After years of hearing raved reviews about Araxi, I sort of made it a mission to conquer it on this trip to Whistler once and for all. I had made the reservation 2 weeks prior just in case it gets full from the long weekend. The restaurant was conveniently located in the heart of the Village and a minute walk from our hotel. We were warmly greeted and seated cozily by the window. I already took a peak at their menu online but couldn't wait to hear about new additions to the list.
Araxi has an extensive list of wines from around the world. While we admired the by selections and inventory of wine bottles that surrounded us, consquently, we also had to watch servers reached over us or literally crawled under the table to reach for the correct wine bottle ordered by the patrons. We felt bad for them and perhaps there should be a better method of filing the bottles (and not under or behind the tables). It didn't take long for us to decide what we wanted. Araxi offers a 4 course prix fixe menu for $58 per person, which is quite an excellent deal. BBJL and I were in for another culinary expedition.
|Bread and tapenade|
After our positive experience last night at Il Caminetto, our expectations soared. BBJL wanted to try the duck breast this time at Araxi. It could also partly be my constant echoing propaganda "My sister said the best duck breast she's ever had was at Araxi!". So, for the second night in a row, the duck breast was once again on the table. Before it arrived, I overheard the server informing the patrons that they were out of duck breasts for the night, and I was counting my blessings that we scored one of the last few. Once it was presented, however, we were surprised to find the pieces were sliced so thick. I guess the texture would still be the same regardless, but we're spoiled that way. After a few bites, we unanimously agreed that we didn't have the same mesmerizing moment with the duck as we did the night before. The meat was a bit tough and not tender or juicy. The skin was not as crispy as it was at Il Caminetto or La Belle Auberge. The jus was okay but didn't bring out that much flavour. Though it was not terrible (or I'd send it back), everything about this dish was only average. It was a wee bit of a let down when you reaction was "meh", instead of "Oh wow!". As for my sister, I later learned that the best duck breast she's ever had was actually at Chambar in Vancouver which we were going to the next day (Doh!). Duck breast for the 3rd night in a row?
We were definitely full to the brim and the prix fixe was a really great deal. The service was excellent and although some dishes didn't exactly surpass our expectations, the majority were exceptional. We had a wonderful and memorable evening at Araxi and I would love to come back for another visit.