Table Scraps 

Waking dream at the Four Seasons

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I was dining The Dream at the Four Seasons Resort's epic Fifty Two 80 Bistro and Lounge. The bistro hosts A Midsummer Night's Dream dinner theatre menu celebrating the summerstock production of Shakespeare's play staged Aug. 4 to Sept. 3 in Ross Rebagliati Park.

Food and beverage manager Bob Suri loosened his imagination to bring the tradition of the dinner theatre going experience with menu titles inspired by The Bard's Midsummer characters.

Dinner theatre in traditional terms means dinner and theatre staged in the same setting, but in Whistler, the theatre's outdoor setting is brought indoors with the first course choices in the three-course dinner showcasing a green garden.

You could almost see the faeries frolicking around Theseus' Choice mixed greens and shaved vegetables salad lightly tossed in a sherry vinaigrette. A glass of crisp Sumac Ridge sparking wine built on the breezy summer theme of the evening.

I dipped a spoon into Hippolyta's Pride, a zesty green gazpacho soup shaken up with the untraditional but nutty addition of Chanterelle mushrooms. The cool cucumber-base finished with delicious spicy heat, foreshadowing the playful and cunning nature of entrees to come.

The Oberon and Titania's Fairyland plates illustrated the dual world of the King and Queen with the churlish, troublesome Pucks on one side and the love-laced angelic faeries on the other.

One more earthy, the other sprightly, diners can chose from the pan-seared salmon with summer peas and fresh sorrels or the sous vide beef tenderloin with sweet corn and cabbage oxtail jus.

I was feeling a little more Puck than water sprite and opted for the sous vide dish - definitely Best Performance of the evening.

While the European sous vide method of vacuum-packing ingredients cooked in boiling water and then chilled is still relatively new to North American kitchens, the Bistro's recently-appointed executive chef Scott Baechler is splashing sous vide plates across the bistro menu.

The process is a time-consuming one whereby food is cooked for hours on end. But with great effort comes even greater reward: the process keeps all the food's nutrients and flavours locked within, producing a tenderloin with weighty flavour while at the same time a light, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Bold entrée, equally bold wine. The robust Benzinger Cabernet Sauvignon accompanied my faery feast.

Cupid's Arrow, a choice of pannacotta or chocolat pot de crème, were the evening curtain calls. While opting for the creamy pannacotta perfectly offset by tart rhubarb, it wouldn't take Puck's magic flower to turn my affections to the bittersweet dark haven my dinner date indulged in.

The heat of the day unfolded into a breezy night. Our table, dressed in fresh white linens, overlooked the once sun-filled patio and garden, a bit of a fairyland unto itself with a stream weaving through.

There is something about getting out of the village core, walking into the outskirts of the Upper Village where the Four Seasons folds into a mountain landscape. The earth-toned, elegant yet laid-back bistro brings a calm with it, flecked with sparks of midsummer magic - a vibrant chef, a theatrical menu and a perfect distance to stroll down to Ross Rebagliati Park, where another Dream awaits.

Araxi and the Fairmont's Wildflower are also hosting Dream menus. La Rúa offers 20 per cent off to theatre-goers and the Bearfoot Bistro hosts a post-show champagne toast with cast members every Thursday night.

For more information on the show, visit www.whistlertheatreproject.com.

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