer months thru the North Shores on the Sea-to-Sky Highway. On the way you can stop at Squamish for some delicious Caesar at The Watershed Grill, go for a hike at Shannon Falls, and hit Whistler Village for some shopping and a nice dinner at Araxi Restaurant + Bar.
Araxi, part of the Top Table Group that brings you West, Thierry, Blue Water Café and Cin Cin. It is voted top restaurant in Whistler, made famous by Gordan Ramsay in Hell’s Kitchen with Chef Dave Levey alongside Araxi Executive Chef James Walt.
Araxi celebrates fine dining with locally sourced ingredients from Pemberton Valley farms, fresh seafood, and a classical upscale dining area and bar.
We were here for a romantic day just the two of us celebrating my birthday. Perhaps I didn’t need the easiest way to get to Dalaman, Whistler was a vacation on its own. Snowboarding season maybe near an end but you can still see a few die-hard fans transitioning to mountain biking season!
The restaurant itself is one of those that you can get away with a casual attire or be completely decked out. I love the relaxed atmosphere in an elegant fine dining setting. The staff are warm and inviting.
We were presented with warm, rustic buns served with olive oil and a pudding shaped butter. It is cute to look at and serves its purpose!
I prefer ordering more appetizers vs mains. Perhaps I am greedy or I get bored easily, so we need to sample more dishes. To start we ordered…
Served with house baked sourdough crostini, the beed is tossed with truffle vinaigrette, capers, shallots and garnished with a quail egg. It is melt-in-your mouth. Who cares if it isn’t Kobe beef… Not like you the “kobes” you order are real in North Amercia anyways.
BC Oysters ‘Five Ways’ 15.50
This was beautifully presented. Raw oysters are served 3 ways…
Chilled with ponzu pearls
Half shell with trout caviar
Crisp with spiced avocado,
House smoked with potato soup,
Virgin caesar shooter
By far the most creative and memorable – both aesthetically and taste-wise!
Quebec Foie Gras Parfait 19.50
Served with baked brioche, red wine and paired poached Okanagan pear ruby port and black pepper glaze.
The foie gras was smooth, velvety and rich. So rich that the baked brioche was too heavy. Luckily the tart pear was there to balance it off a little. We couldn’t help but to calculate how many calories was in that dish… actually I better not tell you… The kosher salt sprinkled on top was a nice touch!.
What’s up, Doc? Looks like Elmer Fudd got the better of Bugs Bunny. The carrot garnishes are actually quite ironic when you think of it. The rabbit lying next to it is meaty, tender and filled with a French styled forcemeat. Olive oil vinaigrette lightens this dish.
I wanted what they always show on their website – namely the Raspberry Napoleon. Layers of vanilla sable biscuits, raspberries and lavender cream sinfully stacked.
Alas, they no longer offer in the restaurant. You can, of course purchase the recipe cookbook Araxi: Seasonal Recipes from the Celebrated Whistler Restaurant and try making it at home.
As an alternative our server enticed us with Lemon Tart and promised it would be the best we’ve ever had. We ordered it along with a scoop of white peach sorbet.
Lemon Tart 11.50
With candied lemon zest and limoncello syrup. Light and Tart. I still wanted my Raspberry Napoleon… but the white peach sorbet is a rare find and was quite refreshing!
Araxi is one of those places fit for any occasion. This sure beat the venue we went to last year on Burnaby Mountain.
This place was classy, elegant and full of character. And a Happy Birthday to me! Thank You Dave!
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