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fine dining

Where’s Where to Après Ski

By Where Writers

So you want to après ski, eh?

From ski hills to yoga studios, and breakfast joints to late night pubs, we’ve created the definitive list for après ski activities in the Canadian Rockies. Without bias, we can certainly declare that our list if the best list. Read on!

 

Pre-après your Day

Sometimes the most important part of your ski day happens before you squeeze your feet into boots.

Saltlik Steakhouse Caesar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stretch out before you head out with lululemon Banff. They host free Sunday morning classes so that you can get ready for a whole day of skiing … or recover from one.

Fuel the whole family at Craigs’ in Canmore. This classic diner serves hearty breakfasts that are sure to give you energy for the entire day.

Late night? Rally in Canmore with a fresh-pressed juice from Toniq or a Hangover Wrap from Harvest (718, 10 St., Canmore). If you are in Banff and feeling a little worse-for-wear, grab a day-saving Caesar at Saltlik. Rumor has it that any of these cures will have you back on the slopes in no time.

 

Wear your Ski Boots

In a mountain town you can wear your gear with pride, so long as you know where to go…

Get your après on at these on-hill locales (goggles optional):

  1. The Caribou Lounge at Marmot Basin offers food and drink specials every weekend from 2 till 5 (and that includes Friday).
  2. Mad Trappers resides in the original Sunshine Village ski lodge, so you can après the same way the very first skiers did. Sunshine’s other favourite end of day spot, The Chimney Corner, offers fireside lounging for cold days and an outdoor terrace for sunny ones.
  3. It’s said that the Kokanee Kabin at the Lake Louise Ski Resort has the “best draught deck in the Rockies,” but we’ll let you be the judge of that.
  4. Stop for a late lunch or an early après on the deck at Nakiska’s Mid-Mountain Lodge, or pop up to the Finish Line Lounge for a post-ski poutine.
  5. Pause for a pint at Norquay’s Lone Pine Pub before heading back down into Banff.
  6. If you’ve crossed over into BC for the weekend, treat yourself to a traditional Raclette Après at Panorama’s Elkhorn Cabin, or take in live music and après specials from the Whitetooth Grill at Kicking Horse.

If you can make it up the stairs in your ski boots, we’ll lay a bet that you can dance in them too. You might head to Wild Bill’s in Banff for the drinks, but you’ll wind up staying for dinner and likely late into the night when the live music starts and the real fun begins!

 

Grab Some Grub

Some of us are in it for the adventure, some of us are in it for the party, some of us are in it for the scenery, but ALL of us are in it for the FOOD!

Mountain Mercato Après Ski Special

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bite into the burger of your dreams at Eddie Burger (137 Banff Ave., Banff). The Grass Fed Rancher has us drooling, but maybe you’ll go for the Aussie Burger (topped with grilled pineapple, beets and a fried egg!). No matter what toppings you choose, we’re sure you’ll be satisfied.

If your post-hill cravings are for finer fare, the Juniper Bistro in Banff offers an après ski lounge menu starting at 3 pm, and Murrieta’s in Canmore offers half price appies and $5 beer and wine, Monday to Friday 3 to 6 pm.

Mountain Mercato (817 8st., Canmore) is a local favourite, and with their beer and panini combo for $15, we can understand why. Head there between 4 and 6 pm to get yours.

Baker Creek Bistro in Lake Louise offers their winter appetizer menu from 2 to 5 pm. These seasonal selections pair beautifully with fireplaces and afternoon cocktails.

 

Get Your Game On

If the slopes were great, but you spent all day worrying about the score, don’t worry; you can catch up on all your favourite teams (and Olympic athletes) no matter where you are in the Rockies.

Montana’s Game Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re in Jasper, O’Shea’s has game night specials and Montana’s has great game day door prizes.

In Banff you can cheer on your team at Melissa’s and you won’t miss one word of the commentary because each table has its own speaker. Join passionate locals at Tommy’s, a favourite hangout of everyone in Banff.

Pull up a chair anywhere at the Iron Goat in Canmore. The two-story restaurant has TVs on both floors so you won’t miss the game no matter where you are seated.

 

Après Hour is the Happiest Hour

We’re pretty sure that après ski is French for Happy Hour, no matter what you say.

Crazyweed Crab Fundido

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crazyweed In House Smoked Camembert

 

Jasper Brewing Co. has great vibes and luckily, the end of your ski-day coincides nicely with their Happy Hour. From 3 to 6 pm, enjoy $4 pints of local brews and $1 off mixed drinks from the bar.

Canmore’s Crazyweed calls 3 to 5 pm “Crazy Hour”, probably because they offer a crazy awesome sharing menu including Taber Corn & Crab Fundido and In House Smoked Camembert.

From 5 to 7 pm you will find daily drink and food specials at the De’d Dog Bar & Grill in Jasper. This means $6 pints of seasonal ale and Sriracha cod Sandwiches on Saturdays, and steak night Sundays with $5.25 pints of Keith’s.

 

Soothe It Out

If dinner sounds nice, but your sore legs have you feeling wobblier than Bambi on ice, maybe try out a few of these active recovery methods first.

Wildheart Studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildheart Studio

 

Do your stretches at Canmore’s Wildheart in their Snow Flow yoga class on Monday and Saturday evenings. This class is designed to help you relax into a deep stretch after a day on the slopes as well as build strength for your next lengthy ski day. Jasper Wellness offers a similar class, Après Activity, on Saturday afternoons at 4 pm. This class will help you finish off your day by re-lengthening.

The Willow Stream Spa at the Banff Springs offers a variety of massages including a deep tissue massage to help your muscles recover from strenuous exercise or you can soak it out in one of the three waterfall treatment whirlpools.

Q+A: The Dining Empire of Lance Hurtubise

By MICHAELA RITCHIE

Much has changed in Calgary since Lance Hurtubise made his first foray into our city’s culinary scene—as a dishwasher at the age of 12, making $2.10 an hour. From his days serving as a bus boy, waiter, bouncer and manager, to now as President and CEO of the Vintage Group, Hurtubise has seen it all in Calgary’s kitchens over the last four decades. (more…)

3 Must-Try Eats in YYC: Gwendolyn Richards

By GWENDOLYN RICHARDS

(Photo courtesy of Without Papers Pizza.)

The weather outside is frightful, but Calgary’s hot plates are so delightful! As the coldest months of the year approach, our favourite local dining destinations are turning up the heat—everything from cozy comfort foods to a hearty helping of spice. If you need to banish the chill, we recommend you peruse these menus. (more…)

Niagara is for Everyone: Romance at the Falls

EACH YEAR, MORE THAN 12 MILLION PEOPLE VISIT THE NIAGRA REGION FOR THEIR VACATION OR GETAWAY. HERE ARE SOME ROMANTIC IDEAS FOR MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR VISIT TO THE HONEYMOON CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

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Soar over the region’s lush landscape with a tour from Niagara Helicopters, which lands at one of several wineries including Hillebrand Estates and Peller Estates for lunch and a tour.

Stay on land but retain the romance with a horse-drawn carriage ride in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake. Sentineal Carriages offers 30-, 45-minute and hour-long narrated tours through Old Town.

Stop and smell the roses—all 2,400 of them!—at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. Spread across 40 hectares, the grounds are lushly maintained with the likes of rhododendrons, azaleas and vegetable and herb plantings. NPC_3716

 

Get pampered and unwind with a couples massage. Both The Spa at White Oaks and Spa on the Twenty offer side-by-side massages, but the latter can also teach couples the proper techniques to knead out each other’s knots. For a truly indulgent experience, book the Time for Two service at Five Lakes Spa Aveda, which includes a massage, facial and pedicure for two.

Have a romantic dinner amongst the stars at the Revolving Dining Room at Skylon Tower, which is perched 236 metres above ground offering a spectacular view of the falls, which is particularly pretty at nighttime when it’s illuminated.

 

RELATED NIAGRA IS FOR EVERYONE STORIES:

A Kid-Friendly Itinerary

Ultimate Halifax

History, entertainment, fun on the water and more—discover everything we love about Halifax

By Trevor J. Adams

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Photo: NS Tourism Agency

Photo: NS Tourism Agency

At the tip of Halifax’s historic South End, Point Pleasant Park is a popular year-round destination with native Haligonians and visitors alike. The park’s coastal and woodland trails are a hit in any season, but Point Pleasant really comes to life in summer when it hosts theatre al fresco withbarrington-cemetary-web Shakespeare by the Sea throughout the summer.

History buffs will be pleased to find the Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site in the centre of the park. Back downtown on Barrington Street, the Old Burying Ground is a secluded historic cemetery and the burial site British Major General Robert Ross, who burned Washington, D.C. in the War of 1812.

Uptown on Spring Garden Road, the Halifax Public Gardens are one of the finest Victorian gardens in North America. In the summer, its bandstand hosts Sunday afternoon concerts. Across the harbour, the Dartmouth Common features lovely flower gardens and panoramic views of the Halifax skyline.

FAMILY FUN

Nautical adventures abound at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on Lower Water Street. With lots of hands-on exhibits and a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere, it’s a great spot for kids to explore and learn about the Titanic, fearless explorers, swashbuckling pirates and the world wars. See shipbuilders at work and explore a scientific vessel moored dockside.

Just up the hill on Barrington Street, the Discovery Centre is a hands-on science centre where kids can explore trippy optical illusions, stand inside a giant bubble and even freeze a banana in liquid nitrogen.

The Museum of Natural History on Summer Street offers hours of entertainment for inquiring young minds. Explore Nova Scotia’s forest and ocean environments with interactive exhibits. Visit legendary Sable Island and experience Science on a Sphere. Live amphibians, reptiles, bees, a new Tide Tank and Gus, a 92-year-old tortoise.

BACK IN TIME

The Hydrostone. Photo: Lisa Enman

The Hydrostone. Photo: Lisa Enman

This province is the birthplace of hockey and boasts a long line of sports heroes—most recently, Sidney Crosby. Learn all about them in Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.

Looming over the downtown, the Halifax Citadel Canada’s most popular National Historic Site and home to the Army Museum. Visit at 12 pm to see historical animators fire the fort’s signature Noon Gun.

Perched on the side of Citadel Hill, you’ll spot Halifax’s iconic Old Town Clock on Sackville Street.

Shop and dine where privateers once stashed their plunder—the stone warehouses of the Historic Properties on the Halifax waterfront.

Devastated in the Halifax Explosion during the First World War, Young Street east of Robie is now a stylish neighbourhood called The Hydrostone noted for unique architecture, quaint shops and fine dining.

NEW & IMPROVED

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 reopens this month after extensive renovations. From 1928 to 1971, almost 1.5 million immigrants and military personnel passed through Pier 21. Today, the museum (Canada’s only national museum outside Ottawa) tells the story of Canadian immigration from first contact to present day.

SPIRITED ADVENTURES

With centuries of history, Halifax teems with mysteries, folklore and reputed hauntings. Explore the city’s darker side with the Halifax Ghost Walk. Meet the group at 8:30pm at the Old Town Clock on Citadel Hill (just up from Sackville Street). Narrators lead you through historic Halifax’s nooks and crannies, sharing tales of pirates, ghosts and murder most foul.

ROAMING AROUND

Peggy's Cove

Peggy’s Cove

Centrally located, Halifax is an ideal day-trip base. Take a 45-minute drive east, and you’ll find the Memory Lane Heritage Village, a living-history museum re-creating life in rural Nova Scotia as it was 70 years ago.

Take a 45-minute drive west, and you’ll find the historic fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. Its iconic lighthouse, perched on the rocks just above the wild Atlantic waves, is Nova Scotia’s most photographed site.

ART IN ACTION

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At the foot of George Street on the Halifax waterfront, NovaScotian Crystal is one of the province’s most unique tourism attractions. In the workshop, you can watch craftsmen use Old World techniques to create functional art: mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal creations.

Hot Dining Halifax: Small Bites, Big Taste

Pair a wine with a delicious cheese and charcuterie board at Obladee.

If you’re planning a special night out with friends or a date, visit Obladee on Barrington Street. The atmosphere is a mix of classy and casual. With a focus on smaller dishes and tasty wines, the menu boasts a wide selection of reds, whites, sparkling, pink and bottles from the cellar. Sip on some Blomidon from Annapolis Valley, or try a glass of pinot noir from New Zealand. Also pair your drink with appetizers, including a variety of cheese and charcuterie boards.

Chic style and fine dining sum up Onyx on Spring Garden Road. Treat yourself and choose from the new small plates menu, including focaccia balls, spicy lobster risotto, Quebec cheeses and more. The restaurant also has a long list of wines, cocktails and champagne. Celebrities Sir Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger have even dined here.

Hot Dining: Kitchen Party

You can find Chef Alexander Svenne at Bistro 7 1/4 six nights a week, holding court in his open kitchen-engaging in customer banter and cooking with gusto. It’s his hospitable personality and consistently exquisite French comfort food that has maintained the South Osborne spot as one of the hottest covers in town for six years running. A recent expansion of the space has added a sexy lounge and private dining room bringing the eatery’s seat count to 90. You can’t go wrong with smoky grilled octopus with orange and spicy chorizo sausage, or decadent vegan and gluten-free chocolate coconut pudding with tangy lime syrup. 725 Osborne St, 204-777-2525.

 

Hot Dining: Sugar Spectacle at the Fort Garry Hotel

At the Fort Garry Hotel, Chef Richard Warren and his team of six pastry chefs spend their days spinning simple sugar into magnificent, mouth-watering magic. The chef with a self-professed insatiable sweet tooth plans and produces all of the sweets, pastries and breads for the 99-year-old luxury hotel. Chef Warren and his team execute dishes like pineapple tarte tatin with banana caramel ice cream for patrons of the Palm Lounge from a basement “bakeshop” run with genial military precision. Taste dozens of Chef Warren’s sweet offerings in rotation at Sunday brunch. 222 Broadway Ave., 204-942-8251.

 

Hot Dining: Limited Edition Beer

The Deviator Doppelbock by Cameron's Brewing in Oakville.

Sick of ordering the same beverage time and time again? Looking for something to really make you “buzzed” with excitement? Look no further than Cameron’s Deviator Doppelbock, a seasonal beer available until early spring. Right now you can only get it on tap in Ottawa at Restaurant E18hteen and the Wellington Gastropub, but there are more locations to come – and for good reason. This dark beer boasts a 7.1% alcohol content as well as a warm, full-bodied taste and colour with subtle undertones of toffee, caramel, and coffee. Its richness will fill you up (and also warm you up during a cold Ottawa winter). Don’t miss your chance to try this distinctive-tasting beer before the Deviator Doppelbock disappears with the snow. — Erin Morawetz

Hot Dining: Restaurant Review: Bailey’s

After 40 years in business, Bailey’s restaurant, with its traditional, continental cuisine may not exactly have the buzz currently being cooked up by a cadre of competitive chefs in Winnipeg. However, its well-executed plates and polished service keep regulars coming back year after year to the 120-seat restaurant. (more…)

Many Mouths to Feed: Our 2011 Dining Guide

Whether your palate is daring or demanding, Toronto’s incredibly diverse dining scene satisfies every craving.

Toca

FOR TRUE NORTH TASTERS
With the continuously growing influence of North America’s local- and slow-food movements, it’s only natural that sustainable, regionally appropriate cooking has taken hold in Toronto.

On the menus of many restaurants you’ll now find a profusion of Canadian-sourced and responsibly farmed ingredients, from Alberta’s renowned beef to East Coast seafood to vegetables harvested in Ontario’s fertile “Greenbelt.” And though simple meat and potatoes still offer us comfort on a plate, Canadian cuisine can also be very classy. (more…)