The Cinnamon Bear Grille and Bar is located in the Hilton in Whistler. The menu is crafted by Executive Chef Julian Owen-Mold, a chef that has made his rounds from Europe to Australia to Asia before settling here in Canada prior to the Winter Olympics in 2010. Since then, he has been imbuing his travels and experiences into the menu items at Cinnamon Bear.
We started off on the other side of the restaurant which is the bar area. They have a patio outside which they open up during the summer for BBQs and live music, as well as in the winter time (they heat the area) where people can come apres ski, dance and have a good time in the afternoon till late. The bar area is very laid back and casual, accessible for everyone to enjoy.
We enjoyed a couple of classic cocktails: Muddled strawberry with rosemary gin, a Manhattan and a Summer Sangria. All the drinks were a great way to start off the evening.
We then connected over to the restaurant side, which had a great amount of seating. They can accommodate large parties, as there was one close to our table that evening.
Our first course was the Tomato gazpacho, served with ice shrimp, vanilla oil and caviar on top. A good way to start the meal with a sweet, savoury and slightly tart appetizer. I’d imagine this being popular during the summer months.
Our next course is the BC Dungeness Crab Cake sitting atop of mango salsa and a drizzle of chipotle aioli. What I enjoyed about the crab cake is that it was made mostly with crab meat rather than filling it other starch. The salsa gave it a nice sweet taste in every bite and the chipotle aioli gave it a bit of a smoky taste too.
Our appetizers were paired with Sumac Ridge Sauvignon Blanc, a nice, crisp and clean white wine.
Our next dish is the Kale and Quinoa salad made with organic wheat kernels, toasted pumpkin seeds, cranberries tossed in a spiced almond dressing. I really liked this dish – it was probably my favourite of the evening. The salad was subtle in terms of flavour, but heavy enough to be served on it’s own. I really enjoyed the almond dressing and the the overall nutty flavour of the salad.
Our main dish is the grilled tenderloin made with Alberta beef and Nova Scotia lobster. To compliment: scallop, asparagus and a maltaise sauce. This dish was good and filling and really emphasized what our great country can offer – surf and turf. The tenderloin was grilled to perfection, I’d love to see more of the beef featured here. The lobster was prepared nicely, had a good elasticity to it still. The creaminess of the maltaise sauce help fill this dish out without taking away too much of the flavour of the meats.
The course was paired with Inniskillin Pinot Noir, a spicy and oak red.
To top the evening off, a trio of desserts came. Playing with levels and different textures we had the smores in a jar, creme brulee and deconstructed tiramisu. These are fun desserts to share.
Overall, I enjoyed my meal here at the Cinnamon Bear Grille. They emphasize that their restaurant (and bar) has a relaxed atmosphere with good food and drinks without the attitude and approachable to all tastes.
Disclosure: Please note that I was invited by the Cinnamon Bear Grille and Bar and my meal was paid for, however all opinions are my own.
For more information and reservations, check out their website here: http://www.hiltonwhistler.com/dining/cinnamon-bear-grille.php
Check out Diana’s post here: http://foodology.ca/cinnamon-bear-grille/