6 Degrees Restaurant, Big White Ski Resort, British Columbia
Courtesy QUICKPICS PHOTOGRAPHY
BIG WHITE, BC — It's the crowned King of Restaurants at Big White Ski Resort. It's been named the #1 Ski Bar by Ski Canada Magazine, and for good reason. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better apres joint for you and your buddies after a powder-filled day than Snowshoe Sam's.
But what if you're looking to spend your evening at something more than a "joint"? What if you can't even remember the last time you used the word "buddies" to describe your friends? Where, then, do you go at night?
This season, Big White answers that question with two new extraordinary dining experiences: Gigi's Bistro Lounge and 6 Degrees Bistro.
"I had a vision of what Big White needed," said Gigi Farrell, owner of Gigi's Bistro Lounge. "It has a lot of great restaurants that are more rustic. It has Snowshoe Sam's where pretty much everyone goes, but it's more for the young people. It reminds me of a university pub or something.
"I come from the chalet business. We were selling chalets in Big White for a million dollars, or a thousand bucks a night, and I thought, 'Where are those people going? I'm 46 years old, where am I going to go?'
"I love the lounge scene, and I thought that Big White was ready for it."
And ready for it, it was. Since opening up some two months ago, Gigi's has earned rave reviews for its injection of elegance and sophistication to the mountain. Located right in the heart of the village – right across from Snowshoe Sam's – Gigi's offers a more refined alternative for a more affluent crowd.
"I've always had a passion for people. I love people, I love food and I love wine. But it's about bringing these things together and creating an atmosphere and an ambiance that people enjoy that I truly love."
Doc Pow (right) enjoys some dinner with Gigi's and 6 Degrees owner Gigi Farrell at Big White Ski Resort.
Gigi's Mediterranean menu is sure to restore all those carbs you burned off during the day. I know that after I've been skiing for a couple of hours I really want to fill up, to feel warm. Carbohydrates are my friend. I'm not afraid of them when I'm on the mountain. The same goes for proteins.
Gigi's rack of lamb, fresh wild salmon, or steak and ribs are the perfect nightcap. It's also the only restaurant on the hill that offers plates late (until midnight, in fact).
"At Gigi's, expect fresh, delicious food, served in a beautiful space by happy people."
If you're more in the mood for tapas, however, you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not going to 6 Degrees Bistro. My experience there wasn't just one of the better dining experiences I've ever had, but one of the better life experiences (if you repeat that to my girlfriend I will hunt you down). Seriously, I don't know who Executive Chef Chris Thomas thumped to get his Short Ribs recipe, but it was worth it.
"6 Degrees is a large-plate tapas bar," Thomas said. "Our plates are really smaller full meals. For example, we have short ribs glazed with tamarind and five spices, served with scallion mashed potatoes and honey carrots. It's a bit of a smaller plate, but it's a full meal."
With a large, diverse menu in terms of flavour and presentation, 6 Degrees is set up perfectly with its tapas style.
"It allows you to try a few things, more flavours, more sensations. We have Ravioli Duo, which is a duck confit and Angus short rib ravioli with pinot grigio creamed demi-glace, then we have an East Coast Lobster Chowder. We also focus on the Okanagan, with West Coast Halibut. All kinds of amazing stuff."
Thomas is truly a chef of the world, having travelled for years as the executive chef of Cirque Du Soleil. He travelled to Dubai, Shaghai and Seoul, gathering knowledge from some of the world's greatest chefs along the way. You can taste his experience in each and every dish.
"With 6 Degrees, we really wanted just a small little wine bar with fine food to pair with it. And the response has been great."
What are you doing still reading? Go try the short ribs!
You know what? I'm getting kind of hungry. You'll probably see me there.
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