Fairmont Banff Springs – A Rocky Mountain Culinary Destination 2

Most Canadians never want summer to end. We see so few snow free days, that we really try to make the most of the season. Getting out and being active in the Rockies isn’t just for winter. The world class summertime hiking, golfing, rafting, and mountain biking have become a draw for locals and tourists from other countries as well. Summer season at The Fairmont Banff Springs is high season and while it’s often difficult to book a stay during the summer, the Banff Springs welcomes hungry and thirsty travellers to dine among the 13 on site restaurants, pubs, and lounges. There’s something for every appetite, whether you’re looking for a more substantial meal (see previous post), lighter fare, or just pre or post dinner cocktails. There are several summer menu culinary options available at Fairmont Banff Springs, where the ‘lighter fare’ is anything but boring, it’s specifically designed to take you on a flavour journey…a ‘staycation’, if you will.

The Lookout Patio – Pick a gorgeous sunny, summer’s day and have lunch on the Lookout Patio, so named for the gorgeous views of the mountain valley. Chef Kate Symes has taken her love of Mexican cuisine and created a tempting menu filled with the spices and flavours of Mexico. Don’t worry, there are tacos, guacamole, and nachos but you will be pleasantly surprised at the unique flavours chef has captured in these dishes. Some notable dishes to try are the Rocky Mountain Trout Ceviche made from locally caught trout ‘cooked’ in a tequila cilantro vinaigrette and served on a tortilla chip, Charred Sugar Cane Chicken Skewers served with pickled red onion and cabbage slaw with mint green chile vinegar sauce for dipping, Carnitas Tacos with slow braised pork shoulder on a tortilla with salsa, pickled onion, radish, crema, cilantro, lime, and jalapeno, and to finish a Spicy Lime Cucumber, and Coconut Paleta. (Open Daily – 11:00am to Sunset, Weather dependent)lookoutcollage

Upper Rundle Lounge Back by popular demand at the Upper Rundle Lounge is the tantalizing Indian Summer menu inspired Vancouver chef Vikram Vij. Delhi born Chef Gaurav Gaba has always been fascinated by the combinations of Indian spices and enjoys layering flavours in his dishes over time. The Indian summer menu includes appetizers such as spicy veggie Subz SamosasAchari Paneer Tikka (a beautiful dish of cottage cheese with peppers, onions, pickled spices), Murgh Tikka, and chef’s favourite, Dahi Papdhi Chat (savoury discs topped with yogurt, tomato, onion, mashed potato). Each dish is a feast for your eyes, as well as your soul! There’s a great selection of traditional curries and even some sweets to end your meal. Do try the Pistachio Kulfi and Gulab Jamun, they are most recommended! Adding to the menu’s authentic flavour experience is the well equipped table side ‘Chutney Cart’ which delivers the accompanying chutneys, cucumber raita, and spicy pickles that complete every Indian table. (Open daily from 6:00pm to 9:30pm)rundleloungecollage

 Grapes Wine Bar – There are some that have declared Grapes Wine Bar to have the most interesting and appetizing charcuterie board selection in Alberta. On most evenings, this tiny space is filled with enthusiastic nibblers and sippers, intent on demolishing every last morsel of meat and cheese placed before them. Chef Tyler Thompson makes almost every item on the famous charcuterie boards in house including all the pickles, jams, chutneys, and mustards that accompany the great selection of cured and smoked meats and cheeses. Wild Canadian ingredients play a starring role in many of the items, such as in the Wild Boar and Cranberry Terrine, Elk Salami, Hot Smoked Rocky Mountain Rainbow Trout and Smoked Bison, just to name a few. Be sure to try one of the very popular Truffle and Parmesan Cheese Sticks from the ‘Flour and Water’ portion of the menu as they are baked on site at the hotel’s main bakery. (Open daily from 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm) grapeswinebarcollage
A Word About Drinks & Cocktails at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Each of the 13 restaurants, pubs, and lounges have their own beer, wine, and cocktail lists. While there are similar selections at several locations at the Castle, there are certain drinks that appear only on a cuisine specific menu. For instance, the non alchoholic Banff Springs House Made Ginger Ale can be enjoyed at Stanley’s Smokehouse, The Rundle Lounge, and Upper Rundle Lounge. Cuisine specific cocktails can be found at Upper Rundle Indian Summer (Mandarin Sting, Spice of Jaipur, Alphonso Spice), The Lookout Patio (Margaritas, Daiquiri’s and Sangria), Samurai Sushi Bar & Restaurant (sake) If you would like to enjoy a beer or two, head to the Waldhaus Pub, where you can enjoy 100 ounces of your favourite brew in ‘das boot’. 1888 Chop House, Castello Ristorante, Waldhaus Restaurant, and Grapes Wine Bar all have extensive wine lists, while Rundle and Ramsay Lounges are the best places to find great cocktails. For that special ‘in room’ celebration, you can pick up a bottle of Canadian made wine at The Authentically Local Wine Store. There are a couple of great places to enjoy a latte or cappuccino while, the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Afternoon Tea takes place in the Upper Rundle Lounge every day from 12 pm-3:30 pm.boozecollage


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