What We Love Now
Images by Joern Rohde
What Makes a Great Cup of Joe?
For many, a hot, steaming cup of coffee can provide the perfect brain-buzz to get the day rocking. If caffeine is the kick in the pants you need, any old coffee should do, right? Not so, says Marie-Ève Laroche, owner of Pikolo Espresso Bar in Rainbow, located 6 kilometres (3.73 miles) north of Whistler Village. At Pikolo, the process of making your coffee has been carefully nurtured from crop to cup, to give you the perfect coffee to suit your taste and mood.
Whether you need a quick espresso before a run, a large Americano as you hit the road, or a creamy latté as you relax and catch up with friends, Pikolo has an extensive coffee menu and will help create the ideal brew — just for you. Their well-trained baristas are experts at knowing the right ratios of milk and water to set the intensity, and how to precisely monitor the extraction for time, temperature and pressure.
Pikolo’s quality coffees are created long before the beans hit the grinder, however. Laroche works closely with specialty roasters such as Phil & Sebastian and Heart Roasters to access multiple origins and the most superior, freshest crops. Each coffee has a unique terroir, influenced by its origin and the local soil, climate and altitude. “Some coffees are rounder, with more chocolatey notes, or creamier, and others are on the fruity side, with a bit more acidity coming out,” says Laroche. “It really depends on what you like and how exotic you want to get.”
604-962-1110 | pikoloespresso.com
From The Venue, with Love
There’s a place in Whistler where love reigns supreme, a place where diners gather to delight in the culinary passions of Chefs Ryan and Melissa Leitch. The married couple have been grilling, sautéing, and flambéing together in kitchens for 23 years, and their enduring love, integrity and passion for food is infused in every element of The Venue.
“We focus a ton of energy on the raw product, where it comes from, how it was grown, and making masterpieces,” says Ryan. The chefs grow or select organic and local food wherever possible, and work with several local businesses to knit together a circle of sustainability. Their restaurant food scraps are delivered to Sea to Sky Soils to compost into soil, which is then used to grow the vegetables for their exquisite dishes.
On the menu are classic French and Italian comfort foods with a twist, such as roasted duck breast with blueberry, port demi- glace, and veal osso buco, served Tuscan style with saffron risotto. “We want to make food that tastes really good,” says Melissa, “and isn’t just pretty or trendy.”
Cap your Whistler weekend with The Venue’s fabulous Sunday brunch buffet, featuring a cornucopia of dishes including fresh fruit, eggs Benedict, meats, home fries, baked in-house pastries and cakes, blueberry pancakes and Canadian soft cheeses.
Since The Venue is located a short drive south of the Village, Ryan and Melissa have found their niche in catering special events, including wedding parties of up to 70 guests, birthday parties, celebrations of significant milestones, corporate and community events. An à la carte menu is offered throughout the winter, and reservations are recommended.
Tucked away in the forest, The Venue is the perfect mountain setting to share good times, laughs and delicious food. After all, that is what Ryan and Melissa live for — and with that kind of passion, it’s hard not to feel the love.
604-932-2244 | whistlervenue.com
Experience a fresh look at Cure Lounge & Patio at Nita Lake Lodge, which has revamped its space with splashes of bright colour and a contemporary, stripped-back, Canadiana-cabin style. “We had architects Scott & Scott work with our interior designer, Carolyn Scholz, and they had a subtle and modern vision to create an open-concept space,” said Nicole Haupt, marketing and communications manager. The rustic-chic coziness is defined by understated white and grey tones; natural oak tables and a silver fox granite bar top contribute to a brighter ambience.
“Nita Drink?” To complement the update, Cure’s Bar Manager Rhiannon Csordas has created four delicious and innovative craft cocktail themes, including “From the Garden,” “Smoke and Spice on Ice,” “Modernist” and “Around the World.” “The beautiful part of having a bar renovation is the opportunity that comes with it. I decided that if we are elevating the beauty of our space for guests to enjoy then we should also be elevating the products we are offering,” says Csordas. “And I came up with the concept of a ‘themed’ cocktail menu to offer guests.”
Harvesting produce from their own rooftop garden, the fruit-based cocktail “Refresh” uses fresh strawberries muddled with barrel-aged gin, basil, lemon, and peppercorn mixed with green tea and served over ice. For those who crave stronger flavours, savour the “Ginger Spice” cocktail with bourbon whiskey and curry-turmeric syrup, with the kick of muddled ginger and cayenne, mellowed with coconut milk.
In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, Cure will feature specialty cocktails, whisky and beer flights, and celebratory menu items only offered this summer. For a taste of tradition with a twist, try the poutine, which combines farm-fresh chicken, French fries, cheese curds and light gravy.
Whether Whistler’s summer days are cool or warm, Cure has the perfect spot for you. Cozy up to their toasty fireplace central to the lounge, or head to the patio and luxuriate in the stunning lakeside views of clear waters reflecting Whistler’s snow- capped peaks.
604-966-5700 | nitalakelodge.com