Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Lost Weekend in Rockies

Took three days last week and joined some friends for some stunning snow riding (ski, snowboard, other body parts) at Kicking Horse near Golden in the Canadian Rockies.
Those freaking mountains are wicked good and their images haunt me for months after a visit.
Had some wine but more importantly, had some great food and hospitality.

Thursday night we rolled into town and went to The Kicking Horse Grill, a place I'd been a few years back. It was just as good as I recall. I had Buffalo Ribs heaped on a square of bewitching scalloped potatoes and draped with their famous sauce. That alone was reason enough to return but add in the attention of Carl and Martijn that night and you have a great experience. If either of you read this, add a comment to the post and tell me what made those potatoes so unique. To tell the truth, I had my head down concentrating on my own meal so much I can't recall what my compatriots had but I did hear their noises of satisfaction.

Friday lunch was "big day on-mountain" and we took the opportunity to dine in the Eagle's Eye, the highest altitude dining room in Canada at 7,700 feet. F&B manager Thom McCann's crew are doing a masterful job with a 'just right' combination of elegance and casual. Being too pretentious would drive the jock crowd away but it would also be just as wrong to not honour the magnificent scenery and inspired design of the Eagle's Eye. This is all accomplished with a thoughtful attention to detail. The kitchen is the domain of award-winning chef David Knoop. His creations are worthy of the heaven-like surroundings.

On the advice of our server, Sue, I selected the featured Venison on Risotto. The venison was seared and served sliced on the bias, heaped on a savoury bed of risotto. The rice was perfect and had the piquant touch of small pieces of gherkin lurking throughout. We were skiing and it was lunch with a bunch of dudes so to wash it all down required beer. Enjoyed a couple servings of First Tracks brown ale from Fernie, just down the highway.

Saturday night was a bit loose but I can attest to some great pasta and too much Bushmills at The Taps under the watchful and tolerant gaze of Michelle, bartender, server and floor manager extraordinare. Later the denizens of Packer's provided some enthusiastic and energetic local entertainment from which I staggered back to my room at an appropriate hour.

Can't wait to return.

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