Aura Restaurant at Nita Lake Lodge
A herd of deer leaps at you as you enter the newly renovated Aura Restaurant. Caught in mid-gallop, the sculpture by artist Rachel Denny evokes a sense of movement and playfulness that has spread through the restaurant, from the open-concept kitchen to the cocktail list. Uniquely located on the shores of Nita Lake, Aura has one of the best views and patios in Whistler. Add to this a thoughtful and innovative menu, beautifully crafted cocktails and stunning artwork and you have a meal to remember. Executive Chef James Olberg combines his strong knowledge of French culinary techniques with a deep love of West Coast ingredients. The yellowfin tuna and Kuterra salmon poke have just the right amount of sweet and salty tang, and the Italian burrata served with basil and heirloom tomatoes picked fresh from the restaurant’s rooftop garden is firm and creamy. The three-hour braised short rib simply melts in your mouth and is a must-try — whatever the weather — along with the custard-bliss of their crack-perfect crème brûlée. Look out for their decadent Sunday brunch buffet and on select holiday Sundays, their signature seafood buffet that overflows with lobster, mussels, snow crab and chilled prawns, and the monthly “Sip & Savour Winemakers Dinners,” which showcase B.C. wines expertly paired with a four-course menu. It’s this eye for detail and willingness to innovate that makes dining here an experience — one that has an interactive element if you want a cocktail. Aptly named “Riddles,” the new summer cocktail list uses the ingredients to get you guessing.