Araxi – Whistler, B.C.

Araxi Risotto

Araxi – Whistler, B.C.

Ah, the curious culinary talents of Whistler. We were so fortunate to spend a week in January in the most beautifully stunning and sometimes terrifyingly big mountains of Whistler. I didn’t grow up in winter sports and only took up snowboarding in the past year in order to enjoy some non-wine time with Mike. Whistler boasts over 130 restaurants so even if I’m not the best boarder, I can still enjoy some great food, right?

Araxi was on our list for one of the “big dinners”, as in expensive and dress nice. I had heard about Araxi years before when one the Hell’s Kitchen winners was supposedly going to head up the kitchen. In reality, they don’t… executive chef James Walt does. He apparently does a fantastic job because that place was packed solid with people all night. We had been looking forward to this snowboard trip for half a year, so our reservations were made far in advance. We vacationed in Whistler with two friends so the four of us were sat immediately at our white clothed table. The décor is typical upscale resort with tones of wood, neutrals, and a splash of red throughout. The focus is definitely seafood at Araxi, so our group wanted to try some of the fresh oysters to start. They were out of most of the large selection, which was disheartening. That was a theme throughout the night, though. There were a lot of dishes that were no longer available. We made due and substituted some wild prawns in the appetizer mix as well.

The oysters that we did get to try were excellent. The prawns were even better. The seafood was so impressive that Mike passed on the rabbit, duck, and tenderloin (which was no longer available) to enjoy the lemon and roasted Garlic Crusted Halibut. Garnished with fresh corn and basil chowder, summer vegetables, fingerling potatoes, basil oil and root down arugula, it showcased the talents of each part of the kitchen. He made me a perfect bite of everything on a fork and it was incredible. After a full day on the slopes, there is no better protein than fish to make you feel energized again. I enjoyed my appetizer so much that I ordered the organic white prawn risotto. Arborio rice with prawns, white wine, lemon, asparagus and chives, finished with mascarpone and sunchoke chips. It was something that I strived to make at home and one bite made it quite clear that I was not born to be a chef. These people were. The risotto was perfect. White wine and lemon were perfectly balanced with the mascarpone. It was the best thing I had eaten since I arrived at Whistler four days prior.

We skipped dessert at Araxi only because we were so full from appetizers and entrees and we still had to finish another bottle of wine. There was also a stellar ice cream shop right around the corner from our hotel that was our usual snack before turning in for the evening. We are planning to spend more time in Whistler, so I will be enjoying dessert here at some point soon. I’ll be sure to let you know how it was!




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