Bearfoot Bistro dining room

Last weekend, my husband and I were treated to a beautifully presented three-course meal at the Bearfoot Bistro while lodging at the Listel Hotel next door. We were in Whistler for the annual Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival.

Before beginning our champagne lounge three course meal however, we were guided to the Bearfoot’s cellar, boasting over 2,100 different labels in one chilled and humidity-controlled space.

bistro cellar bottles

More champagne is sold at this restaurant than anywhere else in Canada, so it was only fitting that proprietor Andre St. Jacques led me to the sabering table for my first try at sabering a champagne bottle. During the 2010 Winter Games, Olympians such as Jon Montgomery visited this popular spot to both dine and enjoy the unique knife-wielding experience.

Andre St. Jacques in the cellar
[Andre St. Jacques demonstrating wine sabering in the Bearfoot Bistro cellar]

Andre also happens to hold the Guinness world record for champagne sabering. We’ll have to believe the current record he holds for sabering 21 bottles in under one minute! I was happy enough to successfully saber just one that night, a Sumac Ridge Tribute chardonnay varietal.

photos of chefs and champagne pouring

This sparkling wine was produced in order to commemorate the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

lobster amuse

Seated back at the chef’s table close to the kitchen, we caught the sous-chefs prepping the many dishes making their way to the dining room during the course of our meal. We started with a lobster amuse, with radish garnish and pea purée. The pea purée was so light and fluffy that it felt more like a mousse when eaten.

Albacore tuna niçoise

My appetizer was a Tuna Niçoise with tomato, paper-thin fried spinach (so delicate!), potatoes, green beans and lemon jelly, accompanied by a tarragon mousse. The bites of tuna together with the clear citrusy taste of the jelly were sublime. I also loved the tarragon mousse with the vegetables. Beautifully presented on the plate, it was almost a shame to eat it.

oysters with fresh horseradish and red wine mignonette

My husband ordered oysters served with fresh horseradish. A powerful taste that hit the palette together with the salty smooth consistency of the oysters.

Fruit/Champagne amuse

A small smoothie made with raspberry, cranberry, and champagne served as a nice palette cleanser in anticipation of our entrées.

Fennel crusted West coast halibut

My entrée was a fennel-crusted West coast halibut, served with crab bisque foam, orzo, and sweet corn, a delightful blend of flavours. My husband was served Angus Beef striploin with Tiroler bacon, fingerling potato, and a delectable King Oyster mushroom in a Banyuls thyme jus.

Angus beef striploin

The wine we chose paired well with our dishes. I was brought a glass of 2007 Tormaresca Italian chardonnay and my husband ordered a 2008 Sottano Argentinian merlot for his striploin.

Nougat Glace, Hazelnut crunch, pear butter

Desserts came next, along with their own after-dinner wine pairings. My Nougat Glacée was served with hazelnut crunch and a portion of pear butter that melted in my mouth. I loved how the crunchiness and distinct hazelnut flavour played with the soft, delicate pear sweetness. Little drops of caramel completed the picture. My husband’s profiteroles were to die for. Caramel cream and chocolate sorbet made for a fantastic combination from pastry chef Dominique Fortin, new to the Bearfoot Bistro team.

Profiteroles with Caramel cream, chocolate sorbet

Buller fine old Muscat

Neige Ice Cider

A glass of Buller muscat accompanied the profiteroles and a Neige ice cider was poured for my nougat dessert. Both provided a tasteful and smooth finish to a delightful supper that we’ll remember for some time to come.

We didn’t get the chance to try the Belvedere Ice Room, where down parkas and winter hats are lent to guests as they sample flights of Belvedere in an ice sculpted room maintained at -18 degrees C, creating a unique tasting experience.

ice room

The restaurant’s five course menu changes daily while the regular menu changes about six to seven times a year. Melissa Craig is the award-winning Executive Chef behind this beautiful collection of dishes and menus. Melissa will also work with groups (of 10 or larger) to create personalized menus for almost any occasion.

Tiny bites of dessert

As mentioned above, our meal and drinks were graciously paid for by the restaurant.


  • Comment by Betty — April 26, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

    The food looks just amazing! I definitely have my eye on this place for dinner next time we hit Whistler.

  • Comment by Tony R. — April 26, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

    Hope to make it to the cellar next time we visit. We dined here last year with friends from out of town and we were all impressed by the kitchen. Nice photos btw.

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