Table Scraps 

The Zen of living room dining opened

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Don’t you hate it when you go out with a group of people who all vote sushi for the night and then there is always one person who just isn’t in the mood? Especially if that person is you?

Well Zen has found a solution with their newly created The Base lounge located in the Japanese up-scale eatery located across from the Creekside Gondola at the base of Whistler Mountain – hence the inspiration behind the name.

While rolls may be priced in the two figure numbers in Zen, everything under The Base menu falls under $9 with both North American and Japanese fare to choose from.

Classic lounge pickings line the modest menu, including calamari, short ribs, chicken tenders and a sushi roll of the week, just to name a few.

The setting has a living room feel with lush black and red leather seating and a bar lined with pearl-décor chairs. Already hockey fans are taking advantage of the multiple television screens, with large groups pulling up the modular furniture for the perfect fit.

"I wanted to set up a lounge that was essentially a living room experience," said Zen owner Zia Jamal.

"I was selfishly motivated: I wanted to create a space where I like to spend my time."

Zen celebrates the official opening of The Base this Sunday, April 9 from 8 p.m. to midnight. DJ Mr. Fister, alias Chili Thom, will spin the party into high gear with appetizer platters showcasing the new menu.

The $20 tickets include one drink ticket – check out bartender Spencer Jespersen’s Sump ’n Sour martini, an unbeatable blend of amaretto, juice squeezed from one lemon and some secret splashes.

Call 604-932-3667 for tickets.

Multi-course experience

Spring is here.

No it isn’t the short-clad crazies in flip flops giving it away. Or even the pronounced goggle and sunglass tans coming off the mountains. Any diner on a budget knows once the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival passes and tourists melt away the local dining specials with set menus begin to break ground.

For some of us, these are the times when we can finally afford a dinner at the Rimrock.

The humming and hawing over a menu we could order one of everything from is ended, leaving the culinary escapade in the hands of the chefs who craft the multi-course set meals.

We’ve still got a few weeks to go, but the Cinnamon Bear Bar and Grille is already out of the gates with a three-course, always-changing dinner for $29. Zen also offers a three-course chef tasting for $20. Wildwood gets straight to the local cause, passing on the three courses and giving diners four entrees to chose from (New York steak, wild salmon, barbecue chicken or teriyaki shrimp) – all for one price of $13.

Not locally priced yet, but the indecisive can still leave the choice-making to multi-course tasting menus available at many fine dining establishments including the Bearfoot Bistro (five courses) for $125 and Apres (six courses) $105.

Don’t forget Whistler’s biggest multi-course adventure, Chefs For Life, this Saturday, April 8 at the Four Seasons Resort’s Fifty Two 80 Bistro.

The 12-course culinary adventure, crafted by 12 different master chefs from Whistler and Vancouver, raises funds for Friends For Life, a wellness centre in Vancouver’s West End that provides services to people with life-threatening illness, including cancer and AIDS.

Truffles, sweetbreads, foie gras, roast elk, the dinner pulls out all the stops, including wines paired with each course.

The evening of food and wine also includes a silent auction.

Tickets are $325 for dinner (tax receipts issued). For tickets, contact 604-782-1995.

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