The Bearfoot Bistro is a simple French bistro at heart, with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients and an extensive wine list, the result is anything but simple.
I was very much excited to dine at the Bearfoot Bistro, but unfortunately, wasn't as smart as some others to cut my losses before beginning. Upon arrival, we were ignored, and then asked, "oh, you are with the other party, right?" Once we defined we were not with "the other party" we were once again over looked at the coat check. Not the warm welcome I was expecting for the price I was about to pay.
We were early and decided to have a drink at the bar. We ordered our cocktails from a the guy behind the bar. He was very friendly and all, but didn't seem to have to have a grasp on the demands of the bar. He asked twice for assistance in making and serving drinks. I commend his ability to know when help is needed, but the bar was only 3/4 full and the restaurant was under a 1/3. While at the bar, we had the opportunity to carefully examine the extensive 40+ page wine list. Extremely impressive at the least. However, there were no "inexpensive" bottles and the the rest were extremely inflated, even compared to the other restaurants in Whistler. It is hard to pay $120 for a bottle you know you can get next door for $90.
When we finally went to our table, we were greeted by a very nice server, "A". He carefully explained the menu and the options for dining. Again, the menu was very well written, with the most affordable option being a 3 course, of your choice, menu for $98 plus wine. Personally, having the opportunity to travel a lot and dine in some of the finer establishments around North America, I was inclined to try the chef's 5 course tasting menu, paired with wine.
Once the decision was made known I was interested in the chef's tasting with wine, server "A" disappeared and server "B" arrived. Server "B" was a knowledgeable guy, but came across as a little forced. The first course was a trio of seafood served with an Asian inspiration. Each of the three components was complex, cooked perfectly and strikingly different. As we finished course one, server "B" came back to the table and asked if I liked the pairing with the dish. As we all know, wine pairing is an educated science completely over ruled by personal opinion. I honestly admitted I did not like the wine as a wine, loved the pairing with one of the dish components, but disliked it with the other two. I admitted I prefer old world wines and the fruit forward wine was unappealing. Instantly, server "B" became almost defensive and appalled that I not only criticized the pairing, but disliked the wine.
The second course arrived and so did server "C". Server "B" never stopped at the table again until the clearing of the dessert course. While server "C" was a delight to dine with, he unfortunately could not make up for the obvious mistakes that had already occurred.
In a final review, I would advise people the environment is stale, unwelcoming and almost hostile if you show the slightest signs of any previous dining competency. I thought the food, while artful and creative, was over priced, but was more shocked at the wine prices. For paying $125/person for a paired wine course, I would expect wine to be poured of greater value than local BC wines that can be purchased at the wine store for $18 a bottle.
I had dinner at the Bearfoot bistro a couple weekends ago. I had heard it was good. Nothing could be further from the truth. Their wine list is way too expensive, and for such a huge list I found it disappointing that they were "out of stock" on the bottle I chose. ( La Frenz Cab) The food started out good, the appetizers were actually quite nice, we finished them & I was eagerly awaiting the mains.............for the first hour. By about an hour & 15 minutes later I was beginning to get annoyed, our wine was almost gone ( along with our invisible waiter ) and we still hadn't had our main course. When I flagged down the server & mentioned to him that the food seemed to be taking too long, he corrected me & told me that at the " Bearfoot Bistro" people come to "dine" & enjoy the ambiance. He was not apologetic for the huge delay, in fact he was condescending and rude towards me. When we finally got our mains , the food was not good at all, my elk was blue rare & my wife's food was almost cold. By this point we just wanted to get through the 3 course menu & get out of there so we choked it down , crossed our fingers & waited for dessert. Dessert came and it was worse than the mains. We didn't even eat it. As the server cleared our half full dessert plates he didn't even bother to quality check. Bottom line : don't go there.......head over to Apres or Araxi instead.