Epicurious 

Where's the love?

Okay, I'm the first to admit that Valentine's Day is an overrated, completely commercialized holiday if there ever was one, invented solely by greeting card companies to bring in some cash during slow months between Christmas and Easter. But at its core, I think that the basic premise behind Valentine's Day is actually pretty respectable. Let's face it, folks: romance is kinda dead. Any excuse to breathe a bit of excitement into a relationship is a good one, in my opinion. It doesn't need to be a grand gesture, or something that will break the bank, but men and women alike should make a bit of an effort to show their partners that they really do care, once in a while!

So, I say, "Keep the card! Let's enjoy an amazing meal together, instead."

Fellas, I'll let you in on a little secret: a man who can cook is a keeper (and also kinda hot.) So, if you really want to impress your mate, tie on an apron and crack open a cookbook. Stick with something simple, like chicken alfredo and a salad, and supply a decent bottle of wine, and you can't go wrong (well, even if there is a slight mishap in the kitchen, you'll still score some major points for the effort). Or, if you're a complete culinary klutz, plan a menu, purchase the ingredients and provide an extra apron so the two of you can cook together!

I really enjoy cooking, but I also like to use any special occasion as an excuse to venture outside of the home for a culinary experience. We're all aware that there are plenty of places in Whistler to go out for dinner, but sometimes, the selection can seem a bit overwhelming. While Valentine's Day may seem a long way off (it's not for another three weeks), most of these places book up ahead of time, so you should definitely book ahead if you want to go out on Feb. 14. Here are a few suggestions for places to go for a romantic occasion:

Alta Bistro

This new locals' hotspot opened just a few weeks ago, and I must admit that I haven't had a chance to dine there (yet!) But from all of the raves and reviews I've heard thus far, I'm quite excited to see what Chef Guillaume Gissinger is cooking up! The focus here is on locally-sourced and naturally-raised food, as well as handcrafted cocktails, "wines of character" and micro-brewed beer. The menu changes often, as they're working with fresh and seasonal ingredients, but to get an idea of what you can expect (as well as the typical price point) visit www.altabistro.com.

 

Whistler Tasting Tour

Can't pick just one place? You don't have to! With Whistler Tasting Tours, you and your sweetie can check out a few of the best restaurants in town in just one go! Here's how it works: you pick from one of three tours - "Finer Things," which takes you to four restaurants for $109.99; "Hidden Gems" which features five local faves for $89.99; or the "Lunch Tour," a daytime option that offers seven stops for $39.99 - meet up with your group, and make your way from stop-to-stop with the help of your friendly and charming guides! This is a really enjoyable culinary experience, as you're bound to meet some cool people and discover some amazing restaurants along the way.

 

Rimrock Café

These guys have been in the fine dining game since 1987, and they're the undisputed locals' fave for a reason: amazing cuisine without any pretension. So, if you want to splurge on an amazing multi-course meal, this is the place to do it. Cozy up by the fire and indulge in oysters, filet mignon, Atlantic lobster and much more.

 

Sweets for your sweet...

Forget dinner, and skip straight to the good stuff: the sugar! If your significant other has a serious sweet tooth, you may want to consider going above and beyond the clichéd heart-shaped box of chocolates.

A nice place to go for a romantic date is 21 Steps The Attic. There, you can lounge in one of their leather sofas and trade bites of one of their delicious desserts (Crème Brulee, Pot de Crème, Belgian Chocolate Brownie and Rubin's Cheesecake). More active and adventurous couples may want to consider a daytime date during a day of skiing/snowboarding at the Crystal Hut, where you can indulge in a dish of those infamous Belgian waffles.

Last, but certainly not least, we can't forget that after being deprived for so long, we now have access to the beloved DQ ice cream cake here in Whistler: two kinds of creamy ice cream and, of course, that amazing layer of fudge crunch. Mmm... Nothing says "I love you" like ice cream cake!

 

 

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