Sometimes you crave a bit of ambiance to go along with your meal, but you don’t want to break the piggy bank.
Araxi’s Happy Hour: Fondue from 3pm-6pm paired with this Whistler institution’s killer apres ski cocktails is a great way to treat yourself after dominating the mountain (or generally in my case, having the mountain dominate you). $12.50 gets you a big ol’ vat of cave-aged gruyere mixed with white wine and kirsch (the latter is a clear cherry brandy that some say help balance out the flavors while others hypothesize it helps kill the germs from double-dipping), served with Araxi’s killer housemade bread, gherkins and pickled onions.
Hot drinks include Akvavit Ginger Glogg (Akavitt, Giffard ginger, red wine, honey and apples) and Port Gluhwein (port, red wine, brandy, spices, orange) for $7.50. More of a beer drinker? Opt for the chestnut beer or another one of the seasonal brews.
The bar area is my favorite part of the restaurant and generally fills up quickly, but as an alternative, Araxi also has an outdoor heated area with a window to place and get your order from the bartender.
To read more about Araxi, click here.
Crepe Montagne: I generally require breakfast fare heartier than just a coffee and muffin before hitting the mountains. Tucked away in the northwest part of the Village, this rustic restaurant’s buckwheat crepes and smoothies do just the trick. I generally spring for the 2010 crepe which amounts to 3 eggs, Canadian bacon, fresh tomato, 3 cheeses and green onions. But the benedicts and french toast are also quite popular.
This petite spot boasts a celebrity guest list of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Wesley Snipes, suggesting crepes have fueled more ass kickings in the past than we may imagine. Savory crepes amount to $10-$13 and the sweet variations hover in the $5-$6 range.
Cure Lounge – Cure is a fun pre-funk lounge before walking five steps to neighboring restaurant Aura, but it is also one of my favorite all-evening hangout spots. Equipped with an onsite mixologist, rooftop garden, and talented staff (many imported from Tofino’s acclaimed Wickaninnish Inn), Cure is the perfect apre-ski spot: Cozy seats, warm chocolate wood floors, perfectly dim lighting, a knowledgeable and attentive wait staff and a tranquil setting overlooking Nita Lake.
I like to either grab one of the leather couches or sit at the bar to watch Hailey and her crew assemble some of their signature drinks. Hailey crafts her own premium distillates and leverages the fresh fruit, herbs and spices from the onsite garden in her libations (mint, thyme, fennel).
In addition to cocktails, Cure’s charcuterie plate rivals the ones I have had in France in Spain: Pigs’ face, duck coppa, paper-thin tongue of veal, and spicy coppa. You will never spring for grocery store lunch-meats after going to town on this meat-filled smorgasbord.