Review: Woodlands Rooftop Summer BBQ, Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Canada
Review: Woodlands Rooftop Summer BBQ, Fairmont, Chateau Whistler, Canada
With the pandemic all around us, we’ve had several months of waiting around for life to get back to normal. After about 3 months of sitting home, when it was safe to do so as endorsed by the provincial health authorities, we made it up to our home away from home, our place up in Whistler, Canada.
The Fairmont Chateau Whister is one of the flagship hotels that’s typically fully booked through the winter months and mostly booked through the summer months. As one of the better hotels in Whistler, it’s the sight of many summer weddings on it’s roof top patio.
But what happens when the wedding season is cancelled thanks to a pandemic? Thanks to brilliant business innovation, the property at Fairmont has transformed this roof top space into a Summer Pop Up Restaurant. Their idea is the Woodlands Summer Rooftop Barbecue, which is set in the usual wedding space on the roof top of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. From their website,
“Welcome to the Woodlands Rooftop, where family-style dining meets spectacular mountain experiences! This relaxed and welcoming covered rooftop restaurant features live music, refreshing drinks, a delicious local-inspired menu prepared by Executive Chef, Isabel Chung, and a picture-perfect mountain backdrop.“Fairmont Chateau Whistler
I ended up easily booking earlier in the week through Open Table. The pop up restaurant is only operating Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer. It seems to have pretty good availability as compared to other Whistler Restaurants.
3-Course Family-Style Summer BBQ
$49 CAD /per person + tax | $29 CAD + tax for ages 6 – 12, kids under 5 eat free.
We ended walking down from our place in the Blackcomb Benchlands neighbourhood to the Fairmont. It was a beautiful summer evening.
The Experience of Dining:
We got to the hotel where we checked in at the Fairmont Health and Safety Reception. Thanks to the pandemic, we had our temperature checked and had a courtesy spray of hand sanitizer on our hands. We were then given a hotel coupon showing that we had been “checked” and allowed into the hotel. We wandered over to the rooftop which was situated on the northern side of the hotel. After a check in with a masked host, we were carefully led to our table for our 7:30 PM booking. The tables were quite set apart under a large tent that could have probably seated two hundred people under regular conditions. Tonight, there were probably less than sixty with the social distancing measures. A live guitar player set the mood for the evening.
We settled into our socially distant table which was a long picnic table with just the two of us. We were presented menus, although we were also given the opportunity to read the menus electronically on line by scanning a QR code on a business card. The menus themselves were set and were inclusive of a 3 course meal.
The drink list and wine menu features mostly local British Columbia wines, which was perfect for showcasing the region of British Columbia. There were a few mainstream international choices on there.
We aren’t big Smoked Pork Rib people so we ended up ordering a extra substitute of chicken instead of the Smoked Pork Ribs. There was also the option to add seafood in the form of steelhead salmon or prawns to the meal for an extra $15 CAD. We enjoyed a bottle of British Columbia Meyer Pinot Noir to go with the meal. The initial impression was that it was a little rough the initial attack and could have probably benefitted from a decanter. However, it paired excellently with the barbecue and we eventually really enjoyed it paired with food.
The service was near perfect for dining during a pandemic. The First Salad courses arrived all at once, followed by the mains. This minimized visitor to server contact and it was great to have the drop the food and go.
The Meal: A Three Course Barbecue Dinner
The salads arrived first. There was a trio of salads consisting of a Water Melon Salad with pickled rind, local tomatoes, lime dressing, feta cheese, arugula, pumpkin seeds, a Creamy Potato Salad with baby red potatoes, grainy mustard & egg dressing and a Zesty Summer Coleslaw with shredded cabbage, carrots, zucchini, red onion, apple cider vinaigrette, dried fruit. All of these were absolutely sensational and a great introduction to the meal. MrsWT73 was prepared to battle me over the last of the potato salad
After the salads were mostly consumed when the main event arrived. Tonights main event was Beef 6 ounce Striploin with signature spice, Rotisserie Chicken. The sides included grilled corn on the cob, with chili lime aioli, feta cheese, cilantro, and grilled summer vegetables with pesto basted zucchini, eggplant, Portobello, onion. As if this wasn’t enough, there were also two side sauces to go with it, a signature bbq sauce and a zippy tomatillo sauce.
The dinner was absolutely outstanding. Even with the two of us, we had enough leftovers to take with us for the next night’s dinner.
As if all that food wasn’t enough, dessert was included in the price. For this, we had a chocolate cake along with a rhubarb parfait. We split these together since we already had more than enough by this point.
We were absolutely stuffed. Indeed it was a while before we departed on our walk home with some leftovers. We did encounter distanced black bear on the climb up the hill back home and I was trotting quickly considering I was carrying leftover steak and chicken. We had some nice mountain sunset views on our walk back.
The Woodlands Rooftop Barbecue at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler was an excellent socially distant dining experience. For those of you residing in the Vancouver area, or travelling within the Province of British Columbia during the pandemic, I would highly recommend this summer experience before it disappears for the season. The food was exceptionally tasty and well prepared. The Fairmont did a great job at transforming dining limitations during a pandemic into the most comfortable and safe experience possible.