For a long time, I have seen pictures of the Araxi Long Table Dinner and have been curious to attend. This year was the perfect opportunity to do so because COVID meant that we would be in town this summer.
The booking process was a bit disorganized with a mix up on payment methods. However, the main issue was that I was expecting a dinner. A few days before the event, I got a call informing me that it would now be a lunch.
Only later did I find out that there were two seatings (I guess because of COVID they had to split up the group), one lunch and one dinner. If I had known this earlier, I would of asked for the dinner spot.
The second thing you should know is logistics. The event takes place at the North Arm Farm in Pemberton, which is a 30-45 minute drive from Whistler. Given that they are going to be serving a lot of wine, I believe the event would be improved by holding it on a Saturday as opposed to Sunday.
Most people will probably not want to drive back (or should not drive at all) to Vancouver after the meal, which means having it on Saturday alleviates the need to take a Monday off.
Anyway, we opted to take the shuttle to the farm. To my pleasant surprise, there was only one other couple on the shuttle. The shuttle itself was very nice and comfortable.
Upon arrival at the farm, we were shown to our table. The setting was beautiful with the mountains in the backdrop. I was glad to see umbrellas as it was over 30 degrees that day and barely any clouds in the sky.
The table settings were socially distanced and we were promptly greeted by a server. The service was very good at this event. The staff went out of their way to get extra umbrellas and were going back and forth in the heat, wearing PPE and uniforms, to ensure guests were happy. Very commendable performance.
There was also a live band which was a nice touch.
Here was the menu:
The service started with some Rose and a gin based cocktail. The servers also brought bread and some olive oil and spread:
To start there was a strawberry gaspacho with a spotted prawn.
The first course was a scallop and tuna crudo. Presentation was beautiful.
This was followed by a beet ravioli.
Followed by a duo of beef.
…and ice cream bars and a berry sable. The ice cream bars we had at Araxi the night before also.
Each course was paired with generous pours of wine, refilled as you wished. Overall the food was good considering they were serving on a farm outdoors. After lunch we were given a brief tour of the farm.
Upon leaving we were given gift bags with an Araxi cookbook, granola, pasta, and cookies. The cookies were delicious! The pasta was disappointing though. A few days after the event, I went to cook them and realized they were fresh pasta. When I opened the bag, they had gone moldy. The bags were not labelled and no one told us. They had been sitting in the heat and un-refrigerated for a few days in the hotel room. I think most people traveled to this event as well and will get the same surprise when they get home.
Overall, the setting was amazing, the service and food good. This was an experience. I am glad I went and checked it off my list, but its not something I would want to do again. TIP: if you do decide to go, make sure you put on a lot of bug spray as I got a lot of mosquito bites despite putting on bug spray.