I was ecstatic when my manager announced that we reached a recent sales target and we’d be heading to the Bearfoot Bistro for a three-course dinner. There are a lot of great restaurants in Whistler and the Bearfoot is always amongst the top 3. It is known for its great food, innovative chef, impressive wine cellar – and the fact that if you’re going to celebrate, they know how to throw a party.
We started with drinks at the bar, where you can also eat if you don’t fancy the more formal table option. It’s funky with a lit iced edge where your champagne glass sits while you chat with friends. The inside of the restaurant seems quite dark, but that soon gives it an intimate feeling, the rest of the world is far away. We are soon ushered towards our table, however the Sommelier, Steve, catches us on the way and we are now headed towards the wine cellar.
It’s cooler in the cellar, which is lined with dusty bottles of wine. We ask which ones are the most expensive, which are the most sought after and which one we get to saber! My work colleague steps up to the plate and we all watch with bated breath as Steve shows her how to slide the sword along the bottle neck. The champagne has to be cold all the way through, so it needs fridge time of at least 24 hours, apparently a quick blast in the freezer won’t do! In a sabering pinch, Steve says you can immerse it in icy water for 20-minutes and that should do the trick. Beware if it’s not cold – the bottle will explode! The sword itself is huge and heavy, we all take turns holding it and pretending we’re on some ancient battle field – you would need some serious arm muscles. So the time has come and if it’s a clean strike we’re in for some good luck. She does it! The top comes off with an impressive pop and she has to step in the wine to confirm the good luck. The top is then placed in a Bearfoot presentation box – a great token to take home. Our manager is next and Steve wants to try something new. He hands Craig another bottle and says that he’s never tried sabering a bottle with a bottle! Low and behold Craig brings us even more luck when he strikes it clean off.
I’m getting hungry so I am glad when we get back to the warmth of the main restaurant. To start it’s soup or salad, and there’s no wrong choice here. I opt for the salad and it’s piled high with goats cheese and succulent greens, a perfect start. Then it’s down to business with the main course which is steak and prawns. All the girls opt for the veggie side dish, whereas our manager Craig goes for the pomme frites – which we then all take a stab at. The steak is served medium rare, as per the chef, and who’s going to argue with her? The wine is flowing and the banter around the table is getting going. As we wrap up our mains we are then told we are going to cleanse our palates in the vodka room before dessert is served.
We wrap up in Canada Goose jackets and head to the Belvedere Ice Room. It’s a barmy -18 degrees inside, and the walls are dotted with vodka bottles frozen into place. There are shot glasses waiting for us as we are told we can choose which Belvedere vodka we would like to try. I opt for the ginger infused Belvedere IX (pronounce one-x) which went down a treat. Instead of shooting it right back they suggest taking a few sips so you can really taste the vodka. At these temperatures it does not have that burning feeling, but it certainly retains its kick!
Back to our table we go, and as I have a sweet tooth I am looking forward to the nitrogen ice cream that’s coming up next. Our server prepares it table side with a definite splash of showmanship. She pours the nitrogen into the vanilla bean cream and beats it into a creamy texture. The nitrogen billows over the side of the bowl and looks like something from a David Copperfield show. There’s a little bit of nitrogen left over which is thrown on the floor and immediately evaporates, it would have been even cooler if the server was no longer standing there but thankfully she was beginning to dish out the ice cream. It’s served with a little tray of sweet bits to add – another playful addition to an already fun-filled night.
We spent nearly five hours enjoying our time at the Bearfoot Bistro. It was much more of an ‘experience’ than I’d ever have expected. The next morning the champagne, wine and vodka combination hit me, but as I downloaded my photos it was well worth it. This is the prefect place to have a celebration, whether it’s a romantic occasion, birthday, or of course you just hit a sales target – this is certainly going to fit the bill.
Photo credit from our night at the Bearfoot: Chantal Limoges